'No other writer combines such a surface of colloquial relaxation with such a dense load of mediating intelligence - Roth has never written more scrupulously or, in spots, more lovingly' John Updike, New Yorker
The Counterlife is about people enacting their dreams of renewal and escape, some of them going so far as to risk their lives to alter seemingly irreversible destinies. Wherever they may find themselves, the characters of The Counterlife are tempted unceasingly by the prospect of an alternative existence that can reverse their fate.
Illuminating these lives in transition and guiding us through the book's evocative landscapes, familiar and foreign, is the mind of the novelist Nathan Zuckerman. His is the sceptical, enveloping intelligence that calculates the price that's paid in the struggle to change personal fortune and reshape history, whether in a dentist's office in suburban New Jersey, or in a tradition-bound English Village in Gloucestershire, or in a church in London's West End, or in a tiny desert settlement in Israel's occupied West Bank.
“Roth is a comic genius... In this book (wonderfully sharp, worryingly intense) he is an electrifier”
Martin Amis, Atlantic
“No other writer combines such a surface of colloquial relaxation and even dishevelment with such a dense load of mediating intelligence... Roth has never written more scrupulously or, in spots, more lovingly”
John Updike, New Yorker
“Magnificent...splendid... I hope The Counterlife felt, as Mr. Roth wrote it, like a triumph, because that is certainly how it reads to me”
William Gass, New York Times Book Review