Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Roth's The Plot Against America

Philip Roth's new novel is quite good until the last third or so. Its effectiveness as a commentary on today's politics is all the better because it really seems rooted in 1940 rather than attempting any crude one-to-one correspondence. For example, Lindbergh does not equal Bush; the analogy, rather, is in how fast the floor can fall away if elections take a particular turn and people start to think differently.
Unfortunately, just when things are getting really hair-raising, Roth opts for that favorite ploy of fourth grade fiction: "Then I woke up and it was all a dream." Not exactly, but close enough.