* Nemesis by Philip Roth

Another disappointing Philip Roth novel (after Indignation), Nemesis tells the story of a polio epidemic in 1944, with the predictable tale of a young youth counselor who unknowingly and unwittingly infects an entire summer camp, and ends up ruining his own life through remorse. While the historical context, with the still unknown causes of polio and the resulting hysteria and scapegoating of victims along with the summer camps as a return to (Native American) nature, is quite interesting, the characters are so one-dimensional as to become caricatures, the dialogs can sound downright silly, and some of the narrative seems lifted straight from a history book — when it cannot be predicted by even naive readers thirty pages ahead of time. It could have been so much more!

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