Warmongering God-hater Christopher Hitchens takes a look at Philip Roth's Exit Ghost, the final chapter in the life of Roth's fictional altar-ego Nathan Zuckerman. He is unimpressed. Considering Roth's fondness for stories about blowjobs gone wrong, Hitch recalls a scene from The Dying Animal, in which a character, displeased with his partner's fellationary skills... we'll continue this after the jump, eh, for the benefit of the children?
Where were we? Ah yes. The character, displeased with the fellatio etc., "leaned into her face and rhythmically, without letup, I fucked her mouth."
In the new one, Hitch writes, a character reveals that:
something not unlike the above, culminating in her vomiting, was once inflicted on her by the captain of the tennis team. Prompt upon his cue, Zuckerman seizes an opportunity to correct her on a point of grammar, and then adds: "In the old days, before well-brought-up adolescent girls had their faces fucked forcefully, you never heard 'hopefully' misused like that."Sometimes we kinda like Hitch.
When Raymond Chandler felt things going limp in a story, he would have the door open and then it would be: Enter a man carrying a gun. When Roth is in the same fix, we know that some luckless goy chick is about to get it in the face. Exit reader.
Zuckerman Undone [Atlantic]