I Married a Communist Paperback
by Philip Roth
I Married a Communist is the story of the rise and fall of Ira Ringold, a big American roughneck who begins life as a teenage ditch digger in 1930s Newark, becomes a big-time 1940s radio star, and is destroyed, both as a performer and a man, in the McCarthy witch-hunt of the 1950s.
In his heyday as a star - and as a zealous, bullying supporter of 'progressive' political causes - Ira married Hollywood's beloved silent-film star, Eve Frame.
Their glamorous honeymoon in her Manhattan townhouse is short-lived, however, and it is the publication of Eve's scandalous bestselling expose that identifies him as 'an American taking his orders from Moscow'.
In this story of cruelty, betrayal, and revenge spilling over into the public arena from their origins in Ira's turbulent personal life, Philip Roth has written a brilliant fictional portrayal of that treacherous post-war epoch when anti-Communist fever not only infected national politics but traumatised the intimate, innermost lives of friends and families, husbands and wives, parents and children.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 01/07/1999
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099287834
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by piefuchs
This book is not considered one of Roth's strongest - but I found it readable, though provoking, and a great story.
Review by john257hopper
An interesting novel in which the author portrays very clearly the ethos of a time and place. Some good stuff, but this is too rambling and disjointed. The central character is a victim of McCarthyism, but is a deeply unsympathetic, pathologically angry, violent individual. Indeed, McCarthyism is almost incidental to the book, which is more about one man's struggle to come to terms with his own nature.
Review by OscarWilde87
After having read Roth's "The Human Stain" and "American Pastoral", "I Married a Communist" was definitely right on top of my wishlist. It gives a lot of insight into what shook America in the McCarthy era. As all of those three books, Roth - again - did it. He achieved to write a compelling story that grips its readers not so much for what is being told but rather for how its being told. A little less action, a little more thought. Insightful, American, a typical Roth. 4 stars.
Review by sometimeunderwater
Captures the McCarthy era well, but not with quite as much humanity as Roth is capable of. The narrator keeps threatening to be the most interesting character, but never quite emerges.