Esquire’s Philip Roth Profile: By the Numbers

Esquire has run a profile of Philip Roth to mark the publication of his 31st book, Nemesis, that takes the author back to his old stomping grounds in Newark. It’s one of those ride-alongs where everything the subject does is poignant, which may be appropriate for Roth, but perhaps it’s simply been done too frequently.

When we reviewed the book, it was deemed a little bloodless, and there’s an element of that here. As they ride with their police escort to Newark’s Weequahic section, a cop asks Mr. Roth the last time he’d returned to his roots. “I was here about a year ago,” he responds.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Number of things named after the author visited in the profile: 2
  • People encountered who don’t recognize Mr. Roth but probably should: 5
  • References to the fact that Mr. Roth should have won the Nobel Prize by now: 3
  • Delis visited: 1
  • Number of times Mr. Roth references things that can be used in the profile and are: 3

Overall, no complaints, though. Esquire’s Philip Roth Profile: By the Numbers