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Extended Audio Sample The Ghost Writer Audiobook, by Philip Roth Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,774 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Philip Roth Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Nathan Zuckerman Series Release Date: May 2016 ISBN: 9781504726566
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The Ghost Writer introduces Nathan Zuckerman in the 1950s, a budding writer infatuated with the great books, discovering the contradictory claims of literature and experience while an overnight guest in the secluded New England farmhouse of his idol, E. I. Lonoff.

At Lonoff’s, Zuckerman meets Amy Bellette, a haunting young woman of indeterminate foreign background who turns out to be a former student of Lonoff’s and who may also have been his mistress. Zuckerman, with his active, youthful imagination, wonders if she could be the paradigmatic victim of Nazi persecution. If she were, it might change his life.

The first volume in the Nathan Zuckerman series, The Ghost Writer is about the tensions between literature and life, artistic truthfulness and conventional decency—and about those implacable practitioners who live with the consequences of sacrificing one for the other.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Arguably Philip Roth’s best novel…In The Ghost Writer, published in 1979, Mr. Roth found the virtually perfect balance for the themes that have long obsessed him, most notably the tension between being a loyal Jewish son, in terms of both family and community, and being an unfettered creative writer.”

    New York Times

  • “Further evidence that Roth can do practically anything with fiction. His narrative power—the ability to delight the reader simultaneously with the telling and the tale—is superb.”

    Washington Post

  • “I had only to read the two opening sentences to realize that I was once again in the hands of a superbly endowed storyteller.”

    New York Review of Books

  • “Roth underlines none of [the] elegant theme-weaving, letting it all emerge through dazzling dialogue and his most understated, almost folktale-like prose…Elegantly floating and at the same time firmly grounded to home and heart—a sonata-like masterwork.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alden | 2/20/2014

    " Man. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 R. | 2/15/2014

    " Edition note: A Fawcett Crest paperback from September 1980. Price $2.75 - or $7.69 in 2012 when adjusted for inflation. The spectral visage of a young lady's face in the G of the title suggests that the publisher's art department was trying to fool the Carter-era supermarket impulse buyer into throwing the book in their basket on the mistaken belief, the mild suggestion, that The Ghost Writer was a Straubian supernatural thriller. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 1/26/2014

    " Some really funny bits here and there, but recommended only for fans of Roth. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Commonplace Cat | 1/21/2014

    " Re-read, originally read in 2011. Better this time around :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe Samuel Starnes | 1/16/2014

    " This is a great book, but especially interesting to writers of fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hannah Messler | 1/14/2014

    " I. Had. A. Fit for this man. I flipped for this ol' hoser like maybe I have never flipped for anyone before or since or hope to again. Right after I graduated college I started special ordering him from B&N, devouring them in a mania one after the next, rereading ones I'd just finished when the wait was too long for the next to arrive. LOVED HIM. So the other day I wondered how I feel about him now. And the answer is I LOVE YOU PHILIP ROTH. Baby you donno what it's like. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lora | 1/14/2014

    " i'm hit or miss with philip roth (loved portnoy, couldn't get through human stain) but this book is so bizarrely twisted.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jo | 12/21/2013

    " First of all, i thought that this was brilliantly written. The author definitely has a talent. I enjoyed the book and liked that the characters all had imperfections. I liked that Nathan went to visit his idol and got to see a whole other side to him. I intend to read the next book following Nathan. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lori | 12/11/2013

    " way too deep "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alicia Beale | 12/9/2013

    " The women in this book kill me, no really they do. I am still reading this book. It's been four years because I keep having to recover. Yet, I like the book in doses. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 11/18/2013

    " It took me a while to get into the book, but I really got sucked in to Nathan Zuckerman's world and this strange situation he's ended up in while visiting his favorite author's home. It really picked up for me during dinner with the Lonoffs--the most awkward dinner ever. Read it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle | 11/5/2013

    " Wow. Zuckerman imagines that the ingenue he's got a hard on for is Anne Frank, living under an alias. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 5/25/2013

    " I essentially just read this and somehow have blocked it out already. i do think Didion and Roth could have a magnificently Post-Modern Super Baby. I like some Roth. Sure, I do. This just isn't high on that list. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amado | 1/13/2013

    " Nice intro to Zuckerman (Roth's supposed alter ego) and the first of the pentalogy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Victoria Harben | 12/27/2012

    " This well-written book of captivating political intrigue, some high-stakes drama, and even a few romantic twists will keep you turning the page. And that last chapter? Worth reading the entire book for. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lladroluv | 12/20/2012

    " My first Philip Roth & it was so-so. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amber | 8/2/2012

    " I'm not sure if this book said so very much about the human condition, but I enjoyed reading it anyway. I guess that's the mark of a great writer. Still, this slight volume is way off Roth's best, I think. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ethan | 6/30/2012

    " Even when he's okay, Roth is awesome. Nathan Zuckerman seeks out a mentor and develops an elaborate tale to help him come to terms with his views on Judiasm. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Tallo | 6/4/2012

    " It was ok. Interesting characters but the structure at the end was hard to follow at least for me. The language was brilliant. I liked it and I will soon move on to the next in the Zuckerman novels. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lindalee | 5/18/2012

    " It just seemed like this book would never end and I didn't really like the main character. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doug Allen | 3/13/2012

    " at first it was a little unclear to me where this book was going, but it quickly became a very engrossing book that i had trouble putting down. another good one by Philip Roth. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alan | 1/23/2012

    " Zuckerman at the foot of the master. Great writing, but not plot. Makes better sense having read others in the series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rena | 1/16/2012

    " I think Philip Roth is brilliant. He's prbobaly not for everyone, but I think his writing is witty, insightful, and stimulating. This is his first story of his character, Nathan Zuckerman, who he continues to write about in three or four more novellas, all of which I am reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Megan From | 12/26/2011

    " This is one of the last Philip Roth books I hadn't read. If you haven't started, get going. He is a great author. Start with the American Pastoral trilogy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Randy | 8/15/2011

    " Can't give it 5 stars since this is Roth's first Zuckerman book, and I know a couple of his latter ones are so damn good. Still, this book is classic Roth. He answers to no one except himself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin | 4/16/2011

    " Not as good as his "The Plot Against America." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 3/15/2011

    " None of us can escape the things age and disease steal from us. I really liked this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anabel | 1/14/2011

    " Love Roth but this is not my favorite of his. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dena | 1/5/2011

    " The only reason it's getting 2 stars instead of 1 is because of a few enjoyable paragraphs. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Drew | 12/5/2010

    " Not Roth's best, but very thought provocative. Worth a read if you like Roth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 11/28/2010

    " Beautiful writing. My first Roth novel and certainly not my last. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Irene | 9/23/2010

    " audio
    a slice of life -- interesting but I do not care. "

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About the Author
Author Philip Roth

Philip Roth is one of the most decorated writers in American history, having won the National Book Critics Circle Award twice, the PEN/Faulkner Award three times, the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, and many more. He also won the Ambassador Book Award of the English-Speaking Union and in the same year received the National Medal of Arts at the White House. In 2001 he received the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction, given every six years “for the entire work of the recipient.”

About the Narrator

Malcolm Hillgartner is an actor, author, playwright, and professional narrator. Under the name Jahnna N. Malcolm, he and his wife, Jahnna Beecham, have written over one hundred books for young readers; their musicals have played in theaters across America. His audiobook credits include works by Dean Koontz, Nelson Algren, and William F. Buckley Jr.