I need not critique Roth, I think. He is a skilled and professional writer recognized as such through numerous awards, etc. Instead, I'll use this review to remind myself of what was interesting and instructive about this novel: 1) The narrative flow, sentence construction, and all mechanics of writing are smoothly modeled here, and make for good reference. I simply enjoyed the writing. 2) The overwhelming theme, and one that will be useful for understanding a population of humanity that I'll not directly experience: the aging of successful men "has-beens" as they look back on their lives and interact with the young "not-yets" and all the emotional turmoil that entails. Women have their version, I'm certain, but I felt an empathy for the physical and emotional adaptations that come with aging. They were especially poignant here--perhaps due to the modern references of 9/11 and the tragedy of Bush's re-election. All that pain is a tad more bearable in hind-sight, and through a pair of old man's glasses.