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Patrimony : A True Story
by Philip Roth
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A story about this — 6 years ago


To me Patrimony was the most realistic book that I have read. I felt like I could have known these people in real life. The author sometimes is a little over dramatic especially when he described how he felt after recovering from his heart surgery. And then again maybe since I have never experienced such a close call in my own life, I really cannot say that his being over dramatic was or was not in the right context. I suppose I just do not like when men attempt to describe or compare anything they have experienced to childbirth and especially the experience of a nursing mother. I rolled my eyes so far in the back of my head that I could see my brain while I read his description of the rebirth of his arteries. Nevertheless, this book made me feel quite sad because I thought very much about my own parents and their deaths as well as my own. I suppose it is not enough for me to continuously think about the death of my son out of fear that it could happen. I know that I feel this way because I am responsible for his life and I know how very fragile a life it is. I am the first to admit that I am terrified that I may die because I feel like my life has been a series of hard work to reach goals in order for my life to finally begin.

This book has made me want to find out more about my parents mostly because I love them so very much and the fact that they are both pushing coronaries. I really never think about losing my parents and during spring break, while I was reading this book, I spent the entire week with them. Probing them for their informative histories, I found out much more than I wanted about their lives. The things that they got into while we lived in the cesspool Philippines alone were enough to guarantee their journey to Hell. They have by now, purged themselves by confession and penance so I do feel comfortable that they will journey past Purgatory.

While reading this book, I felt like the things that the characters did could happen to anyone myself included. In particular the part where Philip wishes he could take back what he said about his inheritance from his father. I have found myself in situations like this where I wish I had not committed to something yet I must keep my word valuable so I make myself commit to my initial decision. These types of experiences for me just harden one of my philosophies that a person will always find a decision difficult to make until he or she is actually faced with the consequences of that very decision.

Patrimony is definitely one of the more downbeat books that I have read in a while. I think that for me Patrimony is depressing because it is so true to life.

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