Operation Shylock

BY Philip Roth
Book Information1/1/0/US/SS/1993/?  •  225x165x40  •  848  •  PEN/Faulkner'94  •  Pulitzer'94(F)

Operation Shylock is often dwarfed by Roth's more celebrated work like The American Pastoral and Portnoy's Complaint but has, in recent years, gained praises from some critics as Roth's better work. The book, set in Israel, is about (stolen) identity as Philip Roth, the author, confronts a perpetuator who stole his identity. The story uses actual people and real events, and Roth even went as far as to state that the book "is true". I imagine it'll be easier treating the story as roman a clef. In some ways, it feels like a more serious version of Joshua Ferris' To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, a riotous comedy about a dentist whose online identity was stolen.

The following are what I believe to be the first edition points:
  • Published by Simon & Schuster in 1993.
  • Full number line (1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2) on the copyright page.
  • The boards are grey, quartered bound in grey cloth. The initials "PR" is embossed (thiss is a recurring feature of Roth's books) at the lower right corner of the front board. The author's name, title and publisher are printed in silver on the spine.
  • The dust jacket has black background on the front and white background at the back. The designs are the same for front and back except for the colors. The ISBN number and "04932250" are printed on the lower left and right corners, respectively, of the back jacket.
  • The front flap has price of $23.00 printed on the top right corner.
  • The book is dedicated to Claire. I wonder if she is Claire Bloom, an accomplished actress who appears in Operation Shylock as herself, and who reprised the role of Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire.
  • There are, in sequence, a content page, a quotation page, and a preface before the novel starts on an unnumbered page (page 17) and ends at page 398.