Saturday, September 14, 2013

the last book I ever read (Zuckerman Unbound by Philip Roth, excerpt two)

from Zuckerman Unbound by Philip Roth:

Zuckerman couldn’t remember ever seeing any of those quiz shows back in the late fifties, and didn’t know one from another; he and his first wife, Betsy, hadn’t even owned a television set. Still, he thought he could remember somebody in his family—more than likely Cousin Essie—once mentioning a Pepler family from Newark, and their oddball son, the quiz contestant and ex-Marine.

“It was Alvin Pepler they cut down to make way for the great Hewlett Lincoln. That is the subject of my book. The fraud perpetrated on the American public. The manipulation of the trust of tens of millions of innocent people. And how for admitting it I have been turned into a pariah until this day. They made me and then they destroyed me, and, Mr. Zuckerman, they haven’t finished with me yet. The others involved have all gone on, onward and upward in corporate America, and nobody cares a good goddamn what thieves and liars they were. But because I wouldn’t lie for those miserable crooks, I have spent ten years as a marked man. A McCarthy victim is better off than I am. The whole country rose up against that bastard, and vindicated the innocent and so on, till at least some justice was restored. But Alvin Pepler, to this day, is a dirty name throughout the American broadcasting industry.”

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