Philip Roth’s early 90s “confession” about his conflicts with a deranged cancer patient named Philip Roth promoting a reverse-Zionist philosophy has more than enough whimsical meta-textuality to keep this reader happy. You don’t have to be familiar with Roth and his body of work to read this book but, as the crusty old Jews in this novel who schlep around the King David Hotel in Jerusalem or Barney Greengrass on the Upper West Side would say, it doesn’t hoit! Familiarity with Israeli history is more of a necessity. If names like Eichman, Demjanjuk, Sabra and Shatila, Netanyahu, Kahane, Sharon and others don’t mean much to you, you might find yourself scratching your head a bit. Some knowledge of the work of Edward Said wouldn’t hurt either. Like so many of Roth’s books, there are strange passages where Roth feels the need to sum up what he’s told you so far (why does he always do this?) but there are also the perfectly observed scenes of desperate human behavior. No one writes angry like Philip Roth – this time the anger is devoted in equal measure to “the Middle East conflict” and the ridiculousness of individuals who think their devoted involvement is the missing key to solving this conflict. Very entertaining.