Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £20.29

Buy Now for £20.29

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

The Ghost Writer introduces Nathan Zuckerman in the 1950s, a budding writer infatuated with the great books, discovering the contradictory claims of literature and experience while an overnight guest in the secluded New England farmhouse of his idol, E. I. Lonoff.

At Lonoff's, Zuckerman meets Amy Bellette, a haunting young woman of indeterminate foreign background who turns out to be a former student of Lonoff's and who may also have been his mistress. Zuckerman, with his active, youthful imagination, wonders if she could be the paradigmatic victim of Nazi persecution. If she were, it might change his life.

The first volume in the Zuckerman Bound trilogy and epilogue, The Ghost Writer is about the tensions between literature and life, artistic truthfulness and conventional decency - and about those implacable practitioners who live with the consequences of sacrificing one for the other.

©1979 Philip Roth (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Ghost Writer

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for D. Messina
  • D. Messina
  • 13-09-18

The beginning of Nathan Zuckerman

Wonderful story. Read it years ago. I have read everything by Roth, decided to listen to them a second time around. Fun to see where Nathan began, and then to watch him develop as well Roth through all these novels! Philip and Nathan will be missed, luckily we can turn on an audible when we need a fix! Enjoyed the narrator.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Darwin8u
  • Darwin8u
  • 28-01-17

Turning Sentences Around

“I know the kind of man I am and the kind of writer. I have my own kind of bravery, and please, let’s leave it at that.”
― Philip Roth, The Ghost Writer

I've read a ton of Roth, but have yet to really engage the Zuckerman series. The Ghost Writer is book one in the four book cycle Zuckerman Bound:

1. The Ghost Writer (1979)
2. Zuckerman Unbound (1981)
3. The Anatomy Lesson (1983)
4. The Prague Orgy (1985)

It is hard to engage some of the more specific reasons WHY I loved this book -- without giving away some of the more the dramatic elements. However, within that constraint I CAN say I loved how Roth explores both what it means to be a Jewish writer (with all the expectations that come with that occupation in a post-holocaust world) and what it means to be a fiction writer period. How art reflects life and life is impacted by the work and the flow of art. There are few living writers whose output I respect more than Philip Roth, and while I don't think his 80s novels stand up entirely to later novels, he is still stretching the limits of prose and dangling ideas and situations that are both entertaining and almost absurd.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Linda Ridge Johnson
  • Linda Ridge Johnson
  • 28-05-18

Better Than Reading It Myself!

I usually have not enjoyed audible books; however, this narrator made me stay in the moment and made most-likely-tedious portions rather not so much. This narration was movie-like, what with the insertion of the Zuckerman family history as well as the 'Amy' back-story. I enjoyed the voice characterizations by which each person was portrayed . I must say, I was sad for the story to end and surprised by the book's intrigue and suspenseful plot twists. It's probably because I'm not a writer that I didn't understand the title choice. This experience makes me want to download the Zuckerman trilogy from Audible!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for CherylY
  • CherylY
  • 27-07-21

So boring

I am a Philip Roth fan but I was bored with this book. Maybe the Zuckerman novels are not for me. I didn’t finish this one but there is no option to return it. When did they change that?

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dr A
  • Dr A
  • 16-03-19

Disappointed

Very thin content, restating the obvious, enough material for an article, s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d into a book. No subtlety. I lasted for about a quarter of the book before deleting it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John Ash
  • John Ash
  • 13-08-18

Writers must listen

At some point in your development as a writer you worshiped an author and not only thought if I could just use words the way they did, or create stories with their passion, or develop characters that acted the way theirs did, or ...This is the story to put yourself in. Just become Nate and let your own hero worship begin.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rodrigo
  • Rodrigo
  • 08-03-17

Difficult book

No problem with the narrator, but it is just a difficult book to understand. Philip roth was a fabulous author but not for the easily distracted

1 person found this helpful