Exit Ghost Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Exit Ghost.
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Exit Ghost Summary & Study Guide Description

Exit Ghost Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Exit Ghost by .

The following version of this book was used to create this study guide: Roth, Philip. Exit Ghost. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007.

The novel takes place in the year 2004. Successful novelist Nathan Zuckerman is now 71 years old. About a decade ago, he moved from New York City to the small town of Athena, Massachusetts after he began receiving anonymous, anti-Semitic death threats in the mail. He lived a life of isolation in Athena until a neighbor named Larry Hollis befriended him. Larry was quite outgoing, and he disapproved of Zuckerman’s self-isolation. Larry’s dying wish was for Zuckerman to reenter society. So, in the autumn of 2004, Zuckerman returns to New York City and potentially plans to move back there permanently. He befriends Jamie Logan and Billy Davidoff, who are married and are about 30 years old. They are aspiring writers, and they wish to trade homes with Zuckerman for a year. Zuckerman finds himself quite attracted to Jamie Logan.

Zuckerman resides in a hotel room during his visit to New York City. He goes to Jamie and Billy’s apartment to watch the presidential election with the, and they are all quite devastated when George Bush is reelected. Zuckerman is soon contacted by Richard Kliman, a friend and ex-boyfriend of Jamie’s. Kliman is the same age as Jamie and Billy, and he is also an aspiring writer. Kliman wishes to write a biography of deceased writer E.I. Lonoff, one of Zuckerman’s favorite authors, whom Zuckerman met one day in 1956. Kliman claims to know a salacious secret about Lonoff, and Kliman believes that a biography of Lonoff will help to reignite interest in his work. Zuckerman fears that the biography will unjustly tarnish Lonoff’s reputation, and he vows to sabotage Kliman’s efforts.

Later in the week, Zuckerman meets with Amy Bellette, whom he also met once in 1956. Amy was Lonoff’s lover after Lonoff and his wife separated. Amy lived with Lonoff from 1956 until Lonoff died of leukemia in 1961. Amy possessed the draft of the novel that Lonoff was working on at the time. Amy never emotionally recovered from Lonoff’s death. Recently, she had a tumor surgically removed from her brain. Amy begs Zuckerman not to let Kliman publish a biography of Lonoff. Zuckerman continues to clash with Kliman, and Zuckerman also continues to harbor feelings of deep attraction towards Jamie. Zuckerman writes several fictional dialogues between himself and Jamie as a means of processing this attraction.

Zuckerman and Kliman meet one more time. Kliman claims that Lonoff’s salacious secret was that he once had a brief incestuous affair with his half-sister. Zuckerman continues to tell Kliman that his project is foolish and destructive. Kliman becomes frustrated and leaves. Later, Zuckerman expresses his feelings of attraction to Jamie, and Jamie rebuffs him. Zuckerman, feeling frustrated and exhausted by his week in New York City, revokes his house-trade agreement with Jamie and Billy, and Zuckerman then returns to his house in Massachusetts.

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This section contains 501 words
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