There are people who assiduously avoid confronting life’s unpleasant realities in movies and books. Such people are unlikely to want to read Philip Roth’s Everyman, now out in paperback. Spending time in the presence of fictional people who are dealing with aging and its attendant ills is no one’s idea of a good time, but it seems a fool’s paradise to turn one’s back on the ruminations of one of our greatest living writers when he turns his attention to the last act in the human drama. And Roth provides. His 71-year-old protagonist is a successful ad man who arrives at that age with all the baggage of a life not entirely well spent, with three ex-wives, and grown children who bear him deep resentments. His body has turned against him, and he is struggling for the kind of acceptance mortality requires of us. This novel is a boon to its readers. People who avoid such reading to spare themselves exposure to life’s unpleasant realities will be less prepared to face those realities when they arise—as they must, and as they will.