al attractionI've been reading and listening to Philip Roth for more than 30 years and have always found him brilliant, challenging, disturbing, funny and, sometimes, offensive. His new novel, The Dying Animal, read by Arliss Howard with impeccable timing in a voice that seems to belong, unequivocally, to its hero-anti-hero-narrator David Kepesh, is all of those things. Kepesh, who has appeared three times before in the Roth opus, recounts his obsessive infatuation with a voluptuous former student, 38 years his junior. Kepesh doesn't fall in love (in fact the word love is never uttered), but he does have an intense sexual affair. So intense that it comes very close to deep-sixing his determinedly libertine lifestyle and undoing the sensibilities of a man without much sympathy or curiosity about others, especially women. A fascinating book whether or not you like Kepesh or agree with his musings on sex and freedom.
Sukey Howard reports on spoken word audio each month.