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Review of The Dying Animal by Philip Roth

The Dying Animal The Dying Animal by Philip Roth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There’s a lot of power in this story. At first I marvelled at the authors ability to weave the narrative so well. The next thing I knew I was doubled over bawling.

I suppose the book is at once a character study and a commentary on the evolution of western culture; both intermingle flawlessly. But mostly, it spoke to me of the inevitability of death. The main character ignores the reality and responsibility of his own mortal prison, but all that does is illuminate Consuela’s story. It is in that light, her light, that we make out the shape of the animal that is David.

When was it that I too began to think of age in terms of how much time I had left, rather than how long I’d been alive?

I’d rate this five stars if it weren’t for the nagging sense that the author had it in him to tighten up the narrative, pull out some of the historical musings, and focus the inner monologue. For whatever reason, he tied things up a little too loosely. Still, be careful. Don’t ever underestimate Roth.

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