The Dying Animal : David Kepesh

  • by Philip Roth
  • Narrated by Tom Stechschulte
  • Series: David Kepesh
  • 4 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Philip Roth, one of the best-known and award winning literary masters of our time, engages his readership with insightful and challenging novels of the human condition. With The Dying Animal, he revisits the character David Kepesh. At age 60, Kapesh is drawn out of his carefully ordered existence and into an obsessive affair with one of his students.


What the Critics Say

"Insidiously disturbing and completely irresistable...All sympathetic readers will find themselves wondering: Is Philip Roth now our finest living novelist?" (The Washington Post)
"A distinguished addition to Roth's increasingly remarkable literary career." (The San Francisco Chronicle)
“Roth is a mesmerizing writer, whose very language has the vitality of a living organism.” (Los Angeles Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Nothing in the summary hints at the sucker-punch that this book delivers in its heartrending conclusion. The frame of this novel is the love affair between an older college professor (David) and his beautiful student (Consuela), who is many years younger. The themes of this book include the struggle for meaning in life, loss of youth, mortality, connection, sexual fulfillment, familial loyalty and disloyalty, and honesty with oneself. The themes are developed by the primary story, as well as by a series of remembrances that David narrates from his life. Yes, there are quite a number of scenes of explicitly described sex and sexual fantasies. Gratuitous? No. Pornographic? No. Stick with this short novel to the end. It is well worth it. Very well narrated.
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- Everett Leiter

Of Love and Death – The Dying Animal

"The Dying Animal" explores those corners of human mind where the lust and sexual desires live.
The main character of the book is the aging man named Kepesh, an intellectual celebrity, amateur pianist and university scholar.
Divorced when was still quite young he kept his solitude as a virtue, a freedom and ... the ground for endless sexual adventures with his young female students. His life was well arranged, promiscuous and easy-going until, at age 62, he meets Consuela, a beautiful offspring of Cuban emigrants. Initially his desire for her is almost only bodily, almost fleshly and full of fetish obsession about her breast. But as Consuela demonstrates her freedom - he almost falls in love with her. This love reveals itself in a strange way - in his morbid jealousy for her, her friends, boyfriends and even brothers. I say "almost" because he maintains the sexual relations with his previous lover. Reading the book it is very hard to judge if Kepesh was only an animal with sexual desire to Consuela, or if he truly loved her, but was intimidated by his senescence, generation gap etc...
There is also an interesting part about father-son relations. Kepesh - the bad father, who forsook his son when he broke his marriage, has, nevertheless, an important role in boy's life.
The book ends in completely unanticipated and tragic way - shocking the readers at first. However, in the tragedy and uncertainty of the book climax lies its most important virtue - the reflection on, sometimes insecure and full of abeyance, yet true love and caring, the love that has a power to fight the death. That is my rendering of Kepesh final indecisiveness - contrary to many reviews I have read...
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- Mirek

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-30-2008
  • Publisher: Recorded Books