Deception

Deception

4.5 2
by Philip Roth
     
 

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"With the lover everyday life recedes," Roth writes—and exhibiting all his skill as a brilliant observer of human passion, he presents in Deception the tightly enclosed world of adulterous intimacy with a directness that has no equal in American fiction. At the center of Deception are two adulterers in their hiding place. He is a

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Overview

"With the lover everyday life recedes," Roth writes—and exhibiting all his skill as a brilliant observer of human passion, he presents in Deception the tightly enclosed world of adulterous intimacy with a directness that has no equal in American fiction. At the center of Deception are two adulterers in their hiding place. He is a middle-aged American writer named Philip, living in London, and she is an articulate, intelligent, well-educated Englishwoman compromised by a humiliating marriage to which, in her thirties, she is already nervously half-resigned. The book's action consists of conversation—mainly the lovers talking to each other before and after making love. That dialogue—sharp, rich, playful, inquiring, "moving," as Hermione Lee writes, "on a scale of pain from furious bafflement to stoic gaiety"—is nearly all there is to this book, and all there needs to be.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This swift, elegant, disturbing novel...stands at the extreme of contemporary fiction." —The New York Times Book Review

"Deception is itself deceptive, as elegant and ingenious as anything in The Ghost Writer or The Prague Orgy." —Hermione Lee, New Repubic

"A fiendishly clever piece of work...an amazing feat.... He's invented the purest speech, the most convincing cadences, of any American novelist." —William Pritchard, Hudson Review

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Conversations, most of them between an American writer living in London and his English mistress, make up what PW called ``a clever comedy of manners that segues--as is the author's wont--into a disquisition on the distinction between literature and life.'' (Feb.)
Library Journal
Philip, a successful, middle-aged, and highly opinionated Jewish-American novelist, moves to a small flat in London to work on his new book. He begins seeing a married Englishwoman in his spare time, and soon he has filled a notebook with their pre- and post-coital conversations. When he publishes this document as a novel, his indignant mistress accuses him of deceiving both her and his public. The book ends with Philip's impassioned defense of self-referential fiction. The issue, however, is not self-referential fiction in general but simply Roth's own peculiar version of it, which consists mostly of unabashed editorializing through the mouthpiece of Philip. A textbook example of the novel as soapbox, Deception will appeal only to Roth's most steadfast supporters. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/90. --Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679752943
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1997
Series:
Vintage International Series
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
412,860
Product dimensions:
5.18(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.48(d)

Meet the Author

In 1997 Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House and in 2002 the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction. He has twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won the PEN/Faulkner Award three times. In 2005 The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians’ Prize for “the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003-2004.” Recently Roth received PEN’s two most prestigious awards: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award and in 2007 the PEN/Bellow Award for achievement in American fiction. Roth is the only living American novelist to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America. In 2011 he received the National Humanities Medal at the White House, and was later named the fourth recipient of the Man Booker International Prize.

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Brief Biography

Hometown:
Connecticut
Date of Birth:
March 19, 1933
Place of Birth:
Newark, New Jersey
Education:
B.A. in English, Bucknell University, 1954; M.A. in English, University of Chicago, 1955

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Deception 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I disagree with some of the criticisms leveled against this highly original book. Sure, the main characters are somewhat shallow but they reveal much about the human condition. And the book is very cleverly written and highly entertaining. Not every book need be written about a hero. We often learn more from very fragile egos.