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The Dying Animal: Elegy

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  5,813 Ratings  ·  519 Reviews
No matter how much you know, no matter how much you think, no matter how much you plot and you connive and you plan, you’re not superior to sex. With these words our most unflaggingly energetic and morally serious novelist launches perhaps his fiercest book. The speaker is David Kepesh, white-haired and over sixty, an eminent cultural critic and star lecturer at a New York ...more
Paperback, Movie Tie-In Edition, 156 pages
Published July 22nd 2008 by Vintage International (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Evan
I wish I could say that it is just as entertaining reading the puritan backlash Roth engenders among a large number of Goodreads' reviewers as it is to read Roth himself. But, alas, I cannot say that.

So, all right, this is not the masterpiece that, say, "Portnoy's Complaint" is, but I also can't deny that Roth speaks to me on every page. And that's because the man refuses to lie about human sexuality and motivation. What he says makes a lot of people uncomfortable. In many quarters that's a prer
...more
Paul Bryant
Jun 25, 2008 Paul Bryant rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Philip Roth is a sexist pig. Who can argue about that? When he drags his mind off his wilting member for a week or so he produces Operation Shylock which is a minor masterpiece. But that was just a vacation. For years now he just rewrites the same story where some old geezer (himself) fantasises about shagging some young bird and then - just like life - gets to shag her. Bah. What a pig.
Ian Vinogradus
Man of the World

In the third of Philip Roth's David Kepesh novels, David is a divorced, semi-retired professor, philanderer, libertine and man of the world. He teaches a class in Practical Criticism and does book reviews on NPR.

To his students, especially the female ones, he possesses an intellectual and journalistic glamour: "They are helplessly drawn to celebrity." He reciprocates their attention, being "very vulnerable to female beauty".

At the time the novel is narrated, David is 70. However
...more
Teresa
Sep 22, 2016 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-usa, e3
Não sei que pensar deste livro. Tem muito assunto mas pouca consistência.

Um professor de sessenta e dois que seduz alunas na casa dos vinte. Não acredito muito nisto, pois as miúdas não gostam de homens velhos (acho eu...).
Na cama faz-lhes coisas que nem miúdas nem graúdas apreciam (digo eu...).
Apaixona-se por uma delas; tem muitos ciúmes, sofre muito, mas continua a fazer uns biscates com outra. Quando ela o deixa entra em depressão durante três anos (não percebi...).
Entretanto vai divagando so
...more
Roxane
Dec 21, 2013 Roxane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An absurdist, wish-fulfillment meandering stream of consciousness type book-length monologue recounting the inner life of an aging narcissist, misogynist, breast-obsessed professor who, like the cliché has sex with his students and is incomprehensibly virile in his sixties. In terms of committing to a premise, Roth is brilliant. There are some remarkable passages but they are interrupted by large swaths of self-indulgent, aimless prattle. The title is masterful, though.
Fabian
Sep 14, 2016 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Mr. Roth, you're so dead-on when you write: "You're not superior to sex" (33). This simple idea is made manifest with that inimitable, incredible Rothian verve we absolutely admire. The entitled voice nears perilously close to, in my recent memory, the pu**y protagonist of the horrid abortion that goes by the name of "Ian McEwan's Saturday." The 70 year old in this book, a decrepit nonetheless persistently sharp Hot Shot TV persona, goes on ridiculing people, mainly sexually (mostly an array ...more
olaszka
Nov 03, 2012 olaszka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
of course it wasn't until the film came out that i read the book. i mean, it's philip roth so i would have read it anyway but it sort of accelerated things when the film premiered. i wasn't expecting much, i mean - no one talks about 'the dying animal' like they do about 'portnoy's complaint' or 'everyman'.
the book was divine. it was shamelessly unputdownable. literally. i was starving and i needed to pee but i didn't put the bloody thing down until i read and digested every word.
i don't even
...more
Carmo
Apr 24, 2016 Carmo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: norte-americanos


David é um homem bem sucedido, conseguiu um elevado estatuto social como professor universitário e crítico literário na rádio e na TV.
Homem independente a viver para lá das regras, recusando laços e afetos, para quem o casamento e as relações convencionais, mais não são que uma tortura masoquista.
Foi apanhado pela revolução sexual dos anos sessenta a viver um casamento gasto, abandonou as calamidades domésticas e deixou mulher e filho para trás. Passou a viver de relações breves, a maioria com
...more
Alina
Mar 19, 2015 Alina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
«Penso que estamos inteiros antes de começarmos. E o amor fractura-nos. Ou te livras dele ou o incorporas através da autodeformação. E foi isso que fizeste e te levou à loucura.»

Primeiro contacto com Philip Roth, e que me deixou bichinho.
Linguagem direta, sem papas na língua. Cru. E fascinante.
Milhares de pessoas passam por nós e mal nos tocam, e subitamente aparece uma que nos vira a vida do avesso, muitas vezes sem que consigamos perceber exatamente como ou porquê de tal ter acontecido. Isto é
...more
Zinta
Jan 05, 2009 Zinta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Scanning this book as my other half poured over it with disarming fascination, I had to peek into what had so mesmerized him. After all, I hadn't read a Roth novel since my early 20's, already at that young age having determined that there was nothing here but adolescent angst. And this dying animal? Ah, but I had been right to not bother all these years and with all the in between novels. The story was quite the same one. This time the difference was only one of age. A Roth version of Lolita, a ...more
jana
Dec 11, 2013 jana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read_2013
فيليب روث هو نفسه الذي قال: لا أستطيع أن أكون عاطلًا, ولا أعرف شيئًا أفعله غير الكتابة. هو نفسه الذي أعتزل الكتابة حين تحولّت لمشقة بالنسبة إليه, وسلبته أكثر ممّا أعطته. هو نفسه الذي أنتج أعمال كثيرة, يتفاوت تأثيرها و ظَلّ هو على مسار واحد, إيقاع واحد لا يغيّره. أسلوب واحد..آسر ومُحكَم.
في الحيوان المحتضر ثمّة فردية تتميّز بها الشخصيات. الأستاذ الجامعي والذي بسبب خوفه على إستقلاليته يقاوم حب الطالبة. يجد نفسه فجأة متخليًا عن كل ما تمسّك به في فترات سابقة. والنهاية الغير متوقعة أن الحيوان المحتضر
...more
Melanie
Aug 03, 2013 Melanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
''There's no way to negotiate metrically this wild thing'

This abrupt, tense novel on the trading of dominance through sex, is not unlike Coetzee's 'Disgrace' though it is far more elegant.

David Kepesh, an ageing cultural critic is undone by the well-mannered and graceful Consuela who is more than thirty years younger than Kepesh and significantly less complicated.

For all the intellectualising going on the plot is fairly asinine and cliche, saved somewhat by the melodic and charismatic prose.

A
...more
thalakii
Sep 18, 2016 thalakii rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ειχε δυο-τρία αποσπάσματα που μου ειπαν πολλά για το αναπόδραστο της ανθρώπινης ύπαρξης. Ισως το ξαναδιαβασω οταν θα ειμαι 70 ή οταν μου φυτρώσει πουλί, και μου πει περισσοτερα.

#readathon16 [23/26] ~ [ένα βιβλίο με λιγότερες απο 150 σελίδες]
فهد الفهد
الحيوان المحتضر

إنها العلاقة التي يبدو أنها تسيطر على ذهن فيليب روث، والتي تعرض لها في الوصمة البشرية، وها هو يعود لاكتشافها في (الحيوان المحتضر) ولكن بشكل مختلف قليلاً، ففي الوصمة البشرية نتابع علاقة الدكتور كولمن سيلك بامرأة في نصف عمره، ومن طبقة اجتماعية أدنى بكثير، ففيما نتابع هنا علاقة الدكتور دايفد كيبيش بطالبة تصغره بأربعين عاماً، كونسويلا كاستيلو، كيف يتصرف الرجل بمثل هذه العلاقة، كيف يتعامل مع حقيقة الفارق العمري، كيف يتعامل مع غيرته، مع مشاعره، مع شهوته، إنها علاقة تستحق كتباً، لا كتاب
...more
Patricia
Run, Consuela, Run.

As fast as you can. You are 24, he is 62. You have you whole life ahead of you. You have been reared by a large and caring family. He has made a career of living only for his own pleasure....ignoring his son.....and preying on his female students.

Run, Consuela, Run.

You will become invisible to him when you are 48.....you will become invisible to him when your body becomes the least bit flawed. He could be your grandfather, his son calls him a serial tomcat.


After seeing the mo
...more
Olivia
Aug 06, 2009 Olivia rated it did not like it
The Dying Animal might as well have been me reading this book. The story picks up with the interesting truths of human sexuality, little revelations about aging and confronting death, and yet the combination here of sex and death still manages to fall flat. A young Cuban love interest, a randy old professor: so much to be explored right? An interracial relationship that crosses age too. In theory this stuff should be compelling. Roth however doesn't manage to get past discussing ass-shapes and b ...more
Victor
Oct 19, 2013 Victor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tudo o que este tipo escreve, eu quero ler. Um dos meus incondicionais. Esta é a história sobre o poder que o sexo dá, sobre a velhice e o inevitável fim através da morte. Uma leitura do mundo, como sempre em Roth, muito psicanalítica e cheia de referências às tensões humanas provocadas pelo sexo. Sexo! Sexo sem pudor nas palavras! "...só quando fodemos é que tudo aquilo de que não gostamos na vida e tudo aquilo que nela nos derrota é puramente, ainda que momentaneamente, vingado."
Jamie
Mar 01, 2009 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prose-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
مروان البلوشي

لم يعجبني النثر في هذه الرواية، حركته مسطحة للغاية ومملة. أما الأحداث فهي لا تثير في نفس القارئ الكثير، شعرت بأن قصة البروفيسور الأمريكي المعجب جنسياً بطالباته المتحررات سلوكياً لم تحمل معها الكثير من المعاني العميقة، أو أن هذه القصة لا تسمح بأن يكون العمق والجمال هو الهيكل الأساس في الرواية (بحسب أسلوب كتابة فيليب روث) ورغم أن الكاتب حاول أن يزين فقرات الرواية بالتقاطات انسانية جميلة وتأملات مستمرة في أمور مختلفة مثل التاريخ والسياسة إلا أن ذلك لم يرفع من قدر الرواية بالنسبة لي.

Mickey
Feb 05, 2014 Mickey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The reviews are mixed; either readers loved this one by Roth or they hated it. Always the sign of a book worth reading.

I loved reading the most intimate reflections of an older man (60s, then age 70) about a lovely young woman who is, for a brief period, his lover, then for years afterward, his obsession. All of his ruminations, his fixations and angst, rang true for me. I live in a part of the world where older men pay beautiful young women to be their girlfriends. So do you, probably. Take a l
...more
Matthew
You see that painting of a nude woman? That's an Amedeo Modigliani painting, a character in this book sends a post card with that nude printed on it. And I, like some naive coed horny for culture, am always impressed with Professor Roth's little references. If nothing else, they get me interested in something I didn't know about (Like Milton's essays on divorce?).

He also likes to sneak in passages on obscure portions of American history. Here we have Thomas Morton, the early American colonist yo
...more
Seham Al-Mutairi .
لا أعلم إذا كنتُ هنا قد ألوم الترجمة، أو أن سقف توقعاتي ببساطة كان عاليًا. لكنها لم تكن بالشكل الذي توقعته، لربما، للأمر سبب في إنني قد شاهدت الفلم قبل قراءة الرواية لذا كان يجب أن تكون على الأقل أفضل من الفلم؟ لا أعلم.
لكن ديفيد جعلني أنظر للأمور بشكل مُختلف، وكأنما كان هناك شيء يعيقني وديفيد حررني منه.
علاقته مع "كيني" من أجمل الأمور التي انسكبت في عقلي بينما اقرأ الرواية. جعلني أتوقف طويلاً لكيّ أنظر للسطور التي كُتبت وكيف كُتبت؟ ولِمَ. فيليب يقول بكتابه هذا: الجمال شيء مشوّه. وهو الجمال الذي ر
...more
Lucrezia
Dec 18, 2014 Lucrezia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Non è di certo il primo libro che leggo su questo argomento e nemmeno il migliore, a mio parere Marquez ha saputo fare di meglio.
Però ha qualcosa di speciale... Cosa? Non saprei dirlo bene nemmeno io...
Offuscatio
Aug 09, 2012 Offuscatio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grandioso. Impresionante. Un baño helado de realidad. ¡Cuántos temas ha abordado en tan pocas páginas! (¡Qué gran recomendación, Rafa! Muchas gracias)
Yasmin
I definitely did not like this book. Not very surprising though, pretty much anyone could've told you that this just isn't a book for me. But I had to read this for school, so I didn't really have a choice.

It wasn't like I hated the whole book; at times it was quite enjoyable. The writing wasn't that bad either, it's just that I couldn't stand the story. Yeah, not just the protagonist, but the whole story. I'm sorry (and like I said, these kind of books aren't for me) but it just felt like such
...more
Tracy Shapley
Right after I finished this book I watched Elegy, which is a movie based on the book. I'd say you could skip the book and go straight to the DVD.

It's not that I didn't enjoy it. I just don't know that I would have enjoyed it if I didn't know as much about Roth's background as I do. Because you see, it was based directly on a situation in his life.

That situation is basically that he's an old man but he still loves the young ladies. He is a professor at a major university, sets his sites on a Cuba
...more
Mike
Oct 03, 2008 Mike rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Snobs who want to say they've read Roth
Ok, sort of read it. Got about 30 pages in and could not go any further.
I don't understand why Philip Roth is so popular. He's even been considered for Nobel a few times. Huh?
The most pervasive question I asked myself during the first and very tediously self-righteous 30 pages was whether or not Roth believes himself to be the heir-apparent to Norman Mailer, a comparison I've heard in passing. The primary problem being with that lofty simile is that talking about sex, your prostrate penis and w
...more
Rosalba
Jul 29, 2012 Rosalba rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[…] Consumami il cuore, malato di desiderio e avvinto a un animale morente, che non sa che cos’è..[..] – W.B. Yeats -

Resto sempre stupita di fronte alla lucidità con cui Philip Roth affronta tematiche così importanti come la vita, l’amore, il sesso, la malattia, la vecchiaia, la morte. Qui è un professore sessantenne, con alle spalle un matrimonio e un figlio, che ha abbandonato per godere appieno della libertà sessuale, conquistata negli anni sessanta, e a cui si dedica con le sue ex allieve un
...more
Rosa Ramôa
Mar 29, 2015 Rosa Ramôa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
***
"Porque no sexo não existe nenhum ponto de estase absoluta. Não há nem pode haver qualquer igualdade sexual, nenhuma decerto em que as quotas-partes sejam iguais, em que o quociente masculino e o quociente feminino estejam em perfeito equilíbrio. Não há maneira alguma de lidar mensuravelmente com esta coisa selvagem. Não é meio por meio como numa transação comercial. É do caos do eros que estamos a falar, da desestabilização radical que é a sua excitação. Com o sexo regressamos à selva"...(Ph
...more
Foroogh
Oct 31, 2009 Foroogh added it
Shelves: multimedia
حتی اگر بخواهی منطقی به قضیه نگاه کنی وقتی مثل"دیوید"شصت سال را گذرانده ای و یک بار دیگر فرصت عاشق شدن پیدا کرده ای درستش این است که دودستی این فرصت شاید آخر را بچسبی .ولی خب "دیوید" می ترسد،همه ما ترسیده ایم حتی وقتی خیلی جوان بوده ایم.ترس از رنج کشیدن ترس کمی نیست،ترس از کنار گذاشته شدن.. و آنوقت ترجیح می دهی که به زندگی خالی ات ادامه دهی و فراموش کنی لحظه هایی را که می توانستی با عشق زندگی کنی.بعد ممکن است یک سال بعد باخبر شوی کسی که از ترس رها شدن کنار گذاشته بودی فرصت چندانی ندارد برای ادام ...more
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quick read, compare to the film 2 48 Jan 02, 2013 02:33PM  
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Philip Milton Roth is an American novelist. He gained early literary fame with the 1959 collection Goodbye, Columbus (winner of 1960's National Book Award), cemented it with his 1969 bestseller Portnoy's Complaint, and has continued to write critically-acclaimed works, many of which feature his fictional alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman. The Zuckerman novels began with The Ghost Writer in 1979, and inc ...more
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“The only obsession everyone wants: 'love.' People think that in falling in love they make themselves whole? The Platonic union of souls? I think otherwise. I think you're whole before you begin. And the love fractures you. You're whole, and then you're cracked open. ” 536 likes
“Stop worrying about growing old. And think about growing up.” 123 likes
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