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A famous writer, named Philip, and his mistress meet in a room without a bed. They talk, they play games with each other, they have sex, they tell lies. DECEPTION, Philip Roth's most poignant and provocative work since Portnoy's Complaint, explores adultery and the unmasking of illicit lovers in a novel that exposes the tenderness and uncertainty underlying all affairs of the heart.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099801900
ISBN-10: 0099801906
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 128mm x 13mm)
Pages: 208
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 17-Jan-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » n the form of dialogue, the book tells the story of an affair which takes place in a writer's hideaway workplace in London. But then in a stupendous piece of sleight-of-hand Roth suggests that the story is just a figment of the 'writer's' imagination. Which, of course, it is. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » A novel of voices - men's and women's, but mostly the voices of a couple having an illicit affair, he a married writer, she another man's wife. If at first Roth here sounds like Pinter, that's not accidental, for the book as well is about the English and discretion and artistic self-revelation. The snippets of talk are rather foamy, the blackouts somewhat too pat. The voices of others - speaking to Roth himself, not to fictional alter egos Zuckerman and Tarnopol - include East European women (and in one case, an aggrieved husband) and a biographer of Zuckerman who's already dealt with Zuckerman's own subject, Lonoff. All that's here, done in thin lines, is the scaffolding of Roth's previous house of fiction - and the dramatic crest of the book comes when we're finally let inside to see a commotion in the kitchen, the tablecloth being pulled out from under the dishes, so to speak: when a voice that is Roth's wife's accuses him of really having the affairs he orchestrates here, and when the writer must once again defend-himself-by-not-defending-himself: "I have been imagining myself, outside of my novel, having a love affair with a character inside my novel. . .look, I follow my leads where they take me - ah, the hell with it. What do you propose, that I police myself? That I don't follow through on this sort of impulse for fear - for fear of what? Enlightened prurient opinion? Well, not by you and not by anyone will I be censored like that!" With the added, more profound note: "I portray myself as implicated because it is not enough just to be present." More expository "presence" might have supercharged this (as it did in The Counterlife) origami-model Roth novel a little, though: you do have the feeling of being set up, of it being all indictment and no trial. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Philip Roth

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, previously awarded to John Dos Passos, William Faulkner and Saul Bellow, among others. 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 prizes: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award 'for a body of work...of enduring originality and consummate craftmanship' and in 2007 the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for achievement in American Fiction, given to a writer whose 'scale of achievement over a sustained career...places him or her in the highest rank of American literature.' Roth is the only living American writer to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America. The last of the eight volumes is scheduled for publication in 2013.

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