The Facts is the unconventional autobiography of a writer who has reshaped our idea of fiction - a work of compelling candor and inventiveness, instructive particularly in its revelation of the interplay between life and art.
Philip Roth concentrates on five episodes from his life: his secure city childhood in the '30s and '40s; his education in American life at a conventional college in the '50s; his passionate entanglement, as an ambitious young man, with the angriest person he ever met (the “girl of my dreams” Roth calls her); his clash, as a fledgling writer, with a Jewish establishment outraged by Goodbye, Columbus; and his discovery, in the excesses of the '60s, of an unmined side to his talent that led him to write Portnoy’s Complaint.
The audiobook concludes surprisingly - in true Rothian fashion - with a sustained assault by the novelist against his proficiencies as an autobiographer.
©1997 Phillip Roth (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"A fine account of the origins of Roth's fiction - Philip Roth continues to be the most vigorous and truthful of American writers." (Newsday)
"The Facts is a lively and serious version of a novelist's life." (New York Review of Books)
"Compelling listening most of the way..."
Great narrative with insights regarding Roth, fiction and autobiography, New York Jews and gentiles and Roth's characterisation of them. I liked the references to characters in novels and links to Roth's personal story. Surprisingly little on some periods and if and how they affected Roth - McCarthyism, Vietnam War and the anti-war movement and more. Interesting even if only some of Roth's voluminous output has been read. However... the beginning for some reason was more engaging than the latter half. Nevertheless well worth a read 'n listen.
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