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Publisher's Summary

Like a latter-day Gregor Smasa, Professor David Kepesh wakes up one morning to find that he has been transformed. But where Kafka's protagonist turned into a giant beetle, the narrator of Philip Roth's richly conceived fantasy has become a 155-pound female breast. What follows is a deliriously funny yet touching exploration of the full implications of Kepesh's metamorphosis - a daring, heretical book that brings us face to face with the intrinsic strangeness of sex and subjectivity.

©1972 Philip Roth (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A new shock world of sensual possibility.... Need one say again that Roth is an admirable novelist who never steps twice into the same river?" (Anthony Burgess)
"A radical, complex, and moving book...the best example yet of Roth's astonishing prowess when he is at the top of his talent and control." ( Esquire)
"Hilarious, serious, visionary, logical, sexual-philosophical; the ending amazes - the joke takes three steps beyond savagery and satire and turns into a sublimeness of pity. One knows when one is reading something that will permanently enter the culture." (Cynthia Ozick)

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  • Mitzi
  • United States
  • 04-12-18

ROTH IS NO KAFKA

What a horrible book!

I am not prudish and never blush before sexual or scurrilous language. In fact, I enjoy it. However, there is a difference between the genius poet who yells obscenities at a worthless existence, say, or the madness of humankind, and the next-door neighbor with Tourette syndrome who yells inscrutable profanities to appease his urge.

Actually, I take that back. The next-door neighbor has the entirely justifiable excuse of a neurodevelopmental condition. Philip Roth does not.

The expression of obscene and violent male sexual desires in this novel is no there to serve a plot; the book exists in order to offer a vehicle for Roth’s obscene and violent sexual fantasies.

Never seen anybody failing more grossly at imitating Kafka.

The reader did what he could, given the hollowness of the material.