The Dying Animal - Phillip Roth

I avoid modern American fiction. I generally don't get it. However, the name 'Dying Animal' stirred something in me and I was really curious about reading this book. Well, it certainly is different, unfortunately not in a very good way. It, in fact, is the kind of book that you so badly want to be good and it starts out so but soon descends into utter apology of what it could've been. It is also the problem of single-idea stories or stories that really should remain short. This book even at 120 pages is a drag when you get to its 2nd half.

The Dying Animal in the story of an ageing professor and his relationship with a young attractive woman of Cuban origin. The book suffers from there being no plot of any sort, just a cheap trick employed at end as if to apologize for the brilliant, raw, jarring and difficult to read first-half of the book. Difficult to read because it is so true and deep down inside everything you've always known being a man about the feral desires lurking in your heart is there for you to confront. It is powerful and moving. You shake your head in disbelief, not because you don't believe but because you don't want to but you know you do.

And hence, what comes later is just such a pathetic ending that is no conclusion at all. What a pity.