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Download The Counterlife Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Counterlife, by Philip Roth Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,648 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Philip Roth Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Nathan Zuckerman Series Release Date:
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The Counterlife is about people enacting their dreams of renewal and escape, some of them going so far as to risk their lives to alter seemingly irreversible destinies. Wherever they may find themselves, the characters of The Counterlife are tempted unceasingly by the prospect of an alternative existence that can reverse their fate.

Illuminating these lives in transition and guiding us through the book’s evocative landscapes, familiar and foreign, is the mind of the novelist Nathan Zuckerman. His is the skeptical, enveloping intelligence that calculates the price that’s paid in the struggle to change personal fortune and reshape history, whether in a dentist’s office in suburban New Jersey, a tradition-bound English Village in Gloucestershire, a church in London’s West End, or a tiny desert settlement in Israel’s occupied West Bank.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Magnificent…I hope The Counterlife felt, as Mr. Roth wrote it, like a triumph, because that is certainly how it reads to me.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “No other writer combines such a surface of colloquial relaxation and even dishevelment with such a dense load of mediating intelligence….Roth has never written more scrupulously or, in spots, more lovingly.”

    New Yorker

  • “Roth is a comic genius….In this book (wonderfully sharp, worryingly intense) he is an electrifier.”


  • “Disenfranchisement, re-creation, and the severe guilt of independence are the I beams of Roth’s Zuckerman books—of which this is one—but never has the ceiling vaulted so high, the aim been so nervy…Certainly Roth’s most complex, ambitious work—and one of his best.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Roth has written a puzzle, but one with passion and purpose.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Mary | 1/12/2014

    " Couldn't get into it at all. Couldn't relate. Only read 40 or 50 pages. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Wwpray | 1/11/2014

    " They don't get any worse than this one. It was revolting. Only got about 1/5 or 1/4 of the way through & gave up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tom Bevilacqua | 1/3/2014

    " While I don't feel like this book is talked about as much, or held in as high regard, as Roth's other work (particularly among the other Zuckerman books), I thought The Counterlife was a very interesting and well-written piece of fiction. Much of the book is concerned with Jewish identity and identity in general, continuing in the same line as the preceding Zuckerman novels. However, this novel has a decidedly "meta" quality to it, as Roth is also examining the nature of writing and fiction and looking at the ways fiction is drawn from everyday life and how the two (life and fiction) are wrapped up together. Roth addresses these topics in a much more direct way in The Counterlife, but that does not mean in a heavy handed way. These concerns are given a greater prominence and engaged with in more interesting ways both from a formal perspective as well as thematically. I would definitely recommend reading this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Deborah | 12/17/2013

    " Not one of Roth's most famous, but I loved this book. It is about alternative realities to two men's lives. "

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