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Download The Humbling Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Humbling Audiobook, by Philip Roth Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.18 out of 53.18 out of 53.18 out of 53.18 out of 53.18 out of 5 3.18 (11 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Philip Roth Narrator: Dick Hill Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2009 ISBN: 9781441801036
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Everything is over for Simon Axler, the protagonist of Philip Roth’s startling audiobook. One of the leading American stage actors of his generation, now in his sixties, he has lost his magic, his talent, and his assurance. His Falstaff and Peer Gynt and Vanya, all his great roles, “are melted into air, into thin air.” When he goes onstage he feels like a lunatic and looks like an idiot. His confidence in his powers has drained away; he imagines people laughing at him; he can no longer pretend to be someone else. “Something fundamental has vanished.” His wife has gone, his audience has left him, his agent can’t persuade him to make a comeback.

Into this shattering account of inexplicable and terrifying self-evacuation bursts a counterplot of unusual erotic desire, a consolation for a bereft life so risky and aberrant that it points not toward comfort and gratification but to a yet darker and more shocking end. In this long day’s journey into night, told with Roth’s inimitable urgency, bravura, and gravity, all the ways that we convince ourselves of our solidity, all our life’s performances—talent, love, sex, hope, energy, reputation—are stripped off.

Following the dark meditations on mortality and endings in Everyman and Exit Ghost, and the bitterly ironic retrospect on youth and chance in Indignation, Roth has written another in his haunting group of late novels.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Smoothw | 5/16/2011

    " Didn't really have anything especially interesting to say, but I like how Roth writes, even if he has done the same thing much better in his earlier works. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Abby | 4/25/2011

    " The lesbian stereotypes were ridiculously laughable, but sadly, they weren't meant to be. Offensive in the complete lack of imagination, i.e. based on cliche straight male fantasy. Otherwise I enjoyed it and almost always find Roth's writing compelling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy | 4/5/2011

    " This was my first Roth novel and I enjoyed it. The ride was a tragic one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rafa | 4/4/2011

    " Magnífico. Crea un personaje sin fisuras. No tiene la quinta estrella por el tamaño, queda pequeña. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amos | 3/31/2011

    " Roth's last few books have really been downers- and this one was no exemption!! But with skills like his I'm always down for the depressing ride :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig | 3/18/2011

    " Reminds me why I love reading Roth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kika | 3/14/2011

    " When I grow up, I would like to write like him. Well written, very pleasant reading. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Travis | 2/12/2011

    " Oh, come on. At least Portnoy's Complaint had a punchline. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ken | 1/30/2011

    " Surely Roth is capable of much better. He needs to get away from his self-referential elderly male protagonists living out sexual and narcissistic fantasies. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gregory | 1/25/2011

    " I need time to digest this one. I found it well written but need to consider the content more not because it was shocking but more because the main characters life declined so rapidly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack | 1/20/2011

    " Short novel in which an elderly actor feels no longer able to act and begins to consider suicide. "

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About the Author
Author Philip Roth

Philip Roth is one of the most decorated writers in American history, having won the National Book Critics Circle Award twice, the PEN/Faulkner Award three times, the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, and many more. He also won the Ambassador Book Award of the English-Speaking Union and in the same year received the National Medal of Arts at the White House. In 2001 he received the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction, given every six years “for the entire work of the recipient.”

About the Narrator

Dick Hill, named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, is one of the most awarded narrators in the business, having earned several Audie Awards and thirty-four AudioFile Earphones Awards. In addition to narrating, he has both acted in and written for the theater.