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Extended Audio Sample The Prague Orgy Audiobook, by Philip Roth Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.09 out of 53.09 out of 53.09 out of 53.09 out of 53.09 out of 5 3.09 (33 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: September 2016 ISBN: 9781504699402
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In quest of the unpublished manuscript of a martyred Yiddish writer, the American novelist Nathan Zuckerman travels to Soviet-occupied Prague in the mid-1970s. There, in a nation straightjacketed by totalitarian Communism, he discovers a literary predicament, marked by institutionalized oppression, that is rather different from his own. He also discovers, among the oppressed writers with whom he quickly becomes embroiled in a series of bizarre and poignant adventures, an appealingly perverse kind of heroism.

The Prague Orgy, consisting of entries from protagonist Nathan Zuckerman’s notebooks recording his sojourn among these outcast artists, completes the Nathan Zuckerman series. It provides a startling ending to Roth’s intricately designed magnum opus on the unforeseen consequences of art.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This fitting capstone to Roth’s Zuckerman trilogy proves that no one now writing can be funnier and more passionately serious than Philip Roth.”

    Time

  • “Obscenely outrageous and yet brilliantly reflective of a paranoid reality that has become universal. It is the best of Roth, a kind of coda to all his fiction so far.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “One of Roth’s most brilliant (and funniest) works…A lithe comic masterpiece.”

    Newsweek

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Nova | 2/17/2014

    " An intense glimpse into what was a difficult socio-political time. A good little read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 1/28/2014

    " 86 pages and read in one sitting, billed as an epilogue to the first trilogy of the Zuckerman saga, I thought it was a nice little coda to where we left Nathan in The Anatomy Lesson, "shackled" to his "corpus" (his body in pain; his soul ridden with guilt; his profession as a writer; his search of "his story" and the empathy of people, in general and that of his characters), providing a bit of closure for him as well as for us, as he concludes his search for the lost manuscripts of a Jewish writer, killed by the Nazis, here in Prague, finding that "No, one's story isn't a skin to be shed -- it's inescapable, one's body and blood. You go on pumping it out till you die, the story veined with the themes of your life, the ever-recurring story that's at once your invention and the invention of you." As a novella, The Prague Orgy isn't really that enthralling, and the story itself isn't especially moving; but as a coda to the greater ideas of the Zuckerman trilogy, and the greater ideas of Roth himself as he continues to tackle his issues with his Jewish heritage, his own personal history, and a writer's challenge to portray a deeper understanding of the human condition while being limited "to write what one knows," this provides a fitting resolution to the conflicts begun with The Ghost Writer and sets up Zuckerman as well as Roth himself (as well as serving to answer the critics, Zuckerman's and his own) for future writings and the continued exploration of his established themes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erik Simon | 1/21/2014

    " I'm not the world's biggest Philip Roth fan, but when he's good he's great, and this slim little book is brilliant. Zuckerman heads to Prague to retrieve some unpublished manuscripts by an unknown Jewish author. The more I digest this book, the more layers it has. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ivan Mulcahy | 1/19/2014

    " His Zuckerman novels are a treat because you are double guaranteed good company. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Ciotta | 1/13/2014

    " Great snippet of Soviet Eastern Europe by Roth. Some parts were insanely funny. Roth is the master of disfunction and great one liners! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David | 1/7/2014

    " A nice, slim dose of Roth, more Kafkaesque than his other books that are marked as Kafkaesque (it does take place in Prague, after all). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 1/2/2014

    " I have a big problem with Philip Roth, but it might just be me. I hated this book, until I had an epiphany about 3/4 of the way through, and discovered I liked it in the way I like to read Kafka and other absurdist literature. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 1/1/2014

    " This has to be the funniest Roth book I've read yet. Particularly some of Olga's lines. The repartee between her and Zuckerman is hysterical. It seems like somewhat of an odd entry in the Zuckerman series, but it is one of my favorites from that group. Bizarre and fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Tallo | 12/29/2013

    " Just a great quick read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sushi | 12/11/2013

    " It's possible I might have appreciated this more had I realized it was the last in a trilogy, but I didn't. Oops. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lysergius | 12/8/2013

    " It was the "you killed my Jew and I killed yours" anecdote from the life (and death) of Bruno Schulz that triggered this one for me. A consumate tale, that manages to capture the atmosphere of fear and repression characterising Prague prior to "Die Wende" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daniel | 6/1/2013

    " A short and convenient book / novella to read. Some great one-liners to be found in the book. I quite liked to straightforwadness of the book and the quick pace of events. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David A. Núñez | 4/7/2013

    " I liked the pace of this book. I see how the character Zuckerman tried to beat the system, but failed. I can see how someone tried to express themselves through their art, but yet they have to hold back due to ramifications from society, the public, media and government. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeremy Allan | 12/7/2012

    " And I have finally finished my affair with Nathan Zuckerman. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jill | 3/15/2012

    " Every bit as awful as it sounds. A complete waste of time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ishita | 2/28/2012

    " In all fairness, it could be because I didn't read the trilogy in entirety. Possibly, why the character development failed to appease. Moreover, I am concerned about whether the portrayal of communist-ridden Prague is authentic. Or not? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Yeti | 11/5/2011

    " Zuckerman on an escapade to interview a writer ... and that's about all I got out of it. Waste of time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew Wright | 9/23/2011

    " The plot was short, meandering and deeply amusing, and then Roth wrapped it all together into a really succinct little meaning right at the end. I'm having a lot of fun with Zuckerman. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 hirtho | 6/23/2011

    " 5/21 - best Roth since the first one i read, the first person helps, the writer "rival" and romantic interest ricochet maneuvers are the strongest of all the Zuckermans so far. Also it's kinda plotty and very funny - loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie | 4/21/2011

    " Might make a good movie, with all the surveillance elements, a la The Lives of Others (as told by P. Roth). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lore Eargle | 3/14/2011

    " Okay, I admit. I don't get Roth. I read a review of his works in a newspaper in which the author said anyone who didn't appreciate Roth was barely civilized (more or less). Ithought I should try him again. Maybe this was not the one to begin with. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daniel | 2/6/2011

    " A short and convenient book / novella to read. Some great one-liners to be found in the book. I quite liked to straightforwadness of the book and the quick pace of events. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lore | 12/13/2010

    " Okay, I admit. I don't get Roth. I read a review of his works in a newspaper in which the author said anyone who didn't appreciate Roth was barely civilized (more or less). Ithought I should try him again. Maybe this was not the one to begin with. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 12/12/2010

    " An intense glimpse into what was a difficult socio-political time. A good little read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 8/18/2010

    " Great snippet of Soviet Eastern Europe by Roth. Some parts were insanely funny. Roth is the master of disfunction and great one liners! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 7/24/2010

    " This has to be the funniest Roth book I've read yet. Particularly some of Olga's lines. The repartee between her and Zuckerman is hysterical. It seems like somewhat of an odd entry in the Zuckerman series, but it is one of my favorites from that group. Bizarre and fun. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jill | 6/30/2010

    " Every bit as awful as it sounds. A complete waste of time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeremy Allan | 1/16/2010

    " And I have finally finished my affair with Nathan Zuckerman. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David | 12/20/2009

    " A nice, slim dose of Roth, more Kafkaesque than his other books that are marked as Kafkaesque (it does take place in Prague, after all). "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Yeti | 11/3/2009

    " Zuckerman on an escapade to interview a writer ... and that's about all I got out of it. Waste of time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ishita | 1/28/2009

    " In all fairness, it could be because I didn't read the trilogy in entirety. Possibly, why the character development failed to appease. Moreover, I am concerned about whether the portrayal of communist-ridden Prague is authentic. Or not? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erik | 12/11/2008

    " I'm not the world's biggest Philip Roth fan, but when he's good he's great, and this slim little book is brilliant. Zuckerman heads to Prague to retrieve some unpublished manuscripts by an unknown Jewish author. The more I digest this book, the more layers it has. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie | 9/6/2008

    " Might make a good movie, with all the surveillance elements, a la The Lives of Others (as told by P. Roth). "

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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

Malcolm Hillgartner is an actor, author, playwright, and professional narrator. Under the name Jahnna N. Malcolm, he and his wife, Jahnna Beecham, have written over one hundred books for young readers; their musicals have played in theaters across America. His audiobook credits include works by Dean Koontz, Nelson Algren, and William F. Buckley Jr. He has won four AudioFile Earphones Awards.