cover image The Facts: A Novelist's Autobiography

The Facts: A Novelist's Autobiography

Philip Roth, read by Mel Foster, Brilliance Audio, unabridged, six CDs, 6.5 hrs., $24.99 ISBN 978-1-4418-0569-0

Mel Foster turns in a flat and somewhat uninspired performance in this reading of Roth's autobiography, The Facts. Focusing on five episodes in his life, from his childhood in the 1930s to the publication of Portnoy's Complaint in the 1960s, Roth provides the listener with both details of his life and a criticism of those memoirs courtesy of his fictional alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman. Unfortunately, what could have been a fascinating audio exploration into the life of one of the most important authors of his generation is hampered by plodding narration with little intonation and less momentum. When Mel Foster is given the opportunity to lend a voice to one of the characters, his efforts are successful, accurate, and a thoroughly enjoyable. Sadly, these occasions are few and far between. A Vintage paperback. (May)