David Kepesh is white-haired and over sixty, an eminent TV culture critic and star lecturer at a New York college, when he meets Consuela Castillo, a decorous, well-mannered student of twenty-four, the daughter of wealthy Cuban exiles, who promptly puts his life into erotic disorder and haunts him for the next eight years.
Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s freed him from his wife and child, Kepesh has experimented with living what he calls an "emancipated manhood" beyond the reach of family or a mate. His worldliness, his confusion, his reason desert him, and on the brink of old age, a maddening sexual possessiveness transports him to the depths of jealousy.
The light-hearted erotic tale with which he began evolves into a poignant, tragic story of love and loss. 'The Dying Animal' is vintage Roth fiction, a masterpiece of passionate immediacy. It is intellectually bold, forcefully candid, wholly of our time, and utterly without precedent - a story of sexual discovery told about himself by a man of seventy.