Books: Lost in The Fun House

DECEPTION by Philip Roth; Simon & Schuster; 208 pages; $18.95

In his previous book The Facts: A Novelist's Autobiography, Philip Roth tried, not for the first time, to settle the confusion about how he transforms his unexciting life as a writer into lively fiction. Deception replays the subject yet again in a novel composed entirely of dialogues. The central conversations are between a New Jersey-born, London-based writer named Philip and a married Englishwoman. The setting is the writer's bedless studio, where the talk is about their love affair, family and work. Nonverbal communications apparently take place on desk, chair or floor.

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