A Complaint: Double Vision

TITLE: OPERATION SHYLOCK: A CONFESSION

AUTHOR: PHILIP ROTH

PUBLISHER: SIMON & SCHUSTER; 398 PAGES; $23

THE BOTTOM LINE: Who is that man pretending to be Philip Roth? Philip Roth tries to find out.

The subtitle ought to provoke knowing smiles from Philip Roth's devoted readers. A confession, from this guy? C'mon. Throughout his career, which is now in its 36th year, Roth has reacted with high exasperation to suggestions that his novels document his life or reveal anything about him except his imagination. It hasn't helped his case, of course, that he has filled his best books (among them, Portnoy's Complaint,...

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