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Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth

Portnoy's Complaint (1969)

by Philip Roth

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5,9871231,038 (3.62)210

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Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
This book is unlike any I have read. Fascinating, honest, at times titillating and at times disgusting. Having had the WASP experience I found the exploration of being Jewish confusing and interesting. I think most of what he deals with is not limited to anything to do with a Jewish upbringing, perhaps more about being male or American male, than any religious or even ethnic. He does poignantly describe the anxieties of negotiating life's seemingly contrary motivations. This book will rattle in my head for some time to come! ( )
  DonaldPowell | Feb 5, 2019 |
It's not that this book was bad so much as it was too much of the same thing over and over again. I found myself putting it down and not wanting to pick it back up because what was going to be new or different? Nothing. It's entertaining early on but then I found myself wanting dialogue or something. I needed to get another point of view because the complaining was just too much. Even after I got to that point, I found the book got worse before it got better. Women are not treated as human beings in this book and that got frustrating. The end was slightly better, but the most interesting thing I read in my copy was the Afterword to the 25th anniversary edition. Philip Roth explained a strange method he used to write all his books. It was super intriguing! ( )
  3njennn | Nov 25, 2018 |
4.5 stars ( )
  AaronJacobs | Oct 23, 2018 |
I don’t propose to spend too long writing about this sordid and utterly unamusing novel – I have already wasted more than enough time reading it. The edition that I read was even more heavily strewn with critics’ encomia than usual, all of them suggesting that this is a comic masterpiece, and it seems to have played a significant part in launching Philip Roth as one of those authors striving to bring off ‘The Great American Novel’.

I wonder whether this is another case of the Emperor’s new clothes, with no one daring to rock the boat by suggesting that, rather than funny and acutely observed, it is simply a clumsy attempt to shock, which left no crass stereotype knowingly overlooked. ( )
1 vote Eyejaybee | Jul 12, 2018 |
The humor has held up well. Hilarious! ( )
  LaurelPoe | Dec 25, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roth, Philipprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fontcuberta i Gel, JoanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoog, ElseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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She was so deeply imbedded in my consciousness that for the first year of school I seemed to have believed that each of my teachers was my mother in disguise.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679756450, Paperback)

Along with Saul Bellow's Herzog, Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint defined Jewish American literature in the 1960s. Roth's masterpiece takes place on the couch of a psychoanalyst, an appropriate jumping-off place for an insanely comical novel about the Jewish American experience. Roth has written several great books--Goodbye, Columbus and When She Was Good among them, but it is perhaps Portnoy's Complaint for which he is best known.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:04 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Philip Roth's bestselling novel, which takes the form of a monologue featuring the confession of a comic character who is thrust through life by his unappeasable sexuality, yet at the same time held back by the iron grip of his unforgettable childhood.… (more)

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