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Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth

Portnoy's Complaint (original 1969; edition 1994)

by Philip Roth

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5,410104802 (3.64)179
Title:Portnoy's Complaint
Authors:Philip Roth
Info:Vintage (1994), Edition: international, Paperback, 289 pages
Collections:Your library

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Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth (1969)


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English (93)  Italian (5)  Spanish (3)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (105)
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
I wasn't really sure what I was getting into when I started Portnoy's Complaint. My first encounter with Roth was The Human Stain. Which I thought was really good. Portnoy is very well written-- as to be expected from Roth-- however, I couldn't really find any common ground with the characters and hence not a higher rating. Roth is a master at creating mental images with his writing. He is able to capture a characters voice and character and not just through physical descriptions. Roth paints a picture with the way characters react to situations, the way they speak within the context of various situations.
Portnoy's Complaint is sexually graphic throughout so beware anyone who may be easily offended.
I gave PC three stars because the book is put together very well; still, I wasn't crazy about the topic and a lot of the graphic exploits of Alexander Portnoy. ( )
  Jazmsngr | Mar 25, 2016 |

My biggest complaint about this book is that it made my mother say the word "masturbation" to me. When I told her what I was about to read she responded with, "Well, I hope you enjoy excessive scenes of masturbation."
Okay, so she wasn't entirely wrong with her cleverly veiled critique, but I found that there was much more to the novel than self-love.
I enjoyed spending a couple of days inside the mind of Alex Portnoy. I am not Jewish, I'm not male, I have a child and visit my parents on a regular basis. I think it is a testament to Roth's consistent writing and character development that I was not only interested in Portnoy but could (at times) relate to him.
This novel will probably not change my life but it was a fun and interesting look inside another world. ( )
  KirstenKohler | Feb 28, 2016 |
Roth makes us laugh in this rather sad tale of a Jewish boy, growing up a weirdly familiar landscape. A rambling confession of a man's growing pains in an oppressive family. Groundbreaking at the time. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
"So. Now you know the worst thing I have ever done. I fucked my own family's dinner."

This is just one of many hilarious, and brashly descriptive images from this book! Holy mackerel is it raw and uncompromising! It reads like a therapy session, 30 something Alexander Portnoy talking to Dr. Spielvogel. Alex has a constipated father, and overbearing mother, and an obsession with his penis, masturbation, and shikses/the goyim! (did I mention he's Jewish?) He has a wonderful sex partner in The Monkey, and quite an introduction to sex with Bubbles Girardi (his poor eye!). Basically, if you want to laugh, read this book! Oy vey! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 23, 2016 |
Written in the sixty's with that sixties mind-set flavor. Enjoyable but x-rated. George Costanza all over again, pouring forth his angst from his shrinks couch. ( )
  DVDWalsh | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roth, Philipprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fontcuberta i Gel, JoanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoog, ElseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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)

(summary from another edition)

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