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Portnoy's Complaint Paperback – September 20, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Esoterically, this book is one long rant about the joys and (more heavily) the anguishes of growing up Jewish in America in the forties and fifties. It's 1966 and successful civil servant Alexander Portnoy is on the psychiatrist's couch trying to get out all his Oedipal, inferiority, and sexual fetish complexes.
That infamous masturbation scene in the movie AMERICAN PIE? A direct descendent of Mrs. Portnoy's piece of liver!
More deeply, if you can stand it, this book seriously examines the struggle of growing up with smothering parents: Alex's both put him on a pedestal and criticize everything he does. He's unmarried at thirty-three in part because of all the neuroses his parents have bestowed in him--so why doesn't he get married and have children already? Alex lets us know in pornographic detail why. Speaking of pornographic detail, Alex spends plenty of time on his ultimately doomed affairs with (mostly Protestant) women. Most of his anger at growing up Jewish in a Christian-dominated society he takes out on these "shikses"--variously called Pumpkin, the Pilgrim and the Monkey--this is not a politically correct book from the feminist perspective. It does, however, raise serious questions about what it means to be a human being, as opposed to just a hyphenated-American.
PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT is brash, profane and wonderful.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Let me start by saying that I think the book, PORTNOY’S COMPLAINT, is a comic masterpiece. Over the years I’ve read it three times. Read morePublished 22 days ago by J. Larson
For nearly fifty years Portnoy's Complaint has retained a reputation as one of the raunchiest and most profane non-pornographic novels of its time, or maybe of all time. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Scott Collins
Read it for the first time. I am not sure what the excitement was.Published 1 month ago by J. Metcalf
awesome, hilarious book that has influenced a ton of modern writersPublished 2 months ago by Ilya R.
While his two previous books, Letting Go and When She Was Good, were both excellent, it is with his third full-length novel, Portnoy’s Complaint (1969), that Phillip Roth put... Read morePublished 3 months ago by M. Buzalka
A Classic. if you didn't read it when you were an adolescent, read it as an adult. very dirty and very funny. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mrs. C.
Terrifically energetic reading by the late Mr Silver of the great and once-scandalous novel. Silver had also done a wonderful reading of American Pastoral, but the comic dimension... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Rei Shinozuka