4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2012
Bernard Avishai, in addition to being a brilliantly compelling writer, has an intellect that looks at a landscape and has the vision to see the genus of every tree as well as the forest as a whole. Avishai, through discussions with Roth himself, his admirers, his critics, and interpreting reviews and articles (ranging from thrillingly groundbreaking to painfully scathing) has written a comprehensive analysis of Roth's most controversial work. He plumbs the depths of Jewish faith, family dynamics, sexual identity, psychoanalysis, global politics and humor, all of which made "Portnoy's Complaint" such a body blow when published and so lasting in the minds of its readers ever since. Any student of literature, or for that matter any person who enjoys simply being intellectually engaged across multiple themes, will appreciate this book's propositions. Avishai's capacious intellect and writing prowess make this a great read and one that deserves attention.