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Portnoy's Complaint Paperback – September 20, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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
Perhaps the best, most insightful, and most humorous of descriptions of a youth having to deal with life in a dysfunctional Jewish family.Published 2 months ago by ronald C. berry
The only possible reason to not give Portnoy’s Complaint a full five stars is its explicitness. I can understand it can be too graphic for some, but if you can get around it, this... Read morePublished 3 months ago by LEP
LOL I like ROth best when he is funny. This and his latest short novels like Indignation. They are funny.Published 3 months ago by Frances