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Sabbath's Theater Paperback – August 6, 1996
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Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The theme of Sabbath's Theater has been done before: a lecherous, unconventional man railing at the ravages of time and the dwindling of the sexual potency by which he has defined his very existence. Most of the time, however, this theme is poorly written, the characters trite and cliched. Roth, not surprisingly, invests this novel with more lyrical energy, more sexual frankness, sharper comedy and deeper seriousness than has any writer before.
Although Roth does make use of both flashback and association, the plot of Sabbath's Theater is brisk. Mickey Sabbath, who went off to sea at the age of eighteen just so he could visit the world's brothels, is a loathsome character. His abiding philosophy of life is simply to do whatever he pleases and never to worry about pleasing anyone else. Nothing phases him, in fact, he seems to take pleasure in his uncanny ability to antagonize others. Their outrage seems to be only a reflection of his own self-worth. Mickey Sabbath manages to hurt, deceive, betray, offend, insult and abuse just about everyone with whom he comes into contact.
A true degenerate, Mickey Sabbath may seem to lack any sense of moral conscience. Although anyone meeting such a character would deny it, Sabbath actually spent an idyllic childhood on the Jersey shore; a childhood that was shattered by a traumatic dual loss. In an effort to deal with his loss and the resultant pain, to stamp out the brutality of life, and, to affirm his own sense of aliveness, Sabbath turns to carnal pleasures with a vengeance, indulging each and every sexual impulse.Read more ›
Alas, having been thoroughly dethroned, Cronos having faced the Zeus that is life with all of its contingencies, I decided that I needed something a bit less morose than Iris Murdoch. Thus, I approached ST for the second time with a sense of great anticipation; I really needed something to lighten the load. In was during this encounter that I discovered what effect a true piece of art can impose upon its consumer. (I employ this term in the sense of taking into oneself and making a part of oneself, not in the sense of one who purchases things in a willy-nilly search for authenticity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The main character is so loathsome that I kept trying to stop reading but I couldn't because it so well written. Hard to recommend because its so dark.Published 16 hours ago by Steve Ferraro
Very disappointed. I've enjoyed Roth's work in the past and saw that this book was generally praised. Read morePublished 3 months ago by William Cromwell
In general Philip Roth is a writer with a controversial reputation, - you like him or you don’t -, and that’s so even more for this book, - you can notice reading the reviews on... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Marc L
Perversity abounds to the layman, but what lies in the writing of Philip Roth resides within each of us as well. Read morePublished 8 months ago by jonezy
One of Roth's finest. But you've got to like Roth. Very strong stew . Hilarious at times. Heartbreaking too. Read morePublished 9 months ago by George
Mickey Sabbath, one of Roth's best over-the-top narrators - need I say more?Published 10 months ago by scott stirton
Philip Roth's finest hour. An ingenious and engrossing black-comedy character-study masterpiece.Published 12 months ago by Sherif El Newehy