Thursday, December 20, 2007

89. "Portnoy's Complaint" - Philip Roth


Alexander Portnoy is not happy. Sexually deviant, guilty, frigid regarding relationships... yes. Happy, no.

Thus, we find Portnoy on the psychoanalyst's couch, where he proceeds to describe his life for the entire novel. Or kvetch. Published during the sexual sixties, Roth questions everything about sex through a Jewish-tinted lens. After all, Portnoy is not happy because of his upbringing, a hilarious look at the (now stereotypical) Jewish family.

Jason recommended this book as an alternative to Roth's other novels that contain the character, Nathan Zuckerman, an alter-ego of the author. What amused me the most is how similar some of the images and scenes were to the Zuckerman books, which of course leads one to wonder where fiction falls and truth ties.

But I digress... I laughed, but I think the shock value was lost between 1969 and now.

3.25 out of 5.0 Dirty Condoms.

1 comment:

Jason said...

I've seen you start several books I recommended, but I think this is the first you didn't abandon as hopeless. I was beginning to think our reading preferences were entirely incompatible.

I'm glad you were able to stomach this one. Hehe.