Monday, February 04, 2008

16. "Sabbath's Theater" - Philip Roth


Mickey Sabbath is a 60-something unemployed puppeteer with an implied sexual addiction. After the death of his mistress, he begins to think that suicide is the best ending for a life filled with failure.

I've had my issues with Roth - mostly regarding his alter-ego Zuckerman - but this National Book Award-winner could make me a fan.

Roth's method of writing backward, telling the whole story in the first chapter, then getting into the details later, reminds me of Salman Rushdie, but the free-wheeling recall of minute details is the work of a master. And what details. It's makes a mockery of most writers' creative work.

4.0 out of 5.0 Hot Fudge Sundaes.

2 comments:

Jason said...

This was the first Roth novel I read, and I spent the whole read thinking "where is this coming from?"

Fun and surprising. And isn't Mr. Sabbath a demented bastard?

Most Prepossessing said...

I haven't read this one. I really liked American Pastoral and then I read some of the Zuckerman's and couldn't believe it was from the same author. I added this to my list of books to read.