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Portnoy's Complaint (Roth) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
Philip Roth...has finally come up with the existentially quintessential form for any American-Jewish tale bearing—or baring—guilt.... The result is not only one of those bullseye hits in the ever-darkening field of humor, a novel that is playfully and painfully moving, but also a work that is certainly catholic in appeal, potentially monumental in effect—and, perhaps more important, a deliciously funny book, absurd and exuberant, wild and uproarious.
Josh Greenfield - New York Times


Roth's barbric yawp of a book ws a literary instance of shock and awe, a dirty comic masterpiece that can stand with Tristam Shandy.... It's also...tender and charitable, and just toward the main character. How else to describe a book that...discovers exactly the most painful question about relations between children and parents. "Doctor what should I rid myslef of, tell me, the hatred...or the love?"
Richard Lacayo - Time (From "100 best English-language novels from 1923 to present.")


It's actually a book about enmeshment and one's relationship with one's parents.... These days, all mothers are Jewish mothers. That is the way you're suposed to mother...to be warm and inviting and caressing.... I found Portnoy to be funny and angry and compassionate—and most of all searching. This is a character who is in deep conflict because he wants to change.
Alana Newhouse - National Public Radio


Roth is the bravest writer in the United States. He's morally brave, he's politically brave. And Portnoy is part of that bravery.
Cynthia Ozick - Newsday


Touching as well as hilariously lewd.... Roth is vibrantly talented...as marvelous a mimic and fantasist as has been produced by the most verbal group in human history
Alfred Kazin - New York Review of Books


Simply one of the two or three funniest works in American fiction.
Chicago Sun-Times




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