Portnoy's Complaint by Philip RothPortnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth

Portnoy's Complaint

byPhilip Roth

Paperback | September 20, 1994

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Portnoy's Complaint n. [after Alexander Portnoy (1933- )] A disorder in which strongly-felt ethical and altruistic impulses are perpetually warring with extreme sexual longings, often of a perverse nature. Spielvogel says: 'Acts of exhibitionism, voyeurism, fetishism, auto-eroticism and oral coitus are plentiful; as a consequence of the patient's "morality," however, neither fantasy nor act issues in genuine sexual gratification, but rather in overriding feelings of shame and the dread of retribution, particularly in the form of castration.' (Spielvogel, O. "The Puzzled Penis," Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, Vol. XXIV, p. 909.) It is believed by Spielvogel that many of the symptoms can be traced to the bonds obtaining in the mother-child relationship.

With a new Afterword by the author for the 25th Anniversary edition.
In 1997 Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House and in 2002 the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction. He has twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won the PEN...
Title:Portnoy's ComplaintFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.7 inPublished:September 20, 1994Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0679756450

ISBN - 13:9780679756453

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nothing much to add to this Funny, witty, biting. Everything you would expect from such a novel!
Date published: 2017-12-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not Really My Thing Roth seems to be an acquired taste and after three novels I can say his writing, lovely though it is, isn't for me.
Date published: 2017-04-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic This book is laugh out loud funny, but also, retrospectively, a deep meditation of the modern soul and its issues. Great book - our Rabelais and Tristram Shandy.
Date published: 2017-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great novel #plumreview Disturbingly hilarious. Ruth's finest in my opinion.
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funniest Novel Of All TIme Roth at his comedic best.
Date published: 2016-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hellacious and hilarious When I finished Philip Roth's Goodbye, Colombus a couple months ago, I entitled my review for the book, "The beginnings of Roth's Newark" -- mostly based on the parallels that can be drawn between the Newark that is presented within Goodbye, Colombus and "later", equally acclaimed Roth novels such as American Pastoral. Although I did not entitle my review this, I think a similar, suitable title fits: "The beginning of Philip Roth" -- or, what we know Roth to be (something open for debate), as Alexander Portnoy is a protagonist that truly begins what we have accepted as Rothian trademarks: sexual frustration (Sabbath's Theater), duplicity of identity (The Human Stain, Operation Shylock), and Jewish life in the United States (all?). When I say Portnoy's continuous monologue to his psychoanalyst Dr. Speilvogel is laugh-out-loud funny, I really mean it. I have watched plenty of "funny" movies by myself and not even cracked a smile; while reading Portnoy's Complaint I can't even count how many times I've chuckled at the hilarious and clever dialogue. A controversial in its day and still shines as one of the best 20th century works of American fiction. Only gripe I have is that I wish I read it sooner. While in my last block of reviews I gave Sabbath's Theater my stamp as "My favourite Roth novel," -- speaking volumes in itself as I LOVE me some Roth -- but Portnoy outshines it. Favourite Roth ever? More like one of my favourite NOVELS ever. Read it.
Date published: 2010-07-18

From Our Editors

From the couch of his psychoanalyst, Alexander Portnoy starts confessing to everything from an adolescent preoccupation with masturbation to the relative enslavement imposed by his dominating mother. Portnoy's Complaint is an uproarious spin through the mislead life of a man riddled with guilt for what he is. This modern classic is a comical take on the Jewish-American experience, told with Phillip Roth's great wit and a keen sense of inanity.

Editorial Reviews

"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 "Deliciously funny...absurd and exuberant, wild and uproarious... a brilliantly vivid reading experience."--New York Times Book Review"Simply one of the two or three funniest works in American fiction." —Chicago Sun-Times"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