Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Panning Portnoy..or Another Snarky Review

I cannot force myself to finish this one. While I'm well-acquainted with Roth and his themes and his tropes, I just don't give much of a damn. 

Penises, guilt, more penises, aging, penises, sex, libido, guilt. A punch line. Uggh and uggh. 

He's nearly as tiresome in his stereotypical machismo as John Updike and that's enough for me to leave this one unfinished. I adored The Human Stain, I totally dug The Dying Animal, but Alexander Portnoy is just not my cup of anything. 

Humor, yes. Interesting, no.

Rating: 
Snuggle -- Skewer


Pub. Date: 1969
Publisher: Knopf
Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780679756453
Source: Bought a gazillion years ago. 

24 comments:

  1. I've read a couple of his books, the last one being Everyman, I think. Seems good enough to me. The few I read seemed to have covered the basics.

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    1. Nicole, one becomes acquainted with Roth's main concerns after a book or two -- it's true!!! His work becomes darn repetitive very quickly.

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  2. No thanks, I don't need that many penises in my books. I have heard that this is a funny one, but you have soundly disabused me of that notion in your own hilarious way. Sorry for the overabundance of body parts in this one!

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    1. Zibilee, it was ridiculous.

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  3. This sounds TERRIBLE! I haven't read anything by Roth and I will definitely avoid this one.

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    1. Joanna, The Human Stain is a MUCH better Roth book. Just for future reference. :)

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  4. Yeah, I'm never going to get this book. I kind of don't get the love for Roth and Updike.

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    1. Yeah, no. Updike has been on my hit list since I read his essay, "The Disposable Rocket." Roth was ok in his later works, but this one was just too much adolescent crap.

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  5. It seems with Roth that people either love him or hate him. I still want to read The Human Stain. I enjoyed the movie but not sure how closely it followed the book.

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    1. I'd say that's pretty accurate, Kathleen. lol The Human Stain is definitely my favorite. Much more thoughtful, nuanced, and atmospheric than something like Portnoy (in my opinion).

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  6. I wondered if you would make it through. The humor of this book was really lost on me. I think for its time it was ... something? But I found it to be really dated, and kind of creepy, like something a guy would write and stick underneath his mattress.

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    1. Yeah, no. lol I think you're right about the timer period. This would've been an uber-shocker at the time, and at that early point in Roth's career he hadn't exhausted his usual themes. I just happened to read some of his later works first, so I'm pretty much over it. ;)

      And yes, Alex Portnoy and his weird thought process are just downright ooky.

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  7. Well tell us what you really think!! LOL Whatchu got against old penises??? :D

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    1. Hated it!!! Penises are fine in moderation.

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  8. It's on 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die so I'll tackle it eventually, but I will read some of his other books first based off this review!

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    1. Of course it is. Uggh. Some man made that list. lol

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  9. I read Roth's "the Plot Against America" and HATED it. Not that many body parts, but a totally boring convoluted conspiracy theory plot and an ending that just went "pleh." Not a Roth fan so far!

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    1. Jen, I'm sorry to hear that The Plot Against America isn't any better. I have it on my TBR, too, and I'm hoping it has fewer penises in it. I can't wait to see my stats spike from all the mentions of the "p-word."

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  10. Hahahaha, the penises and lady issues that I anticipate in Roth's novels have kept me from him for many a year. Sometime maybe I will try one of his books. Or maybe not. I kind of don't care enough to try them.

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    1. The Human Stain. That is all.

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  11. Ha ha ha, I love this. Too many penises. No thanks Roth, keep it to yourself ;)

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  12. How did this get so much acclaim? Just because it's Roth?

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    1. Lisa, this book is a reflection of its time period. Published in the 60s it was probably a big new deal then. Now it's just whatever. And like I mentioned in an earlier comment, I started reading Roth with some of his later works and only just now picked this one up which was earlier in his writing days. I'm used to his "bag of tricks" and I'm not impressed. Maybe I should've read in chronological order and I would've been more satisfied.

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