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Sabbath's Theater is a comic creation of epic proportions, and Mickey Sabbath is its gargantuan hero. And Philip Rothm in his twenty-first book, is at the very peak oif his poers.
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Mickey Sabbath, the hero in Sabbath's Theater, the winner of the 1995 National Book Award, makes a concerted effort to be bad. Like Alexander Portnoy, the famously self-abusing character in Roth's 1969 novel Portnoy's Complaint, Sabbath has an appetite for "acts of exhibitionism, voyeurism, fetishism, auto-eroticism and oral coitus." But while Portnoy's antics were usually comical and liberating, Sabbath often feels imprisoned by his own acts of self-indulgence. Though his frantic pursuit of sex is a desperate attempt to abate his anxieties about death, it only serves to obliterate any semblance of real life he could have had.From the Back Cover:
"A great work . . . Roth's richest, most rewarding novel . . . funny and profound . . . as powerful as writing can be." —The New York Times Book Review
"This splendidly wicked book . . . is among the most remarkable novels in recent years. . . . The energy of the book is amazing.... Roth is hilariously serious about life and death." —Frank Kermode, The New York Review of Books
"Roth's extraordinary new novel is an astonishment and a scourge, and one of the strangest achievements of fictional prose that I have ever read. . . . It is very exquisite." —James Wood, New Republic
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