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8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen I Can't Believe No One Ever Told Me About This Book
After reading PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT, I find myself scrambling to recall whether I have ever read another American novel anywhere near as hysterically funny. Maybe Tom Robbins's SKINNY LEGS AND ALL is in the same ballpark (and I've yet to read CATCH-22) but Roth simply had my head spinning while I read this book. My jaw is still on the floor, in fact.
Esoterically,...
Veröffentlicht am 24. Juli 2000 von oh_pete

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Monolog für den der's mag
Die sehr positiven Bewertungen des Buchs haben mich dazu bewegt, es als ersten Einstieg in Philip Roth zu lesen. Dafür war es aber definitiv nicht das Richtige. Nach der Lektüre ist mir jedenfalls nicht unmittelbar plausibel, warum der Autor seit langen Jahren als Dauerkandidat für den Literatur-Nobelpreis gehandelt wird.

Sicher blitzt sein...
Veröffentlicht am 2. Juni 2006 von Birdonawire


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5.0 von 5 Sternen I Can't Believe No One Ever Told Me About This Book, 24. Juli 2000
Von 
After reading PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT, I find myself scrambling to recall whether I have ever read another American novel anywhere near as hysterically funny. Maybe Tom Robbins's SKINNY LEGS AND ALL is in the same ballpark (and I've yet to read CATCH-22) but Roth simply had my head spinning while I read this book. My jaw is still on the floor, in fact.
Esoterically, this book is one long rant about the joys and (more heavily) the anguishes of growing up Jewish in America in the forties and fifties. It's 1966 and successful civil servant Alexander Portnoy is on the psychiatrist's couch trying to get out all his Oedipal, inferiority, and sexual fetish complexes.
That infamous masturbation scene in the movie AMERICAN PIE? A direct descendent of Mrs. Portnoy's piece of liver!
More deeply, if you can stand it, this book seriously examines the struggle of growing up with smothering parents: Alex's both put him on a pedestal and criticize everything he does. He's unmarried at thirty-three in part because of all the neuroses his parents have bestowed in him--so why doesn't he get married and have children already? Alex lets us know in pornographic detail why. Speaking of pornographic detail, Alex spends plenty of time on his ultimately doomed affairs with (mostly Protestant) women. Most of his anger at growing up Jewish in a Christian-dominated society he takes out on these "shikses"--variously called Pumpkin, the Pilgrim and the Monkey--this is not a politically correct book from the feminist perspective. It does, however, raise serious questions about what it means to be a human being, as opposed to just a hyphenated-American.
PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT is brash, profane and wonderful. It is certainly not for the faint-hearted or those with what were once considered "polite sensibilities." But it is a very moral book in it's own way. Portnoy knows he's no hero, and Roth doesn't portray him as such--in some ways the book is one big joke. Every effective joke has its kernel of truth; Roth's have the whole can of corn.
I never expected a novel that is one long rant to inspire a review that is one long rave, but there it is.
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11 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Jetzt bin ich Roth-Fan!, 14. Januar 2003
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Portnoy's Complaint (Roman) (Taschenbuch)
"Portnoy's Complaint" hat mich endgültig zum Roth-Fan gemacht. Mit "American Pastoral" hatte ich noch meine Schwierigkeiten, "The human stain" hat mich sehr gefesselt, "Portnoy's..." bewegt mich dazu, mehr von Roth zu lesen. Für mich sind die Stärke lebendige, true-to-life Charaktere, die durch das Buch hindurch glaubhaft bleiben - auch wenn sie aus dem Rahmen fallen. Das hat Saft, Kraft, Liebe, Erotik und Tiefgang. Alexander Portnoy erzählt seine Kindheit und Adoleszenz in einer jüdischen Familie in New Jersey - vor allem die jüdische Mama prägt seine späteren Verhaltensweisen. Aber keine Angst: zuviel Küchenpsychologie kommt nicht vor, man kann das Buch auch frei von Ödipus oder sonstigen Komplexen belastet (sei es literarisch oder real) lesen. Und das empfehle ich auch: Lesen!
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4.0 von 5 Sternen A little diappointed, 2. Februar 2000
I started reading Portnoy's complaint some time last year and I found it difficult.. I could only read it in little bits, the story is packed with humorous crude snippets of Jewish life ,and overloads your senses with exaggerated caricature..When I finally finished it last week, I guess I ended up liking the book..as a definitive book about Jewish American culture of the period, I think it is sadly lacking..Funny in parts, outrageously lewd throughout, some of the family scenes read like my own Jewish childhood in London..Either I missed the profound statement behind the book or there isn't one really..not focussed enough for my liking, but definitely interesing reading.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Monolog für den der's mag, 2. Juni 2006
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Portnoy's Complaint (Roman) (Taschenbuch)
Die sehr positiven Bewertungen des Buchs haben mich dazu bewegt, es als ersten Einstieg in Philip Roth zu lesen. Dafür war es aber definitiv nicht das Richtige. Nach der Lektüre ist mir jedenfalls nicht unmittelbar plausibel, warum der Autor seit langen Jahren als Dauerkandidat für den Literatur-Nobelpreis gehandelt wird.

Sicher blitzt sein Talent durch. Die Beschreibung der Beziehung der Hauptfigur zu seiner "The Monkey" genannten Freundin z.B. hat gleichzeitig Humor und Tiefe. Die durchaus vorhandene literarische Qualität im Buch wird jedoch für meinen Geschmack zu sehr überlagert von der allzu brachial eingesetzten Kindheitsjammerrhetorik.

Es muss einem klar sein, dass Roth das Buch nicht ernst gemeint hat. Es soll ein komisches, ja lächerliches Buch sein und das gelingt ihm auch über weite Strecken. Der Humor ist aber sehr jüdisch-amerikanisch und schon gut eine Generation alt, was man sehr deutlich merkt. Was damals gewagt, frech und provokant war und entsprechend den Spassfaktor erhöht haben mag, geht einem heute höchstens noch auf den Geist.

Fazit: Ein Buch, das man nicht unbedingt gelesen haben muss, das sich aber wegen einiger sehr gelungener Passagen dennoch lohnen kann.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Lewd, Crude and Dangerous to Know, 1. April 2000
This is probably the most disgusting book I've ever read. I'm not prudish or easily shocked by what I read, but this was certainly difficult to take. I did persevere and got to the end (which is cleverly done), and some of it is very funny, but I didn't really enjoy it enough. I suppose the problem was: a) I'm not Jewish, b) I've never had a Jewish mother. The book is still funny without those advantages (we can all empathise after all) but I don't think you'll like it as much if you don't fulfill the two above categories.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen One of the funniest books ever written, 24. Februar 2000
Ok, all you high school whiners thinking that Holden Caulfield is talking your thoughts and saying your words for you, come on over to the ethnic side of the fence where the character is all Jewish (and not might be Jewish on his father's side if he really is a prototype for Seymour Glass) and isn't trapped by the whitebread prep school civility that makes Caulfield such a wimp in public. Since these books are used interchangeably in many reviews of coming-of-age books (as in "I grew up reading Catcher in the Rye and Portnoy's Complaint...") I compare.
First off, this book is offensive. Chapter Two is entitled Whacking Off and has the quintessential "family knocking at the bathroom door while son jerks off and compares himself to a Dostoyevski character" scene. There are really terrible portrayals of women, but since it is from Portnoy's perspective its more a terrible portrayal of Portnoy. Unlike Caulfield, this character is outright nuts. There's no idealized Jane Gallagher to excuse why he treats all other girls shabbily, he just can't stand himself. Calling one girlfriend Monkey and going into fits at another girlfriend's parent's home in Iowa (I was using the gentile toilet!) he's a creep. His mother is the Jewish Mother. In fact after that Jewish American Princess in Goodbye Columbus and the Jewish Mother in Portnoy's Complaint, one wonders if Jewish women would be portrayed as Rebecca from Ivanhoe if it hadn't been for Roth. (ok, I assume that Roth did not invent these stereotypes, but he's a master at using them).
Here's the apologetic statement -- Portnoy's Complaint is not about a great man but a troubled freak. Roth's characters are a study in the ambiguous ties of second generation Jews, not all that serious about being Jewish, but not eager to be accepted into the mainstream of American WASP society either. Portnoy's relationship with women is merely the most apparent version of this schism, in which he feels guilty/neurotic about having sex with WASP girls but he can't really go with Jewish girls either ("I couldn't get it up in the Holy Land. How's that for symbolism doc?")
Ultimately Portnoy would be a tragic character if he wasn't such an unlikeable creep. Wonderful book. I would recommend NOT reading American Pastoral afterwards, it will only make you sad.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen The First Book I Could Relate to, 28. August 1999
My mother often tells me that if I marry a non-Jewish girl, during our first fight she'll call me a "dirty Jew."
So it struck me on a personal level when Portnoy's mother, in Philip Roth's "Portnoy's Complaint," gives him the same advice. Never before have I read a book where the family is so similar to my family. Going through high school, I always had to read about the Holden Caufields of the world, and never the Holden Rosenfelds. I could only relate so much. It never occurred to me how religiously narrow our Educational system is---I don't think I've ever been assigned a Jewish book for any class I've taken. Okay, maybe Anne Frank's diary, but that wasn't something I could really relate to. A teacher's idea of expanding the classes minority awareness was to make them read some terribly boring piece of Native American literature--with spirits and totem poles and teepees. What about menorahs and dreidels and yamulkes?
I wish "Portnoy's Complaint" wasn't so perverse. Because it just happens to be one of the most perverse books I've ever read. Ever. If you read this book without knowing when it was written, you would never guess, in a million years, that it was written in 1967. On the cover, Newsweek calls Philip Roth, "The bravest writer in the United States." I agree. For him to have written the things he wrote when he wrote it, he had to be brave. And the book is so unabashed in discussing sex in all its lewdness and crudeness, that it serves as a source of comfort, granting you the ability to say, "Wow, I thought I was sick, but I guess I'm tame compared to that guy."
Particularly notable is the section on masturbation called "Whacking Off." I've never read a novel where the issue of masturbation is discussed so prominently and so openly. Had I read this a few years ago, I would have felt a lot better about myself. At this point, the damage is done. Not that I damaged myself, but you get what I'm saying.
This book is not a perfect book. I have some issues with it regarding the concept of "form follows function." But I won't go there unless you want to discuss it with me after you read it. But basically, it's a good read. It's like a perverse Jewish version of "Catcher in the Rye" that spans a larger period of time and is much funnier. And there are no Indians to be found, either.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Foreshadows current *Asian-American* psyches and neuroses, 21. November 1998
Von 
Jimmy Lin (Central NJ) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
It is interesting to me that the person who reviewed this book just prior to me seemed to judge it as a failure, whereas their characterization of it is fairly accurate. *Portnoy's Complaint* *is* in actuality the rantings of a frustrated individual who feels the need to express their anger at their situation. In fact, that's the entire point.
I certainly enjoy this book every time I pick it up. In fact, the reference that sparked my curiousity came from a wonderful Woody Allen short story whose title escapes me. Roth's ascerbic prose is at peak form here, and considering the direction he took (which is fine, in my opinion), *PC* is his most readable work prior to 1996's *American Pastoral.* His characters are vivid and unique, as usual, and while *PC* does feature Roth's signature abrupt ending, for once, it fits rather well.
What I've found most fascinating about this work is that the history and complaints of Alexander Portnoy are extremely similar to those I've heard expressed by Asian-Americans who were raised in the US between 1970 through the present. The level of familial pressure and guilt laid upon Roth's narrator are quite equal to countless stories I've heard of like upbringings in households of first-generation immigrants. While obviously not everything parallels (no strict dietary laws unless one is patently Buddhist), the vast majority of it fits, sometimes almost frighteningly so.
I leave with a warning and a recommendation. If one is easily offended by sex matters and graphic language, one should avoid this volume. However, I have recommended this book in the past to several of my friends, all of whom have enjoyed it, and I do so now for the curious who have had the patience to read to this end of this quaint review.
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2.0 von 5 Sternen "I am the Raskolnikov of jerking off" (20)., 28. August 2013
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Portnoy's Complaint (Roman) (Taschenbuch)
Als großer Fan von Philipp Roth und immer noch hoffend, dass die Stockholmer Jury ihm irgendwann doch noch den Nobelpreis für Literatur verleiht, bin ich schließlich bei diesem 'Skandalbuch' gelandet. Erschienen 1969 sorgte es ob der Verkommenheit seines Erzählers und der gerade besessenen Detailtreue das Sexuelle betreffend für große Empörung. Zugegeben, auch heute noch, fast 45 Jahre später, braucht sich "Portnoy's Complaint" nicht hinter den vielen zeitgenössischen Pornoromanen zu verstecken und steckt solche Softie-Schinken à la "Shades of Grey" für Über-Ich getriebene Mittelschichts-Muttis locker in die Tasche. Es stellt sich dennoch die Frage nach dem literarischen Mehrwert dieses Buches, wenn man den ganzen moralischen Furor einmal beiseite lässt.

Der Roman besteht aus den Geständnissen des Mitdreißigers Alexander Portnoy, die er auf der Couch des Psychologen Dr. Spiegelberg liegend zum Besten gibt. Schon recht früh entdeckt er die Freuden des exessziven Onanierens "doubled over my flying fist, eyes pressed close but mouth wide open, to take that sticky sauce of buttermilk and Clorox on my own tongue and teeth" (18). Im weiteren Verlauf seiner Jugendjahre holt er sich gerne auch in öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln einen runter und penetriert mit viele Freude, "American Pie" lässt grüßen, die dazu geeigneten Lebensmittel im Hause seiner Eltern. Schließlich wird aus ihm, den als solchen empfundenen Fesseln seiner jüdischen Herkunft entfliehend, ein erfolgreicher Anwalt und totaler Beziehungskrüppel.

Braucht man für diese Story fast 300 Seiten? Mir scheint, eine knackige Kurzgeschichte wäre hier die bessere Wahl gewesen. Zu seiner Zeit mag "Portnoy's Complaint" ein provozierender Tabubruch gewesen sein. Aus heutiger Sicht verbreitet er aber leider eher Langeweile als Schrecken und gehört somit zu Roths wenigen schlechten Büchern. Mögen die Stockholmer ihm das verzeihen...
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Classic!, 15. November 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Ok kiddies! For those of you who didn't like this book (and said so in your reviews), allow me to shed some light on the situation. For those of you who didn't like the protagonist of the story (Alexander Portnoy), the reason is: Phillip Roth didn't want you to. Portnoy is not supposed to be a brave gentleman or hero. He is an anti-hero; an invention of Dostoevsky's. Alexander Portnoy is a modernized version of the self-loathing "underground man" archetype that Dostoevsky invented in "Notes from the Underground" and reappeared throughout the rest of his works. He is SUPPOSED to be self-loathing. You are SUPPOSED to be angered by him at times.
Secondly, for those of you who did not like the "stream of consciousness" writing technique that Roth employed, perhaps you should ask yourself what writing style would have worked better. A straightforward narrative certainly wouldn't have captured all the emotion and frustration of the protagonist that this style does. Also, with the book being in the form of a 250 page "kvetch", it rarely gets boring because the prose follows the thoughts of the protagonist and humorous antecdotes "jump" out of nowhere throughout the text.
Lastly, please do not read this book if you are easily offended by sexual references. For those of you who found the book more disgusting than humorous, what can you expect from a book in which chapter 2 is entitled "Whacking Off"?
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Portnoy's Complaint (Roman)
Portnoy's Complaint (Roman) von Philip Roth (Taschenbuch - 18. Mai 1995)
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