Fionnuala's Reviews > Portnoy's Complaint

Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth
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Jan 25, 15

Read from April 09 to 22, 2012

Smart, funny, outrageous, and totally irreverent concerning parents and religion, and sex, of course. For 1969, at least. And even though there have been reams of material written since about these subjects, this book doesn't feel dated. However Roth wasn't the only one tackling such subjects at that time, although he was probably the funniest. In the early sixties, in conservative catholic Ireland, John McGahern braved the wrath of the entire country when he dared to state some nasty truths about the brutality of parents, the hypocrisy of religion and the sexual obsessions of teenage boys in such books as 'The Barracks' and 'The Dark', both banned for several decades. Somehow, Portnoy's over protected childhood in Newark seems quite ordinary compared to McGahern's.
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