Monday, December 30

Book: Portnoy's Complaint, Philip Roth Click for more info

The only reason I had even considered reading Portnoy's Complaint was due to a recommendation an (albeit anonymous) commenter made way back in 2011 while responding to my The Catcher in the Rye book review. In contrast to movie or music recommendations, with most book recommendations I receive I get I do put them in a list; and hence I do eventually get around to reading them.

And as with most book recommendations I get, I really did love reading Portnoy's Complaint. First of all it was pretty much purely character driven - this was almost by default considering it's written as a monologue - and there was barely any plot to be found. Secondly it's wonderfully written and oh so funny - I don't think any other book has gotten me more bemused stares from passengers on the commute due to my incessant giggling. And thirdly, as a thirty something single Asian guy (or perhaps not?) it was extremely easy to relate to - if not in the detail certainly in the family dynamics Portnoy describes as well as his expertise in being a curmudgeon.

The book was also very rude, but humorously so if such a thing is possible - at the very least it didn't make me cringe or feel uncomfortable like I was with, say, American Psycho or some of the chicklit I've had the pleasure of reading. Although some of it did get pretty graphic, I really don't think it was enough to put anyone off the book - or in any case it's worth taking the hit for anyway.

Anon.786, the commenter who recommended the book to me, actually put it quite well in describing it as Catcher for people of our age group. And like Anon.786 I can't help but recommend it now that I've read it for myself.

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