Tuesday, November 19, 2002


I finished reading Philip Roth's 1967 classic "Portnoy's Complaint" this morning. It very well might be the funniest book I've ever read. The sexually-charged novel about a man in his thirties relating his life story to a psychiatrist is not only a highly influential work in the realm of modern Jewish humor, but the experts consider it one of the century's hundred best novels. Frankly, it surprises me that "Portnoy's" made the Board's list, considering the book is filled with some deeply dark sexual material. But it's a pleasant surprise, as I have no objections to this book being recognized as legendary. I found the neurotic revelations to be both courageous and hysterical, an obvious forefunner to the comedy of Woody Allen and "Seinfeld". I rarely laugh out loud while reading, but this book cracked me up on many occasions and even contained something most comedies fail to deliver, a formidably funny punch line.

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