Fiction: Sabbath’s Theater

Our October challenge book. A re-read for both of us.

GirlReaction: This is my all-time favorite Philip Roth book. So dark and yet so funny. But sadly I was way too swamped with school and couldn’t finish. I’ll re-read it this summer maybe. Hopefully. 🙂

DadReaction: Hilarious. This may be the funniest book i’ve ever read. I didn’t remember how sad it was–it’s savagely funny but there’s also a devastating sense of loss, raving self destruction and anger. His unreasonableness was just hilarious and unstoppable, in your face, even when people are trying to help him. A real exercise in self sabotage–anything even remotely good he will end up ruining. He’s also so self-aborbed that he defines people solely by how they relate to them and is always confused by their other attributes. The end is a real punch.

This books gets loose from some of the usual Roth tightness: a hymn to excess. Not just in the 60s “good excess” type way, but ruminating on how horrible excess can be when you’re trashing everything around you. You do forget the edge the book has–how harsh it is, even in its humor.

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