Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth

Of course it's vulgar. How could it not be? The sustained cry of a ferociously perplexed, ferociously lucid New York City Jew—you expected maybe Jane Austen? Roth's barbaric yawp of a book was a literary instance of shock and awe, a dirty comic masterpiece that can stand with Tristram Shandy. (For the masturbation scenes alone it will endure forever.) It's also, once you crawl out of the rubble of its most infamous passages, tender and charitable, and not just towards the main character. How else to describe a book that, while it charts the wild arc of Portnoy's sexual and romantic misadventures—all of this being recounted by him to his therapist—discovers exactly the most painful question about relations between children and parents. "Doctor what should I rid myself of, tell me, the hatred... or the love?"— R.L.

- Time

The 234th greatest fiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 52nd on The Modern Library | 100 Best Novels (Modern Library)
  2. - 63rd on Entertainment Weekly's Top 100 Novels (Entertainment Weekly)
  3. - 96th on 100 Essential Books (Bravo! Magazine)
  4. - 100 Best Novels Written in English (The Guardian)
  5. - 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (The Book)
  6. - TIME Magazine All Time 100 Novels (TIME Magazine)
  7. - The New York Public Library's Books of the Century (New York Public Library)
  8. - 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime (Amazon.com (USA))
  9. - Best Books Ever (bookdepository.com)

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
El mal de Portnoy / Portnoy's Complaint (Spanish Edition) Paperback 1245845 $11.23 $7.29 2010
Philip Roth: Novels 1967-1972: When She Was Good / Portnoy's Complaint / Our Gang / The Breast (Library of America) Hardcover 453118 $18.01 $5.00 2005
Portnoy's Complaint Paperback 31634 $8.64 $1.61 1994
Portnoy's Complaint Pirated 1ST Edition Hardcover 1400803 $52.76
Portnoy's Complaint Hardcover 605935 $0.01
Portnoy's Complaint Mass Market Paperback 1123847 $1.00
Portnoy's Complaint Paperback 2582653 $8.00 $0.75 1972
El Mal De Portnoy Paperback 5027858 $17.52 $17.84
Portnoy's Complaint Kindle Edition 19346 $9.99 2010
Portnoy's Complaint Audio CD 895700 $7.05 $4.50 2009
El mal de Portnoy (Spanish Edition) Kindle Edition 846900 $6.99 2013
Portnoys Complaint" Paperback 765428 $11.54 $4.53 1994
PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT. Hardcover 247226 $7.46
Portnoys Complaint Mass Market Paperback 380825 $34.95 $2.50
PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT Paperback 3202773 $3.74
Portnoy s Complaint Hardcover 1536307 $38.04 $6.23 1969
Portnoy's Complaint Mass Market Paperback 1333894 $19.98 $2.44 1984
Portnoy's Complaint Paperback 4839655 $26.67 $0.01 1991
Portnoy's Complaint Audio CD 1404444 $4.49 $4.49 2009
Portnoy's Complaint Paperback 4064445 $5.81 $0.46 1995
Portnoy's Complaint Hardcover 149620 $34.46 $0.01 2002