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Book Review of Sabbath's Theater

Sabbath's Theater
Sabbath's Theater
Author: Philip Roth
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Hardcover
perryfran avatar reviewed on + 1172 more book reviews

Finished reading this one last night and I have to say that this novel is not for everyone especially if you are easily offended. It tells the story of Mickey Sabbath, the classic 64-year old dirty old man! The novel is profane, perverse, and sometimes on the edge of disgusting in describing the sexual exploits of Sabbath who was a finger puppeteer in New York that would casually expose the breasts of a young student with one hand while performing his act with the other. This is one of the milder aspects of his sexual career - I won't describe some of what he did with his lover Drenka... Overall, I found this novel to be fascinating telling the story of Sabbath in a sometimes hard-to-follow stream-of-consciousness style that shifts from the present (1994) to his childhood during WWII and jumps throughout to different periods of his life and his thoughts on love, sex, and death. He includes his own epitaph in the book which I think describes him perfectly:

Morris Sabbath
Beloved Whoremonger, Seducer,
Sodomist, Abuser of Women,
Destroyer of Morals, Ensnarer of Youth,

I remember reading Roth's "Portnoy's Complaint" when I was in high school in the late 60s and being somewhat shocked at his vivid descriptions of sexual conduct. Well Roth hasn't mellowed in all those years!