[Read] ➫ Sabbath's Theater By Philip Roth – Higo2cam.info
Nerves of steel are required for this 450pp assault on decency, indecency and all things neither decent nor indecent, but which probably involve sexagenarians masturbating in a teenage girl s knicker drawer Mickey Sabbath is a monster with an unstoppable capacity for sex, lechery and outright molestation, plus a proclivity for sledgehammering all relationships between human beings who aspire to behave like semi respectable grown ups Like Simon Lynxx in D Keith Mano s Take Five, he has a convenient knack for speaking in extremely unlikely literary sentences at a level of polished erudition no Harvard graduate cum Oscar Wilde descendant could possibly achieve, and is also such a prick of such catastrophic prickliness, your patience and tolerance levels are pushed to absolute snapping point at no point would this man s painful death be anything less than welcome Instead of being locked up within five minutes for being a dangerous sexual deviant, Sabbath has reached his mid sixties with a backlog of lovers with whom he has fulfilled all his perversions, and is currently lamenting the death of his East European fantasy lover and his sacking from professor of puppetry A grotesque comedic reverie and revelry , Sabbath s Theater should be read as little than an audacious, linguistically explosive piece of outr comedy If you read it as a serious novel, you will no doubt aspire to strangle Mr Roth. After the death of his longtime mistress, disgraced former puppeteer Mickey Sabbath sinks deeper and deeper into a prison of depression First off, Sabbath s Theater won the National Book award in 1995 It s not surprising since it was superbly written On the other hand, it s also dirtier than a stack of used Longarm s Seriously Every time I thought it couldn t get any dirtier, Sabbath did something like masturbate on his mistress s grave.There really isn t much of a plot Sabbath s mistress dies and his life comes apart, forcing him to explore his past Good thing he has the memories of unbelievably numerous conquests to dwell on Sabbath s such a pervert that I couldn t seem to read than fifty pages of this at a time I cringed when a friend took pity on him only to catch him in the process of masturbating to a picture of his college age daughter.There are themes and other novely things in Sabbath s Theater but it s hard to see past the river of semen to get to them It seems to be about how people are unable to escape the prisons they create for themselves And fornication.It s a testament to Philip Roth s skill as a writer that he made me feel sorry for a dirty old man like Mickey Sabbath Actually, I don t think there s a character in this book I liked I wonder if the next National Book award winner I read will have this much smut in it I m sad tonight I just checked and I ve run out of one star rated books to review I ve had my fun with all the really dreadful barrel scrapings I ve read over the years, and now I have to move into the two star category Which isn t half as amusing Because now I have to be all wisely judging well on the one hand this, and the other hand that, you know, blah blah So anyway, Philip The Roth I need to explain that I went through this phase where a certain particular person I will refer to the person as a person, the word bears no undertone of resentment nor yet intimates ill disguised hostility gave me to understand that Philip Roth was to literature as We Are The World was to the starving millions So I read a whole heap And I was not convinced In fact I may say I was the opposite of convinced I was unvinced I was devinced I will say that occasionally, like every 120 pages in a long long book, you get a pretty good laugh from Sabbath s Theater, always ALWAYS of the O MY GOD that s so disgusting variety or the pages of spewed forth insults variety That s not bad, I guess I was going to say that s than you get from The Bible But actually, that s exactly what you get from the Bible O my God that s so disgusting followed some time later by pages of hideous insults There you go. I storm and I roar, and I fall in a twist, And missing my whore, I bugger my fist Grieving, Suicidal Puppeteer and Master Manipulator of WomenSwaths of this 1995 National Book Award winner pulsate with the prurient, the pornographic ponderings of Philip Roth, who vaunts his venery as a sex tagenarian, plunging into the piercing tale of Mickey Sabbath, a 64 year old primal puppeteer retired with a penchant for prostitutes and loose women, bawdy bopping, and, generally, close encounters of the lewd kind Sabbath delights in being labeled a dirty old man, and the book flashes between legion acts of unfaithful, intimate intercourse and episodes of phallic farce, such as Sabbath using the dirty panties of a friend s co ed daughter for self gratis in the friend s tub I mostly agree with the assessment of Edward Porter, the National Book Award s blogger for this novel, who described the novel, in part, as a celebration of the inexhaustible human need for carnality as creative act, as vindication of individuality, as rebellion against failed marriage and other bad choices, and, most importantly, as fuck you to the ever present specter of death For much of the novel, Sabbath contemplates suicide while unconsolably grieving for Drenka, his lustful recently deceased, long term partner in unfaithful sexual hi jinks Sabbath repeatedly flashes back to their escapades In these, Roth shows his mastery of lecherous linguistics Lately, when Sabbath suckled at Drenka s uberous breasts uberous, the root of exuberant, which is itself ex plus uberare, to be fruitful, to overflow like Juno lying prone in Tintoretto s painting where the Milky Way is coming out of her tit suckled with an unrelenting frenzy that caused Drenka to roll her head back ecstatically back and to groan as Juno herself may once have groaned , I feel it deep down in my c , he was pierced with the sharpest of longings for his late little mother By censoring this word, I m not being prudish I can only think of a couple of words in the English lexicon that I detest, and I simply will not write it out. I really wanted to like this book I m a fan of Roth s work and I m used to his ranting style and the way he unfolds a story, so I stuck with it for quite a time about half the book But in the end it wore me down I intensely disliked Mickey Sabbath from the start well, I guess you re supposed to but despite this I did enjoy some of the early episodes and found some parts hugely amusing This, however, was not enough to sustain my interest long enough to survive an incomprehensible section where he returns to New York to attend a funeral at which point I realised I wasn t looking forward to whatever came next and decided I had no appetite to turn another page.It s no doubt a clever piece of writing and Sabbath is a unique character one in which most of us can find a piece of ourself but for me this just wasn t enough It s probably worth than one star, but as this is my standard score for any book I don t finish, one star it is. In my opinion, this is the finest work of American fiction in the last 25 years.Mickey Sabbath goes further than any other of Roth s characters Each time Roth comes to an intersection in this novel, each time he has to decide whether to stop, slow down or accelerate, Roth goes faster.This novel is a work of genius, perhaps the only novel of Roth s from one cover to another about which that can be said.The best novels are those that entertain on multiple levels and after multiple readings I have read Sabbath s Theater twice The first time, I was overwhelmed by its relentless sexual content The second time, I found far death than sex.This novel has some of the best parts of Roth s other novels in it The treatment of Sabbath s love for his brother in childhood is even better than the family s trip to Washington DC, in The Plot Against America and that trip is the only good part of that whole dreadful novel.The sexual introspection Sabbath shows as brutal and assiduous as it is presents Portnoy all grown up after 25 years of reading and thinking.And Mickey Sabbath thinks better than both David Kepesh and Nathan Zuckerman.My advice to future readers is this Read the first sentence and decide if this novel might be for you Sabbath s Theater does not hedge or relent after that if the first sentence is too much, don t go any further.But if you do venture further, you ll encounter contemporary American literature at its strongest. Okay, now I get it Now I get the whole Philip Roth thing book prize judges quitting in protest over him, the sheer volume of those praising and condemning him, even what I ve called elsewhere absurd the suggestion that Roth is a self hating Jew I still think this labeling applied to anyone is absurd I get what all the fuss is about.Or how about that recent incident where Roth told a young writer to quit, because the writing life is hell A bunch of us, including Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love oy vey , called him on this ridiculous claim because, hey, our life rocks We write books Roth should stop the silly moaning and groaning about his privileges.I get all the fuss about this too.But guess what if you re Philip Roth, the writing life is hell You will die doing it It will kill you Even if you retire and stop the fiction, it s terminal You will die an ugly death Philip Roth, I will mourn you I will mourn your death.Now, I feel like I get it I read Sabbath s Theater, which is only my second Roth, and my head is spinning This book is, in short, an outrage Let me just tell you some of my wild, unrehearsed thoughts.The book is have no illusions pornographic I m not a fan of writing graphically about sex First, I think it s silly Second, I think it s silly Third, I think it s silly Fourth, I think it s often but not always unnecessary Sometimes it works I m not much of a writerly prude This book grossed me out, though In fact, when I told my perv husband that the book was a bit much for me and he asked me to show it to him like this he made a grab for it I snatched it away I needed to protect his delicate perv ears, and I ll be damned if he gets any weird ideas I don t care how much we re getting along, we are not peeing on each other And I hate to break it to you, my beloved we re not even bringing home some young girl Nope Not gonna happen Don t call me Drenka Not now Not ever The book is gross.That said, it s brilliant.So how should you read it Or should you read it at all I m going to have to be elitist here, and say something snooty It s not for everyone It s not for my mom It s not for many of my friends It s not for my kids, for sure.I don t know if it s for you you ll have to make that call Here are some miscellaneous thoughts on this amazing book.The book is called comedic in a million places I m wondering who these freaks are who think it s funny This book is tragic It s tragic is an epic way It s probably one of the best portraits of humanity truly abandoned by God Existentialist man, alone What does a man without a god really look like I m not sure what to make of this comedic thing This is a deeply sad picture of a human without any meaning in his life whatsoever It s painful to watch Mickey Sabbath, puppeteer for the Indecent Theater get all those ironies , try for suicide, try to get murdered Dear God.Sexual depravity really isn t my thing I m depraved in other ways but I think Roth reveals depravity with the kind of truth that, well, I ve never encountered before I have to be honest this is why I will highly recommend this book Roth writes better about the heart of man than any other author I ve ever read Let me tell you this, and you can take it or leave it I started drooling when my Love Slave was called wincingly candid Oh, I love wincing candor I blushed I flushed Okay, I beamed with you know what But Roth That man takes wincing candor to new heights I ve got nothing on him.In short, Roth exposes the heart of human darkness in breathtaking candor, and you might want to read it Though I think you should start with American Pastoral, which I did like better and it s not sexually explicit at all I ve got other thoughts It struck me, after I finished, that I used to be one of those stupid girls who liked bad boys but those girls are full of s % Those girls have no clue what real bad boys are like Roth has written about the real bad boy and, trust me, none of us silly girls would want anything to do with him We re just talking Roth is smarter than us You want to see what a real bad boy is like Go here It s not fun Real bad boys are gross.There is this part of me that thinks that anyone capable of writing this is probably a vile human being Of course, I thought that when I first read Nabokov too I don t any What I do think, however, is that it s valid for Roth to suggest that the writing life is brutal For anyone to delve so deeply into this kind of depravity, suffering is not so far off I do not doubt Roth s genuine sorrow A privileged life of sorrow You know, this book interestingly enough is similar to my all time favorite book in the world, The Catcher in the Rye Both books are about protagonists with dead brothers These deaths were woven into their beings intrinsic to their experiences in the world, coloring everything What a fascinating contrast to make Holden Caulfield and Mickey Sabbath Mostly make no bones about it this book is about man without God.On his life as artist The main thing is to do what you want His cockiness, his self exalted egoism, the menacing charm of a potentially villainous artist were insufferable to a lot of people and he made enemies easily, including a number of theater professionals who believed that his was an unseemly, brilliantly disgusting talent that had yet to discover a suitably seemly means of disciplined expression Doing what you want Where does it lead, after all Like American Pastoral, this book ends perfectly I won t give it away, but it s true It s right How can one read Philip Roth without being infected One can t So there are other questions How will you be infected Is it worth it For what end For myself, the answer is in the wincing candor I d like to be a student in the wincingly candid He gets so close to the soul, so close indeed. This is Roth s masterpiece and one of the best books I have read, morbidly funny, disturbing ,and at times deeply touching, Mickey Sabbath is one hell of a creation and has the behaviour of a complete perverted lunatic one minute and a caring, tender and quite sad person the next Told in flashback sequences and the present day, mainly focusing on his troubled relationship with both wife and mistress, with moments from his days as a puppeteer in New York What grabs me is how things can be pretty distasteful and rude but always with meaning not just for the sake of it The balance between the comic and the tender is spot on, Roth pulls it off so well I guess it feels like a tragic comedy but is so much than that Moments in the last third of reading were really heart rendering. Winner Of The National Book Award For FictionSabbath S Theater Is A Comic Creation Of Epic Proportions, And Mickey Sabbath Is Its Gargantuan Hero At Sixty Four Sabbath Is Still Defiantly Antagonistic And Exceedingly Libidinous Sex Is An Obsession And A Principle, An Instrument Of Perpetual Misrule In His Daily Existence But After The Death Of His Long Time Mistress An Erotic Free Spirit Whose Great Taste For The Impermissible Matches His Own Sabbath Embarks On A Turbulent Journey Into His Past Bereft And Grieving, Tormented By The Ghosts Of Those Who Loved And Hated Him, He Contrives A Succession Of Farcical Disasters That Take Him To The Brink Of Madness And Extinction. How could he kill himself now that he had Morty s things Something always came along to make you keep living, goddamnit SabbathWell it is Philip Roth and he can turn a phrase better than anybody So my mediocre rating shouldn t act to discourage anyone from reading this 1995 National Book Award winner However, the sex crazed 64 year old Sabbath is not a likable protagonist in anyone s worldview Much of the focus is on crude descriptions of his thoughts and escapades When his long time lover dies, he contemplates suicide and because he has a consciousness of guilt it makes him a marginally interesting character Although Sabbath s Theater is a comical novel in a twisted sense the protagonist s contemplation of suicide did not seem very convincing It s pretty clear Sabbath is not depressed per se but he knew he was a despicable guy so he perhaps should end it all I will say that the last lengthy scene at the cemetery was masterfully wrought and it was nearly absent of the sexual descriptions that early in the story so dominate and later distract 3 stars More literary value than the stars indicate Novels about irredeemable characters are not my usual cup of tea.