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on 27 November 2014
Not quite Roth at his very best - but as his very best is very good indeed that still makes this top drawer. As ever his work challenges the reader and pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable in contemporary literature. Roth manages to make the protagonist sympathetic despite his many failings and deals openly with the fading sexual prowess of an aging Don Juan in the twilight of his years. Warning! Do not read this book if you are easily offended!
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on 17 March 2018
Not a scene or word out of place. In this novel Roth seems to have worked off and outrun some of the more self-conscious, self-controlled aspects that can mire earlier (and later: Exit Ghost) novels down. Sabbath's Theatre is a rare instance of a writer finding no gap between form and content, voice or subject. Ecstatic.
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on 6 December 2013
Gripped by the novel from the start. At the risk of using the old "page-turner" adage, I literally could not tear myself away from this roller coaster ride straight out of Newark! New to the Roth novels (my third and not my last) I was "stunned" by his audacious style of writing. Page after wonderful page of surprises and not for the faint-hearted either. The perfect fiction which leaves an indelible print on the mind long after the last page has been closed.
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on 1 September 2012
Sabbath's Theater finds Roth on top form, challenging and sometimes reactionary, probing the angst of a generation. His hero, Mickey Sabbath, is a grotesque egotist whose career as a puppeteer is an analogue of his self-absorbed, control-freak nature. Throw in the guilt of Sabbath's two failed marriages, a raft of messy sexagenarian couplings, and familiar themes from his other works, and Roth is comfortably at home with his subject-matter. In the end the semi-suicidal Sabbath is sustained not by sex, love or family, but by his capacity to go on loathing: 'How could he leave? Everything he hated was here.'
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on 27 May 2016
Not for the easily offended
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on 14 July 2015
Damn good.
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on 7 March 2014
This is a brilliant book. We are seduced into sympathy for , and complicity with, a character whose amoral activities we would certainly deplore in real life. Very funny and a great read.
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on 10 June 2014
It was not what I expected. I was totally engrossed in a character who seems despicable yet he charms and fascinates and seduces you into reading . Sexy, sad and absurd.
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on 24 April 2015
A masteriece. Buy this with your eyes closed!
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on 14 August 2015
Darkly comic and at times quite disgusting, this rumination on sex, death and then more sex told through the eyes of the wonderfully obnoxious Mickey Sabbath, is one of Roth's very best books. Not for the squeamish or the easily offended, but a thoroughly absorbing read; and like all Philip Roth's great novels, you just don't want it to end. If only he did sequels....
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