A book written by Philip Roth
and one considered to be a major work in American literature.
This is a comical yet touching story about Alexander Portnoy and the pains of growing up in an extremely Jewish household, along with growing up to be perversely obsessed with masturbation and sex. As he ages, he finds the things that turn him on the most are simultaneously the things he finds disgusting, reflecting the self-loathing he incurs through his experiences. The book is one gigantic couch trip as he rants and raves about this sick dichotomy to a head doctor. The piece has been considered controversial to many, not only because of the frank sexual content but because of his "cruel" mockery of a Jewish family. When reading this I found his non-stop ramblings terribly funny, albeit disturbing at times. One line that still puts a smile on my face, "That's the real struggle; to be bad- and enjoy it! That's what makes men of us boys, Mother... Let's put the ID back in YID!"
A joke about the book, which is popularly known as "The Masturbation Novel," is "I'd like to meet the author, but I don't want to shake him by the hand."
"Portnoy's Complaint" was written in 1969, though you would never guess while reading it. Other books by Roth include:
"The Ghost Writer"
"The Human Stain"
"When She Was Good"
"The Dying Animal"