National Book Award Winner 1995
This is not a good gift for your mother-in-law. Mickey Sabbath is one of the most memorable characters I have ever read. The man is despicable, and I couldn't wait to see where the perverted former puppeteer's life would go next. One of Roth's greatest creations requires a deep sense of humor, but if you have it, pick up Sabbath's Theater. Due to its risqué subject manner, it's one of the great underappreciated masterpieces of the late 20th century. Recommended By Jeffrey J., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
As much as he wants to be the Marquis de Sade, he is not. As much as he wants to be seventeen, he is not. As much as he wants to be dead, he is not. He is Mickey Sabbath, the aging, raging powerhouse whose savage effrontery and mocking audacity are at the heart of Philip Roth's new novel. Once a scandalously inventive puppeteer, Sabbath at sixty-four is still defiantly antagonistic and exceedingly libidinous. But after the death of his long-time mistress an erotic free spirit whose adulterous daring exceeds even his own Sabbath embarks on a turbulent journey into his past. Bereft and grieving, besieged by the ghosts of those who loved and hated him most, he contrives a succession of farcical disasters that take him to the brink of madness and extinction.
"A great work...Roth's richest, most rewarding novel...funny and profound...as powerful as writing can be." The New York Times Book Review
"Roth's extraordinary new novel is an astonishment and a scourge, and one of the strangest achievements of fictional prose that I have ever read....It is very exquisite." New Republic
Sabbath's Theater is a comic creation of epic proportions, and Mickey Sabbath is its gargantuan hero. Once a scandalously inventive puppeteer, Sabbath at sixty-four is still defiantly antagonistic and exceedingly libidinous. But after the death of his long-time mistress—an erotic free spirit whose adulterous daring surpassed even his own—Sabbath embarks on a turbulent journey into his past. Bereft and grieving, besieged by the ghosts of those who loved and hated him most, he contrives a succession of farcical disasters that take him to the brink of madness and extinction.
About the Author
In the 1990s Philip Roth won America's four major literary awards in succession: the National Book Critics Circle Award for Patrimony (1991), the PEN/Faulkner Award for Operation Shylock (1993), the National Book Award for Sabbath's Theater (1995), and the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for American Pastoral (1997). He won the Ambassador Book Award of the English-Speaking Union for I Married a Communist (1998); in the same year he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House. Previously he won the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Counterlife (1986) and the National Book Award for his first book, Goodbye, Columbus (1959). In 2000 he published The Human Stain, concluding a trilogy that depicts the ideological ethos of postwar America. For The Human Stain Roth received his second PEN/Faulkner Award as well as Britain's W. H. Smith Award for the Best Book of the Year. In 2001 he received the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction, given every six years "for the entire work of the recipient." In 2005 The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians Award for "the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003& #151; 2004." In 2007 Roth received the PEN/Faulkner Award for Everyman.