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Portnoy's Complaint: A disorder in which strongly felt ethical and altruistic impulses are perpetually warring with extreme sexual longings, often of a perverse nature...
Portnoy's Complaint (1969) is an American novel by Philip Roth. The novel tells the humorous monologue of Alex Portnoy, a sex-obsessed Jewish youth who confesses his often bizarre sexual encounters to his psychotherapist. Though it was originally banned in several countries due to its explicit content, it is now often ranked among the greatest novels of the 20th century, and is one of Roth's most popular books, along with American Pastoral.
- Author Avatar: Roth and Alex Portnoy share a date of birth, a hometown and an ethnic/religious background, so this trope is inescapable.
- Country Matters: One sexually explicit chapter (hell, they all are) is titled "Cunt Crazy."
- A Date with Rosie Palms: An entire chapter, "Whacking Off," is dedicated to Alex's experiences with masturbation.
- Jewish Mother: Combined with Freudian Excuse and probably Oedipus Complex. Alex attributes his sexual disappointments to his overbearing mother.
- Known Only By Their Nickname: The Monkey, most notably.
- Shiksa Goddess: Alex's girlfriends — The Monkey, The Pumpkin and The Pilgrim — are this to him.
- The Shrink: Alex is narrating this entire book to his psychotherapist.