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Portnoy's Complaint

Critique • Quotes

Portnoy's Complaint first editionFirst edition
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First publication

Literary form


Writing language

Author's country
United States

Approx. 80,000 words

Notable lines

She was so deeply embedded in my consciousness that for the first years of school I seem to have believed that each of my teachers was my mother in disguise.

— First line

Dreams? If only they had been! But I don't need dreams, Doctor, that's why I hardly have them—because I have this life instead. With me it all happens in broad daylight!


The legend engraved on the face of the Jewish nickel—on the body of every Jewish child!—not IN GOD WE TRUST, but SOMEDAY YOU'LL BE A PARENT AND YOU'LL KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE.


So [said the doctor]. Now we may perhaps to begin. Yes?

— Last lines


Critique • Quotes