At the age of sixty-two, Philip Roth ought to have outgrown the role of enfant terrible, but he insists on giving it the old college try. His exhibitionism has a didactic streak. He’s flashing us for our own good. Although the slick promotional brochure for Sabbath’s Theater[1] pictures Roth looking distinguished and debonair, like a Dewar’s Profile of the man of letters at leisure, the message of the book itself is that this literary success still hosts a wild man within. His latest antihero and designated sinner, Mickey Sabbath, is a horny geezer with a white beard. “Ascetic Mickey Sabbath, at it still into his sixties. The Monk of Fucking. The Evangelist of Fornication.” Catching his estranged wife shacked up with a younger woman, he thumps his chest and roars like Tarzan the ape-man, shaking the entire house. A...

 

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