BOOKS: AGING DISGRACEFULLY

PHILIP ROTH'S LATEST COMPLAINER IS LECHEROUS, MEANSPIRITED, POLITICALLY INCORRECT--AND, AFTER ALL THESE YEARS, STILL FUNNY

MORRIS (MICKEY) SABBATH is a 64-year-old former puppeteer with a prostate gland that belongs in the urology hall of fame. In addition, the randy creation of Philip Roth's new comic novel, Sabbath's Theater (Houghton Mifflin; 451 pages; $24.95), is an Olympic-class misanthrope, an example of homo invectus so addicted to wrath that he rejects suicide on the ground that "everything he hated was here."

The origins of Sabbath's outrage lie scattered among his failures and stubborn refusal to understand why he is not loved and rewarded for his disorderly conduct. He once had a street act in New York City in...

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