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Patrimony Audiobook

Patrimony: A True Story

This deeply affecting memoir focuses on the time in the author's life when he learned of his father's terminal brain cancer. A remarkable portrait of a father and son, this work confronts death and fear, and, ultimately, extracts the truth of what it means to love and be loved.
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Publisher's Summary

Acclaimed author Philip Roth's Patrimony won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was chosen by Time as best nonfiction book of the year. This deeply affecting memoir focuses on the time in the author's life when he learned of his father's terminal brain cancer. A remarkable portrait of a father and son, this work confronts death and fear, and, ultimately, extracts the truth of what it means to love and be loved.

©1991 Philip Roth; (P)2003 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

"A tough-minded, beautifully written memoir. . . . It smacks of honesty and truthfulness on every page." (San Francisco Chronicle)

"A deeply resonant portrait of a father and son. . . . Roth has looked past all comfort and condolence to find the truth—about himself and his father; about death and the fear of it; and about the absolute vulnerability to which love condemns us all." (Chicago Tribune)

"In a cunningly straightforward way, Patrimony tells one of the central true stories many Americans share nowadays. . . . Such telling is a marvel of artful wit and vigor. . . . It is the triumphant art of the literal . . . the gloriously pragmatic, unpredictable genius of Philip Roth's narrative gifts." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (50 )
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4.4 (34 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Charles Princeton, NJ, USA 06-05-09
    Charles Princeton, NJ, USA 06-05-09
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    "GREAT AND MOVING BOOK"

    I am a Roth fan, but I had never before bothered with any of his non-fiction. I am very glad that I listened to this moving memoir. It reads like a Roth novel, but with rawer emotion. Anyone who has or has had an aged or ill parent would be moved by this account of the last year of the life of the author's father. The book is not didactic, but it teaches several lessons. I was moved to buy the hardback version, as I am sure that this is a book I will want to return to often.
    Also the narration by George Guidall is excellent.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Wyoming 10-08-14
    George Wyoming 10-08-14

    Mountainbiker, Skier, Riverman, Dzedo

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Roth and Guidall - the perfect audiobook marriage"
    Would you listen to Patrimony again? Why?

    Yes. Text by Roth. Performance by Guidall. This is one of the best marriages of author/reader/subject out there in audiobook land.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This is a book about the relationship between a loving middle aged son (Philip Roth who was in his late 50s at the time) and his aging widowed father. I read a lot of Roth and I understand why some people would think he's self obsessed, narcissistic and self absorbed. I don't see him that way. This book is one of the reasons I don't. To write this well, unflichingly, sensitively and lovingly about one's father is something quite rare. Who else?


    What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Guidall delivers the goods! He doesn't do impersonations. What he does is very subtle. He suggests characters by intonation and pace. He is an entertaining reader but does not allow his reading to usurp or occupy center stage. It is always in the service of the story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    You could do that. But the writing and reading is of such high quality that I wanted to savor it.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are a middle aged person who has aging parents or someone close to you then this is a book that I highly recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    vckitty28 04-24-16
    vckitty28 04-24-16
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    "Patrimony"
    Would you try another book from Philip Roth and/or George Guidall?

    At this point, I would not. There are many other books on my to-read list that interest me more.


    Would you recommend Patrimony to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would not recommend Patrimony unless they will find it relatable. I would also recommend either reading it or a different performance.


    Would you be willing to try another one of George Guidall’s performances?

    I don't think I would unless it was the only one. Volume changed too much between character's voices and at some points hard to understand.


    Do you think Patrimony needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, it has closure.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Rogers San Antonio, TX, USA 03-13-16
    N. Rogers San Antonio, TX, USA 03-13-16 Member Since 2008
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    "Painful!"

    I'm not saying this book is not well written or accurate, but it was exceptionally painful for me to listen to at this stage in my life. I read it only because it was selected by our book club and completing it was an obligation. What happened to Herman Roth at the end of his life is my greatest fear--nothing, and I mean nothing, would be worse for me than what happened to this man. And if either of my children ever wrote about it or described these kinds of indignities in context with me, I would haunt them forever!

    I'm sure that Philip Roth meant this memoir as a tribute to his father, and in many ways it was. Yet…his father was a man of great pride and repeatedly begged his son to "never tell anyone this has happened." The son lied so often, and in the end, he shared it all with, not only their immediate family, but with the entire world. Personally, I would not ever want that to happen.

    I finished this book as quickly as I could because, until Herman Roth was finally out of his suffering, there was a dark pall hanging over me. I resolve, that if it is in my power, this will never happen to me. It is not the way I want to leave our beautiful world…to be remembered at the end as a diminished, suffering human being.

    These comments reflect only MY opinion, and I don't expect anyone else to share my feelings or beliefs. If the author had not written effectively and clearly about his father's last years, I'm sure my reaction would have been far more moderate.

    And now…on to something far more positive, at least from my perspective...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eva Shavano Park, TX, United States 03-09-16
    eva Shavano Park, TX, United States 03-09-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Sad, but lovely"

    True life, cherished life, a loving son deals with his father's end of life. I found this story to be quite sad, perhaps because my own Jewish mother is 82, and I fear my time with her may be getting short. But the story was just lovely, and I aspire to feel the thing this son did, while he strengthened the already strong bond between a father and son. Bravo.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ag 09-06-15
    ag 09-06-15 Member Since 2016
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    "A Very Human Story of a Father and a Son"
    If you could sum up Patrimony in three words, what would they be?

    Moving, Compelling, Soulful


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Philp Roth himself. He was a dutiful son, a compassionate son, who took care of his father and stood by him right to the end. He was giving of unquestionable love to the man who had brought him up, albeit having to deal with his father's demands and temperament which at times was challenging.


    What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

    His mimicking of the Jewish New York accent was quite interesting.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Given the stage of my own life and my position as a son in similar circumstances and challenges, I associated extremely closely with the book.


    Any additional comments?

    A must read for all who take care of their parents, as this will give them a perspective and help in getting to terms with what it is to be a son or daughter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven 02-20-12
    Steven 02-20-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Roth Always Amazes"

    This is Philip Roth in a whole different light. This is such a personal story and he deftly handles the events leading to the death of his father. He includes stories about his dad that are highly emotional to the writer but are handled the way a great writer like Roth treats his art. This is an opportunity to see one of today's most talented writers as vulnerable as the rest of us. Time well spent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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