Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 1998Philip Roth presents a vivid portrait of an innocent man being swept away by a current of conflict and violence in his own backyard - a story that is as much about loving America as it is hating it. Seymour "Swede" Levov, a legendary high school athlete, a devoted family man, a hard worker, and the prosperous heir of his father's Newark glove factory comes of age in thriving, triumphant postwar America. But everything he loves is lost when the country begins to run amok in the turbulent 1960s. Not even a most private, well-intentioned citizen, it seems, gets to sidestep the sweep of history. American Pastoral is the story of a fortunate American's rise and fall ... a strong, confident man, a master of social equilibrium, overwhelmed by the forces of social disorder. For the Swede is not allowed to stay forever blissful living out life in rural Old Rimrock in his 170 year-old stone farmhouse with his pretty wife (his college sweetheart and Miss New Jersey of 1949) and his lively albeit precocious daughter, the apple of his eye ... that is until she grows up to become a revolutionary terrorist.
©1997 Philip Roth (P)1997 by Dove Audio, (P) 2014 by Phoenix Books
Audie Award Winner, Best Solo Narration by a Male, 1998
"One of Roth's most powerful novels ever...moving, generous and ambitious...a fiercely affecting work of art." (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)
"Dazzling...a wrenching, compassionate, intelligent novel...gorgeous." (Boston Globe)
"At once expansive and painstakingly detailed.... The pages of American Pastoral crackle with the electricity and zest of a first-rate mind at work." (San Francisco Chronicle)
Pastoral it's not
Well written but depressing in general with humorous portions.
His delivery was completely on target. It made the story come alive. I was actually having trouble getting into the book until I bought the audible version, then it flew by.
Things are never what they seem.
Absolutely...Unfortunately, I had to contact Audible as part 2 was inaudible...they gave me a $10 credit until the problem is fixed...but the story was fascinating (as usual for Philip Roth)
Just fascinating how he develops the characters in the order that he does...and the detail about the glove industry....I'm not sure if he researched this or has knowledge of this through his family or is just a genius....and just the way the story line is woven together re-emphasizes how most of us cannot even write an interesting term paper, yet begin to produce a piece of work such as this
Fantastic. You can't tell that's he reading...he's a phenomenal storyteller...similar to Portnoy's Complaint...breaks my heart that he's not around anymore
Roth could take lessons from Wallace Stegner. You don't have to descrive everything about sex in every book. Humans know about sex. Use words that inspire not just to sell books.
Seymour, he is doing the rightthing.
The narrator was great.
It was a great book I am looking forward to seeing what they do with the movie. It represents my lifespan. I fel sorry for the younger people in the book.
Tell Roth to avoid John Updike's determined to exalain sex in every book. We got it.
Susan-discerning reader with limited attention span
Loved the story and the reader who even reads with a heavy New York accent. Very entertaining and funny yet sad. A lot of emotions about relationships particularly about family
He is a fabulous reader. I have listened to every Phillip Roth book he has read and been totally engaged.
Phillip Roth is an incredible craftsman and story teller. There's nothing I can add to what has already been written about him. Probably one of the greatest pleasures of this audio book was Ron Silver's reading, which was not so much a reading as a lesson in wonderful acting. He portrays each character with fullness and life, and yet remains very subtle in his rendering. Even if this weren't a great book to begin with, I'd recommend it just to listen to Silver's extraordinary performance.
Bit of an abrupt ending, no?
I listened to the audiobook (from Audible) and my download had some microphone issues at the beginning of some of the chapters. If your copy does this, I'd suggest you just grit out the reverb and keep listening. It's only periodic and the periods that contain the screeching reverb seem to be limited to about 5 minutes at most.
However, I won't say it wasn't supremely annoying (it was), but you can get past it with some determination. Oh, and Ron Silver's narration seemed pitch perfect (though you can't listen to that guy on "faster" cause he's so fast as it is that "normal" is your only legit option).
Say something about yourself!
Worthy of the prizes. Best narration. Amazing writing. Haunting story. The clash of the immigrant's hard working son and his suburban New Jersey daughter. An intimate portrait of a man's psyche told from the point view of a writer who knew him in his youth, the reader gets closer to a character than his wife or anyone else.
The part of me that loves good literature so amazed to read this, I probably would read it again. It was hard, though--to be left so sad.
More dialog. The story had lots of tangents. It just seemed to be back story after backstory of the characters. They were certainly interesting characters, but the story didnt' seem to take off. I only made it through a few hours of the book.
Appropriate for some of the characters, but then they all started to sound the same.
Don't read this if you are prone to depression. The story, however, is lyrical in the way it is put together and performed.
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