We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
American Pastoral Audiobook

American Pastoral

Regular Price:$29.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 1998

Philip 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

What the Critics Say

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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1799 )
5 star
 (836)
4 star
 (509)
3 star
 (263)
2 star
 (104)
1 star
 (87)
Overall
4.1 (1152 )
5 star
 (572)
4 star
 (304)
3 star
 (166)
2 star
 (64)
1 star
 (46)
Story
4.5 (1161 )
5 star
 (769)
4 star
 (230)
3 star
 (108)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (30)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Michael B. 09-05-16
    Michael B. 09-05-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interminable and sexist"
    What disappointed you about American Pastoral?

    It just went on and on and on. At first, I found Roth's handling of the loss of innocence and the death of the American dream moving, but after 70 neurotic chapters I simply couldn't take it any more.


    Has American Pastoral turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The 1st chapter


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Frustration


    Any additional comments?

    Roth's depiction of women verged on sexist. They made me uncomfortable. But maybe that is what he wanted. It is a disturbing book and perhaps better read than listened too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Antoin O'Gealbhain Ireland 09-03-16
    Antoin O'Gealbhain Ireland 09-03-16 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poor story"

    I can't figure out why this is so highly regarded. It was self-indulgent over written navel gazing. Well narrated though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Hayes 08-30-16

    Jaze

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Knockout performance by Silver"

    This is the kind of book that shows just how meaningful an audiobook can be. Silver's performance brings Roth's sometimes dense text, with its long, run-on sentences, into vibrant, ecstatic life. Just an extraordinary experience – I don't think I would've enjoyed the book as much had I read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 08-28-16
    David 08-28-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of my favorite books and the best performance of all time"

    Ron Silver needs to be mentioned first. His narration is astounding. Phillip Roth writes for us the story of us and it is perfectly told. I love this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter 08-16-16
    Peter 08-16-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Misunderstood from Morristown to Algeria"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a complex, griping story and the performance is outstanding.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Everyone, even the minor characters have a depth that will keep them alive in my memory.


    Any additional comments?

    The theme of misunderstanding others is really powerful; I'm not sure I understood the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helene Atwan 08-08-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A brilliant narration."

    I only wish they had left out the music. But the reading is absolutely inspired.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Delores 08-03-16
    Delores 08-03-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring Story"

    I could not finish this book. Storyline never took hold. Narration dull. I don't which was the most dull, the story or the narration. Don't waste your credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Piglet 07-29-16
    Piglet 07-29-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engaging and relevant"
    Would you listen to American Pastoral again? Why?

    Yes - absolutely. Although it was written for those of us who were beginning adulthood in the 60's, it is relevant in today's world. Beautifully written. Like the review posted, it was my first Philip Roth book. I, too, was an English major so appreciate the excellent writing. Intricate and sensitive story telling.


    What other book might you compare American Pastoral to and why?

    The sensitivity of a modern day writer - Elizabeth Strout (Olive Kitteridge).


    Have you listened to any of Ron Silver’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    NO - but I would listen to another by him.


    Who was the most memorable character of American Pastoral and why?

    The main character - Swede Levov - someone who seemed so perfect to the outside world, who tried to uphold a high standard of morality but who saw how that wasn't possible or appreciated or that it made much difference in the long run in our world today.


    Any additional comments?

    Must have an appreciation of good writing to truly appreciate this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RI in Canada 07-15-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    131
    89
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "America is anything but pastoral"

    This novel captures beautifully the failure of the American dream as it traces the unravelling life of Seymour "Swede" Levov from high school athletic star and all-around good guy to successful business mogul to parent of an anti-Vietnam bomber who blows up the post office in the small town of Old Rim Rock. The characterization of Swede and his doubts is thoughtful and deep. His interior self-questioning amidst his outward show of calm reasonableness emphasizes the inability or failure of reason to account for the actual American experience. Swede's father, Lou, depicts the immigrant working-class, but successful Jewish businessman who is unable to cope with the secularization of society and cannot account for the ways in which his own anti-war views contribute to the militancy of his granddaughter.
    Ron Silver did a great job of narrating.
    I had not read any Roth before, but I will pick up another.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sunny Webb Buda, TX United States 07-11-16
    Sunny Webb Buda, TX United States 07-11-16 Member Since 2011

    I love it when I have no idea what's going to happen next.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    266
    35
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Book made nearly Flawless by Perfect narration"

    For some reason I've been putting off reading this book for years. I finally decided to listen to it instead. I am so glad I did. Ron Silver's narration is the best I have ever heard. He captures this story and the characters so well that you forget that you're listening to a book. Often, when professional actors narrate a book, I feel like I can hear them acting, if that makes any sense. But with this book, I was constantly getting so lost in the story. American pastoral is a classic for a reason , but with Ron Silver's narration, it is nearly flawless.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.