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 | [Philip Roth]

American Pastoral

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.
Regular Price:$34.95
  • 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 -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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

4.0 (1071 )
5 star
 (472)
4 star
 (311)
3 star
 (165)
2 star
 (61)
1 star
 (62)
Overall
4.1 (490 )
5 star
 (243)
4 star
 (131)
3 star
 (75)
2 star
 (23)
1 star
 (18)
Story
4.4 (497 )
5 star
 (311)
4 star
 (113)
3 star
 (49)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (15)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Scott Waltham, MA, United States 01-16-12
    Scott Waltham, MA, United States 01-16-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A lot of rambling"
    What would have made American Pastoral better?

    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.


    What three words best describe Ron Silver’s voice?

    Appropriate for some of the characters, but then they all started to sound the same.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Al KAILUA, HAWAII, United States 01-16-12
    Al KAILUA, HAWAII, United States 01-16-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    63
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic Book and Performance"
    Would you listen to American Pastoral again? Why?

    Don't read this if you are prone to depression. The story, however, is lyrical in the way it is put together and performed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Pabst 12-29-11
    James Pabst 12-29-11 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Where's Richard Lewis When You Need Him?"
    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    A garish monument to the


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha East Hampton, NY, United States 11-21-11
    Martha East Hampton, NY, United States 11-21-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    61
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't get through it"

    I love Ron Silver's narration, but there was just too much anger and weird stuff in the story for me to continue listening. Though I certainly know him by reputation, this is the first Roth book I've 'read' so maybe they are all like this. If i had been actually reading it, I would have skipped ahead in parts but can't do that with my older-style ipod. Maybe someday I will go back to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    greg sarasota, FL, United States 10-06-11
    greg sarasota, FL, United States 10-06-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "tour de force"

    Ron Silver's performance of Roths classic was captivating. Never before have I heard the voice of an authors ideas and intent so well delivered. I throughly enjoyed this book and only wish Mr Silver had lent his talent to other Roth novels.

    If you enjoy slice of life novels, this one will not disappoint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine Huntington Beach, CA, United States 01-14-11
    Catherine Huntington Beach, CA, United States 01-14-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    1
    Overall
    "unable to finish"

    I don't often leave books unfinished, but I could not get through this one. I haven't read Roth since Portnoy's Complaint and I find that he still seems to invest women with an unrealistic amount of evil. As for the reader, I've always liked Ron Silver as an actor but found that he didn't enunciate clearly enough in this audiobook. I repeatedly had to backtrack to try and understand a word or phrase. Add to that the fact that one of the main characters has a stutter and it all adds up to an unpleasant listening experience. I read literary fiction almost exlusively, but for me Roth falls short of that category.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danny San Francisco, CA, United States 11-06-10
    Danny San Francisco, CA, United States 11-06-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "Great reader"

    I just didn't love the book. If you're a Phillip Roth fan, you're going to love this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine Richmond, VA, United States 08-26-10
    Catherine Richmond, VA, United States 08-26-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Amazingly sensitive narration"

    This novel is beautiul, lyrical, descriptive, and thoughtful; I will remember it forever. Its frequent digressions, flashbacks, and stream-of-thought musings would seem hard to translate to audio, but Ron Silver's narration is so subtle and nuanced and sensitive that I now can't imagine reading this novel without hearing his voice. A narrator who can convey subtle or contradictory emotions beautifully; he seems to really understand the novel's themes and communicates them rather than simply conveying the dialogue. Masterful and wonderful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carole New York, NY, United States 06-04-10
    Carole New York, NY, United States 06-04-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "American Pastoral"

    Philip Roth crafts the best sentence of any American novelist. This masterpiece unfolds a plot which continues to unfold and the characterization of the "Swede" and his family is fascinating. There are great details about glovemaking, about the decline of some of the towns in NJ, about marriage and parenthood, even grandparenthood. The story is dynamic and suspenseful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephane Austin, TX, USA 05-28-10
    Stephane Austin, TX, USA 05-28-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "Great book poor narration"

    This is a wonderful book and a canonical work of American literature. I was excited to re-read the book this time by listening to it, but the narration by Ron Silver is poor. His diction is lacking, his intonation are not right and his exaggerations take away from the book.

    This book deserves better.

    0 of 0 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.