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)
The character development was excruciatingly slow at first. The real story really took dimension late but I'm glad I stuck with it. It was heart wrenching and thought provoking. The author really brought life to the performance.
There are many great books out there. This isn't one of them. Great narration but for me it pretty much ended there. Main story involved daughter of "All American"parents turned Vietnam War protester and activist. Pretty lousy ending to top it all off. Wish I had listened to something else!
Avid book lover and listener. Nuff said for this purpose.
What can I say?
Well I can say if you're not Jewish or have never been around a Jewish family you may be tempted to give up after about 4 chapter, but don't! The syntax may seem too much for you at first however this book is worth any effort you put into it, it's just an incredible story about families from the 40's thru the Vietnam war era.
What can happen to families living the dream in America will surprise and stun you in its depth rendered here by a great author and wonderful reader.
Issues we all deal with, not on a grand scale as bombings or murder, but of finding ourselves and getting to know the true people that we love and ultimately surround us.
I have listened to this book three times. It gets better every listen thanks to the mastery of Ron Silver. You almost forget it's a book -- it just feels like you're hearing a living breathing consciousness.
Garrison Keillor is right: lasts year's Nobel for literature should have gone to an American and his initials at PR.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
The mythology of human perfection is exposed in American Pastoral. Its author, Phillip Roth, is awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1998. American Pastoral is included in Time’s “All-time 100 Greatest novels”. Ron Silver’s narration perfectly captures Roth’s All American hero, Seymour “Swede” Levov.
For every family that has children, American Pastoral, reveals how much and how little parents can do for their children. Human beings are imperfect; children grow into their own space; they grow in concert with genetics, how they think of themselves, and how others think of them.
American Pastoral suggests Americans dream, plan, and do. But life is a muddle, a combination of plans, luck, fortune, and favor. Being as good as you can be is not enough for society. Human perfection is a myth. In American Pastoral, Roth writes a great story; Silver brings it to life.
Ron Silver is the perfect narrator. He brings a cadence to the speech that I would not have heard in my own head if I read it myself. His narration added a depth to the story for sure.
Not what I expected but an excellent story. It certainly grabbed my attention and kept me interested. Top notch narration. I certainly recommend this story to anyone looking for something different and absolutely thought provoking.
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
There is a lot to like about this book. The story is absorbing and about the 60's with the Vietnam War, Watergate, Deep Throat (the movie) and the Weather Underground thrown into the mix. These are all things I grew up with and remember very clearly. It did when the Pulitzer prize.
The story revolves around a High School hero and his Beauty Queen wife who have a daughter that becomes a terrorist. Why do good people have children that are criminals? Is anyone truly good or evil?
The narrator is excellent and keeps the story moving. He especially does wonderful Jewish guys from New Jersey.
What didn't I like about the book? Some times it seemed to repeat over and over the same theme. I also didn't think it was realistic on the way people think. Maybe that is just a difference in the sexes, though, I certainly could be wrong.
Overall I enjoyed the book and will probably listen to more of Philip Roth's books.
Yes I would recommend it, it is a classic of American literature made even more wrenching and poignant by the narrator.
He renders Meredith's lines just as she would have spoken them.
Yes, but then I wouldn't have had it to listen to for a second and third sitting.
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.