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)
Deconstruction and disaggregation post world war II American life through the life of Jewish American Seymour Levuv. Swede Levuv it rhymes with the love! I don't feel it was a particularly original story though. it was a fine book and even finer performance from the narrator but I am.beginning to wonder about these Pulitzer prize winning books that leave me less impressed than I would have imagined and even a little underwelhmed.
I thought Ron Sliver's performance was perfect. Growing up in the Midwest at this time, I didn't realize the composition of the movement, how convoluted perceptions can be .
From the opening page this gripping story, read brilliantly by ron silver - full of provocative philosophical dialogue and statements is probably the best I have ever heard. Was so sorry to have it end
The story is gripping and the narration is award quality
yes. I plan to read it again because I'm sure I missed some important clues.
This was not an easy read but worth every minute!
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.
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