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American Pastoral Audiobook
American Pastoral
Written by: 
Philip Roth
Narrated by: 
Ron Silver
 >   > 
American Pastoral Audiobook

American Pastoral

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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 (1314 )
5 star
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4.1 (708 )
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Story
4.4 (715 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Danny West Bloomfield, MI, United States 12-14-12
    Danny West Bloomfield, MI, United States 12-14-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Static Interrupted Finishing of the Story"
    Would you try another book from Philip Roth and/or Ron Silver?

    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)


    What did you like best about this story?

    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


    What about Ron Silver’s performance did you like?

    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


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Carrollton, TX, United States 11-12-12
    Kenneth Carrollton, TX, United States 11-12-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sex sells"
    What would have made American Pastoral better?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Seymour, he is doing the rightthing.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator was great.


    What character would you cut from American Pastoral?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Tell Roth to avoid John Updike's determined to exalain sex in every book. We got it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, United States 09-03-12
    Susan CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2016

    Susan-discerning reader with limited attention span

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If you love Phillip Roth you'll love this!!!!"
    Where does American Pastoral rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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


    What does Ron Silver bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He is a fabulous reader. I have listened to every Phillip Roth book he has read and been totally engaged.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ellie LORANE, OR, United States 08-13-12
    ellie LORANE, OR, United States 08-13-12 Member Since 2011
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    11
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    "Great choice"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derek 03-30-12
    Derek 03-30-12 Member Since 2015

    Enthusiast

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    "Ron "the original Blue Steel" Silver narrates"

    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).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Cliff, NM, United States 01-30-12
    Barbara Cliff, NM, United States 01-30-12 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So True, So Dark"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Waltham, MA, United States 01-16-12
    Scott Waltham, MA, United States 01-16-12
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    "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
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    79
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    "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
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    "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
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    "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

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