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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

4.1 (1908 )
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4.5 (1262 )
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Performance
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  •  
    J. Hone Dickerson Run, PA USA 10-23-16
    J. Hone Dickerson Run, PA USA 10-23-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Amazing"

    So well written, intriguing and full of drama. Sad that it's over. Excited to watch the movie, I'm sure won't be the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna 10-19-16
    Anna 10-19-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Old recording - cheesy music but the book is good"

    Nice historical book - powerful and definitely well suited to audio format. I think I got more out of it on audio than I would have reading it on paper. Tour of middle class America in the Vietnam era - easy to forget how volatile a time that was with social unrest and domestic terrorism rather than just peace and grass. Phillip Roth books strike me as excellent technical muscle power rather than ...transcendental literature... so expect a nice story well told, not a life changing experience. The recording is old and can be kind of cheesy - music and dramatism - but is still worth listening to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M Garrett Montgomery, AL United States 09-29-16
    M Garrett Montgomery, AL United States 09-29-16 Member Since 2015
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    1
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    Story
    "Introspective not action"

    If you are looking for a book that makes you rethink good American life and how people don't really have it all together, good. If your looking for a thriller or action about the weather underground or Vietnam then this isn't it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy L. Pinto 09-28-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Incredible performance"

    Not sure how I feel about the story. But the performance was incredible. I couldn't stop listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela 09-28-16
    Pamela 09-28-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Loved it!"

    Fully developed characters. I felt like I knew all of them. Ron Silver rocks. He brought the characters to life. The movie has a lot to live up to. I'm glad I heard the book first.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Georgia Frasch Westchester, NY 09-23-16
    Georgia Frasch Westchester, NY 09-23-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Ron Silver is magnificent ..."

    Mr. Silver's nuance , inflection and accent brought this opus to life. His narration was so captivating that I found myself hooked into my head phones as I went on with my daily activities- I could not put this performance down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lana Lee Plum PORTLAND, OR, US 09-21-16
    Lana Lee Plum PORTLAND, OR, US 09-21-16 Member Since 2016
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    "The mind of a child"

    The narration was great and captured all the accents of New Jersey. The psychology of the breakdown of the American dream as seen through the eyes of an author trying to do a biography of his high school jock known as the Swede. On the surface he appears to have had the American Dream but when you explore his family and the life of his only daughter the truth is lost in the deranged actions and thoughts that plague his only child . The backdrop of the social issues of the 1949 to 1990 are explore in the examination of what made Mary become the radical she became. Enjoyed it but was somewhat slow at times. Good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Schommer 09-09-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Ugh. What a disappointment!"

    It's very rare that I can't finish a book. However, this book was so awful I couldn't stand it for another second. I quit l

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael B. 09-05-16
    Michael B. 09-05-16 Member Since 2016
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    3
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    "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
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    22
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    "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

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