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American Pastoral

by

American Pastoral Cover

ISBN13: 9780375701429
ISBN10: 0375701427
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

As the American century draws to an uneasy close, Philip Roth gives us a novel of unqualified greatness that is an elegy for all our century's promises of prosperity, civic order, and domestic bliss. Roth's protagonist is Swede Levov, a legendary athlete at his Newark high school, who grows up in the booming postwar years to marry a former Miss New Jersey, inherit his father's glove factory, and move into a stone house in the idyllic hamlet of Old Rimrock. And then one day in 1968, Swede's beautiful American luck deserts him.

For Swede's adored daughter, Merry, has grown from a loving, quick-witted girl into a sullen, fanatical teenager — a teenager capable of an outlandishly savage act of political terrorism. And overnight Swede is wrenched out of the longer-for American pastoral and into the indigenous American berserk. Compulsively readable, propelled by sorrow, rage, and a deep compassion for its characters, this is Roth's masterpiece.

Review:

"Dazzling...a wrenching, compassionate, intelligent novel...gorgeous." Boston Globe

Review:

"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

Review:

"One of Roth's most powerful novels ever...moving, generous and ambitious...a fiercely affecting work of art." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"[M]agnificent....This is Roth's most mature novel, powerful and universally resonant....The picture is chilling." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[E]legiac and affecting....[P]assion seethes through the novel's pages. Some of the best pure writing Roth has done." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"American Pastoral successfully shoulders its weighty public theme of American optimism undone by a propensity for the extreme. It also rounds up Roth's usual subjects — Jewish assimilation, bourgeois pretension and the shiksa's fatal allure....Roth's faithful, often piercing apprehension of the jagged emotional transactions between parent and child form this book's true achievement....Sadly though, this is another novel by a marquee author that suffers from intimidated or inactive editors. There are long sections of conversation...that just go on and on. Structurally, the book is poorly shaped. Roth doesn't circle back to the 90-page preamble featuring Zuckerman, the ending feels arbitrary and the gratifying if bracing payoff that American Pastoral vigorously promises throughout is denied. But, if you want a Philip Roth book that isn't just another bulletin from his life, this one is that and more." Albert Mobilio, Salon.com

Review:

"Roth is a masterly prose stylist...and there are many passages of fine language....But these strengths are indulged in a way that becomes the book's weakness. The abstracted treatment of ideas, the weighty, morally serious exposition, result in a novel that holds its material at arm's length from the reader." Ralph Lombreglia, The Atlantic Monthly

Review:

"Pastoral...is well crafted with vivid, crisp prose, but unlike [other Roth novels], it's empty....Once again, no one escapes the misery that personifies modern America." Ted Leventhal, Booklist

Review:

"Roth doesn't tell the whole story blow by blow but gives us the essentials in luminous, overlapping bits. In the end, the book positively resonates with the anguish of a father who has utterly lost his daughter. Highly recommended." Library Journal

About the Author

In 1997 Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House and in 2002 the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction. He has twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won the PEN/Faulkner Award three times. In 2005 The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians’ Prize for “the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003-2004.” Recently Roth received PEN’s two most prestigious awards: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award and in 2007 the PEN/Bellow Award for achievement in American fiction. Roth is the only living American novelist to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America. In 2011 he received the National Humanities Medal at the White House, and was later named the fourth recipient of the Man Booker International Prize.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Roslyn, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Roslyn)
Anything by Philip Roth will do. He is far and away the best we have produced in a long time; the Shakespeare of our time. In American Pastoral, the tiny details and the big themes are moving, interesting, illuminating and, sometimes, life changing.

We need more than galoshes in New England at this time as the snow falls by the foot.
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(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
Mark Paul, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Mark Paul)
Philip Roth's masterpiece and an American treasure. It is the story of Seymour Levov, known as "the Swede." He's the son of Jewish immigrants, living a life "right in the American grain"—sports hero, husband to a beauty queen, owner of the family business and a house in New Jersey horse country that drips with colonial history. And then he comes face to face with "the indigenous American berserk." The book combines a loving and deeply realistic portrait of the Newark of Roth's youth with a exploration of the puzzles of self and identity that are Roth's hallmark. A book to be read and savored, and then read again and again.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
shadow8pro, September 11, 2006 (view all comments by shadow8pro)
If you haven't read this book stop everything you're doing and start reading. A masterpiece that will be read and discussed for as long as books are read and discussed. Redefines the great American novel.
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(23 of 41 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375701429
Author:
Roth, Philip
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
History
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States History 1961-1969 Fiction.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage International
Publication Date:
February 1998
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8 x 5.2 x 0.88 in 0.71 lb

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » Pulitzer Prize Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

American Pastoral Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375701429 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Dazzling...a wrenching, compassionate, intelligent novel...gorgeous."
"Review" by , "At once expansive and painstakingly detailed....The pages of American Pastoral crackle with the electricity and zest of a first-rate mind at work."
"Review" by , "One of Roth's most powerful novels ever...moving, generous and ambitious...a fiercely affecting work of art."
"Review" by , "[M]agnificent....This is Roth's most mature novel, powerful and universally resonant....The picture is chilling."
"Review" by , "[E]legiac and affecting....[P]assion seethes through the novel's pages. Some of the best pure writing Roth has done."
"Review" by , "American Pastoral successfully shoulders its weighty public theme of American optimism undone by a propensity for the extreme. It also rounds up Roth's usual subjects — Jewish assimilation, bourgeois pretension and the shiksa's fatal allure....Roth's faithful, often piercing apprehension of the jagged emotional transactions between parent and child form this book's true achievement....Sadly though, this is another novel by a marquee author that suffers from intimidated or inactive editors. There are long sections of conversation...that just go on and on. Structurally, the book is poorly shaped. Roth doesn't circle back to the 90-page preamble featuring Zuckerman, the ending feels arbitrary and the gratifying if bracing payoff that American Pastoral vigorously promises throughout is denied. But, if you want a Philip Roth book that isn't just another bulletin from his life, this one is that and more."
"Review" by , "Roth is a masterly prose stylist...and there are many passages of fine language....But these strengths are indulged in a way that becomes the book's weakness. The abstracted treatment of ideas, the weighty, morally serious exposition, result in a novel that holds its material at arm's length from the reader."
"Review" by , "Pastoral...is well crafted with vivid, crisp prose, but unlike [other Roth novels], it's empty....Once again, no one escapes the misery that personifies modern America."
"Review" by , "Roth doesn't tell the whole story blow by blow but gives us the essentials in luminous, overlapping bits. In the end, the book positively resonates with the anguish of a father who has utterly lost his daughter. Highly recommended."
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