American Pastoral

American Pastoral

Paperback - 1998
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An ordinary man finds that his life has been made extraordinary by the catastrophic intrusion of history when, in 1968 his adored daughter plants a bomb that kills a stranger, hurling her father out of the longed-for American pastoral and into the indigenous American berserk.
Published: New York : Vintage International/Vintage Books, 1998, c1997.
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed.
ISBN: 9780375701429
Branch Call Number: F ROT
Characteristics: 423 p. ;,21 cm.


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Pulitzer winner: Fiction 1998

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AL_JEREMIAH Mar 28, 2018

One of the best literary novels I've ever read. It certainly deserves its Pulitzer Prize.

Feb 08, 2018

This may be the best American novel ever written. Five stars!

Oct 19, 2017

Not my style, 50 pages in and nothing has happened but having dinner with a friend's brother. Can't even finish it, the descriptions are so long and boring.

Won the Pulitzer prize?? The most boring and redundant book I believe I have ever read. Where were Roth's editors? May have made an okay short story.

Mar 11, 2017

Slow pace - brilliant writing. Philip Roth is one of my favourite authors.

Mar 09, 2017

I had a difficult time even starting this novel, so I gave up too early to "star" rate it fairly. I thought it had a lot to do with the daughter of the protagonist during the Vietnam era, but I got totally bogged down in 1940s characters. I think a better approach would have been to start in the 1960s and then, if necessary, move back a bit to understand the parents of the daughter.

Nov 19, 2016


So after completing a couple dozen books so far this year this book really reminded me there is a huge difference between a good story with good writing, and an absolute masterpiece.

It is a shame reading some other reviews on here giving this book 1 star and saying it is terrible. The idea I or someone would skip over this book because of those reviews is a travesty.

This is an incredibly enriching book, with immense depth, nuance, and lyrical prose bringing to life the tumultuous world of the Vietnam war, the SDS, the Weatherman, the Mets, love, loss, fear, religion, and what it means to be an American.

Read it.

Apr 28, 2015

This book is rare genius.

Nov 08, 2013

I think the beauty of the book is the character development of each of the characters, each with a story in America. The author, Philip Roth manages to show the hollowness of the existence of each of the characters against the background of a broken America. The American Pastoral is in fact, far from pastoral, where pastoral is defined as, “having the simplicity, charm, serenity, or other characteristics generally attributed to rural areas”. Roth writes beautifully, skillfully blending the story in to the American experience, the effects on the youth of the American war, the sadness of the Watergate investigations. He shows the effect on the parents of the stupidity of the daughter while showing equally the effect on the daughter of the hollowness of the parents.

A very difficult book to read, violent and disorienting. I felt no compassion for the characters who seemed to have so little taste for making difficult decisions. The writer leads us along to a non-conclusion and I felt reading this book had been a complete waste of time. This is the third Roth book I have read and I did not really enjoy the others, but this was beyond the pale.

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Jan 28, 2012

RONALD NEWTON thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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