❮Reading❯ ➼ American Pastoral ➵ Author Philip Roth – Saudionline.co.uk



10 thoughts on “American Pastoral

  1. says:

    I was not a fan.


  2. says:

    It is getting exceedingly rare to find books that are well written and yet hard hitting and surprising at nearly every turn Usually, you get just one like the nearly unreadable Infinite Jest that I can still not get through or the other like The Outfit or, say, Game of Thrones So, when my movie producer friend mentioned that his employer Lakeshore Entertainment would be releasing a film version of Roth s American Pastoral, I picked the book up my first by Roth and I was blown away It is no wonder that the book stole the 1997 Pulitzer and was a runner up on the NYT list of best books of the last 25 years from 2006 Side note on that list, I agree with the choice of Beloved by Toni Morrison as well as Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy and am now curious to read some of the other ones there that I haven t read by Updike and DeLillo.According to wikipedia, a pastoral is typically about life on a countryside and requires a cow in the story Some currents of pastoral literature have in modern times denounced the urban sprawl of cities and their encroachment into to pastoral lifestyle While it is difficult to put Roth into a specific category, the fact that the Lvov family owns a large property and a bull named Count and herd of cows at one point and the revolt of Merry against not just the idyllic image of America are some ways that the title could be interpreted as being applicable I saw it as an epic look behind the scenes at a seemingly perfect family that is piece by piece revealed to be reprehensible as the last sentence of the book states The various fa ades of 20th C life in American and the questions that are raised prosperity, but at what cost global dominance and warfare, but for what ideal are dealt with via the vivid character portraits and their interactions with each other.If we look at the principal character, Seymour Swede Lvov from the outside, we see a man that was always good at everything triple letterman in sports, beautiful physique, gorgeous ex model wife, successful business man But we also learn of his emotional detachment from everything he has set up an American pastoral idea in his head and is torn apart by Merry s act of terrorism just as the small store was blown up along with a neighbor The way in which the various facts are revealed and the psychosis of each of the characters in the book was riveting reading I appreciated how we start with a first person narrator who fades away as the Swede is revealed and unraveled by the cascade of events Roth never spoon feeds us details we need to put up with the screaming Merry and her neurotic mother as well as a slew of other characters to figure out what actually happened and how each character was affected We are as unwitting participants in the devolution of the Lvov family as the characters themselves Even the end of the book is ambiguous did Rita Cohen really exist at the end or is the Swede losing it Do we just leave Merry the Jain in that sordid appartment in Newark Does the Swede evolve into a self realized human being or does he just repress all the anguish to protect his unfaithful wife Dawn and his acrimonious father Lou Lvov as he has always done The is perhaps the most compelling part of this book, you are left to draw your own conclusions To fill in the colors you wish into this particularly explosive American pastoral portrait.Still, after reading 20 of Roth s books, Pastoral stands out as one of my favorites with its evil doppelg nger according to Roth , Sabbath s Theater To be read urgently I hope although I am fairly confident that Lakeshore Entertainment does it justice.Apparently, the film was pretty bad, so stick with the excellent book RIP 1933 2018 One of America s literary giants has left us.


  3. says:

    LA VITA SOLO UN BREVE PERIODO DI TEMPO NEL QUALE SIAMO VIVIEcco un Grande Romanzo Americano Moderno e classico, come si conviene ai grandi, un affresco formidabile.Il libro che contiene tutto, e che contiene il Tutto.Pieno zeppo di temi argomenti cose e spunti di riflessione e discussione da straripare Cos pieno e fecondo che io ho preso la mia strada sicuro di ritrovare alla fine quella maestra.Quella che riconduce al Grande Romanzo Americano, al Sogno Americano, al sogno del figlio di emigrati, per giunta ebrei, di essere parte del collettivo Sogno Americano, sogno di successo ma in mezzo scorre la Vita, e quindi facilmente una Tragedia, quasi sicuramente in Famiglia e la storia personale si riflette nella Storia generale, quella del paese America, nello specifico con la guerra del Vietnam gloria e poi fallimento, felicit e poi dolore, ascesa e caduta, come indicato anche dai titoli dei capitoli paradiso ricordato , e poi paradiso perduto , e infine la caduta il vecchio ordine, quello dei padri, e il nuovo disordine, quello dei figli il velo, che illusione, e poi alzato il sipario, l innocenza perduta in ultima analisi, il fallimento include padri e figli in questo caso il padre e la figlia Il film, con lo stesso titolo, del 2016, diretto da Ewan McGregor, che interpreta il protagonista.E sulla mia strada di lettore in sollucchero si segnala il piacere e la meraviglia di essere dentro la storia del libro sin dal principio, immerso nella sua narrazione senza che mi sia richiesto tempo o pazienza per entrarci dentro, un flusso di racconto che parte dall incipit, e mi trascina via con s.Subito dopo si segnala l ironia di Roth, resa ancora pi brillante dall espediente di affidare il racconto al suo alter ego letterario Nathan Zucherman, lo stesso di Ho sposato un comunista, La macchia umana, ma che compare anche in My life as a man, Lo scrittore fantasma, Zuckerman scatenato, La lezione di anatomia, L orgia di Praga, La controvita, Il fantasma esce di scena.La bellissima Jennifer Connelly una perfetta ex Miss New Jersey, Dawn, la moglie dello Svedese.Procedendo nella lettura, mi sono accorto di come la struttura meta letteraria tutto meno che una gabbia, perch col procedere delle pagine scompare l autore Philip Roth, e poi sparisce anche il suo alter ego Nathan Zuckerman, per lasciare che il racconto sgorghi da solo, fino a deflagare, al punto che sono sparito anch io come lettore, consapevole e non.Uno snodo cruciale sempre sulla mia personale strada di lettore l incontro con la compassione che Roth prova e ispira per il suo protagonista, secondo me eroico nel senso vero del termine Il fatto che lo Svedese sia anche bello come un Apollo, lo rende semidio, possente nella sua fragilit molto umana Sar forse per questo che lo Svedese si chiama Levov, che fa rima con love Nello Svedese ritrovo un po di Giobbe e un po di Giona, ma anche in un certo qualche modo un po di Stoner, e del serious man dei fratelli Cohen, ma anche di Icaro e altre figure mitologiche.La figlia che diventa terrorista interpretata da Dakota Fanning, che io trovo insopportabile, per cui ho scelto questa immagine dove la si vede relativamente forte la sensazione che Roth mi trasmette il momento perfetto della vita uno e uno solo, assolutamente unico e irripetibile Ed forte la sensazione che si collochi sempre nel primo periodo della vita, felice, immagin , come poteva esserlo un bambino , quando ancora possibile guardare avanti come un bambino che contempla la vetrina di una pasticceria.Dopo ci si adopra per ricrearlo, ritrovarlo, riviverlo, ri qualsiasi cosa ma non torna, non si ripete perso per sempre Alla riunione degli studenti che decenni prima hanno frequentato la stessa scuola, dove Zuckerman rivede il fratello minore dello Svedese, qualcuno ha avuto successo, qualcuno sembra aver migliorato la posizione di partenza ma non questo il punto Hanno perso tutti Hanno perso la giovent , hanno perso l innocenza, hanno perso il tempo.Sembra che l unica cosa che rimanga da fare sia Riportare l orologio a un tempo in cui il passare del tempo era un fenomeno irrilevanteQuale figlio non vorrebbe essere amato da un padre come lo Svedese, che quando Merry aveva due anni appese l altalena all acero pi grande vicino a casa Amato cos tanto, con un a incondizionato e senza confine, cos resistente e temprato, cos adamantino e incrollabile.Un padre il cui motto sembra essere La cosa pi importante della sua vita era questa risparmiare sofferenze ai propri cari, essere buono con tutti, fino al midollo.Ed ecco la vera Patty Hearst in azione con l esercito di Liberazione Simbionese, che l aveva rapita poco pi di due mesi prima e subito trasformata in una terrorista Qui ripresa dalla telecamera di sorveglianza durante una rapina in banca.Un padre cresciuto alla scuola di un altro padre, che gli diceva con pragmatismo cristallino Essere innamorato che significa E a che cosa ti servir essere innamorato quando avrai un figlio Chiss , forse proprio perch lo Svedese insegue il suo sogno d a, la bellissima Dawn ex miss New Jersey, che conquista e sposa, forse da qui inizia la sua caduta, il suo fallimento Se avesse seguito le istruzioni paterne, si sarebbe evitato la caduta Certo che no Il dubbio mi ha accompagnato solo per poche righe.Patty Hearst in manette Patty partecip a pi rapine e attentati dinamitardi, durante i quali alcune persone morirono e altre furono ferite Fu condannata a 35 anni, ridotti poi a 7, poi a 22 mesi poi arriv la grazia del presidente Carter, l indulto di Reagan e anche quello di Clinton Mai, in tutta la sua vita, aveva avuto occasione di chiedersi Perch le cose sono come sono Perch avrebbe dovuto farlo se per lui erano sempre state perfette Perch le cose sono come sono Una domanda senza risposta, e fino a quel momento era stato cos fortunato da ignorare addirittura che esistesse la domanda.Natasha Richardson interpreta Patty Hearst nel film dedicato alla sua vicenda diretto da Paul Schrader, uno dei registi americani che preferisco Il film usc nel 1988.


  4. says:

    Third reading The book starts off as an homage to a man the narrator, Nathan Zuckerman, looked up to as a child because of his athletic achievements in local sports Seymour Levov, the Swede It also presents itself in the early going as an homage to the so called greatest generation But this opening is deceptive For the closer we come to the Swede and his family the we see his tragic flaws of character Perhaps his most pervasive flaw is to be a nonthinker, a man for the most part without a deep intellectual life, or any intellectual life, who functioned by the many rules and prohibitions set forth by his elders which ill prepared him for a socially volatile future.The Swede is a Jew but a viking in appearance Blonde, fair skinned, about as far away from the Der St rmer parodies then being published in Nazi Germany as it was possible to get The wartime stateside era is one depicted as laden with parental prohibitions but also one of astonishing possibility The Swede is his father s son A young man with his talent could have had a shot at the major leagues, but the Swede listens to his old man and learns the glove trade American Pastoral, it occurs to me, is a ruminative novel It considers matters, say, the Swede s innocence, and then reconsiders them multiple times in light of new evidence or conclusions One is very much in Nathan Zuckerman s head going over and over matters, thus his obsessions become our obsessions After several readings it finally occurred to me what Roth s model was for the very detailed glove manufacturing sequences Moby Dick or The Whale I could find nothing superfluous in the story I live twenty miles from Newark, New Jersey I used to work near New York s garment district, long after its heydey but nevertheless I was alive, though quite young, during the late Civil Rights Era This was an insane and very angry time and let me tell you, Roth captures its essence beautifully For me, on this third reading, the book really didn t start to grip until the Swede s daughter Merry s independence sets in and she begins to travel to New York City to stay with her Communist friends Then there s Rita Cohen s absolutely wait, here s how Roth puts it What was this whole sick enterprise other than angry, infantile egoism thinly disguised as identification with the oppressed This section reminds me very much of the decription Nein Cheng gives of the Red Guards in her Life and Death in Shanghai There are so many beautifully written scenes here The Swede s reunion with Merry who, five years later, has become a devout Jain, will set your hair on fire American Pastoral is a spellbinder An astonishing novel One of the essential books of life.


  5. says:

    A quick perusal of my in by about America shelf will reveal a wide variety of titles ranging from popular fiction by the likes of Stephen King to the brand of post modernist razzmatazz by the wonderfully perplexing Pynchon Yet none of those books seem as American to me as American Pastoral is Forget all the Great American Novels which swoop down on some of the Great American Issues this term is my invention yes like the Great Depression, racism, slavery, brutal and merciless killing of the Native Americans in the US Mexican borderlands Forget the illustrious names like To kill a mockingbird, The Grapes of Wrath, Beloved, The Great Gatsby, Blood Meridian and the other works which constitute the edifice of classic American literature Even though every one of them focus either on watershed events in American history or relevant socio cultural issues which form the basis of America s national identity, none of them are so glaringly American in spirit as this Philip Roth creation I know my claims of being able to determine the degree of Americanness of any book are questionable at best since how can the internet and books supplant the experience of actually breathing American air But I ll let Mr Roth speak on my behalf here Around us nothing was lifeless Sacrifice and constraint were over.The Depression had disappeared Everything was in motion The lid was off Americans were to start over again, en masse, everyone in it together If that wasn t sufficiently inspiring the miraculous con elusion of this towering event, the clock of history reset and a whole people s aims limited no longer by the past there was the neighborhood, the communal determination that we, the children, should escape poverty, ignorance, disease, social injury and intimidation escape, above all, insignificance American Pastoral takes a plunge into the depths of America s heart and soul and analyzes its curious multiculturalism, its unrestrained self love and its misdirected self hatred And speaking of depths , please bear in mind that it does go really deep, probing unmapped territory like the complications at the root of every human relationship be it between husband and wife or between a father and daughter who feel a subtly obsessive, nearly incestuous love for each other On one hand it recounts a series of tragic events which result in the slow disintegration of a rich Jewish businessman s inner world while on the other it rapidly moves back and forth between various American issues, from the postwar economic boom to the Newark Riots of 67 to the violent anti Vietnam War protests bordering on terrorist activity, thereby weaving an intricate network symbolizing the web of America s inner conflicts It s like AP revels in its own Americanness and its unabashed disdain for anything that is considered outside America s sphere of influence But the surprising thing is, despite the self absorbed tone of the narrator s voice and his blatant apathy for anything unAmerican, none of it sounds remotely offensive On the contrary, everything put together, it comes off as a mockery of America s self obsession Every sentence, every stream of thought, every conversation that Roth has painstakingly put together to construct this masterpiece is rife with underlying implications So much so that in order to squeeze out every last drop of meaning from one passage or a long conversation, a literature student reading this for coursework may need to pore over one particular page for hours on end This, however, does not mean it is a difficult read, it isn t by a long shot It is simply a book which requires a tremendous amount of patience and an effort on the reader s part to remove all the layers of obfuscation I have come across people criticizing Roth for portraying Jews in an unflattering light here but I find myself nodding my head in disagreement with them The book smacks of anti heroism if anything and it looks down upon the rich white American s idea of familial bliss, material prosperity and his hankering after a squeaky clean reputation free of any incriminating smudges Roth tramples on the idea of hero worship and stomps on it until it is so bent out of shape that it is beyond recognition I also beg to differ on the subject of Roth s widespread infamy among Goodreads intelligentsia as a misogynist Any writer capable of rustling up such fleshed out female characters like the ones depicted here, cannot be accused of nurturing a conscious hatred of women Sure, there is a sprinkling of barely noticeable sexist remarks but I suspect it is done with the purpose of defining a particular character s perspective rather than simply out of contemptuous indifference or maybe I need to read Roth before pronouncing judgement Some of the scenes of a sexual nature are disturbing to the point of being slightly cringe worthy, but none of them demean women as such And it will be hardly fair to indict Roth for sexual vulgarity when women erotica writers of today can be accused of much worse rape and stalker fantasies anyone.To wrap up, this is a hard book to review as it obdurately resists deconstruction But it is an ingeniously written one with long drawn out sentences which are a delight to savour if you love your share of linguistic acrobatics Roth rambles a lot and gets side tracked often, like an old man suffering from an early onset of dementia, frustrating the reader with his abrupt jumps from one subject to another almost in a stream of consciousness like manner and his penchant for detailing something as maddeningly boring as the art of glove making But eventually, when he makes his point you can t help but marvel at his ability to accurately deduce the hidden motives at work behind seemingly unremarkable action And as schizophrenic as his writing may seem, one can t deny that it is also the work of a true master.


  6. says:

    I didn t finish it I realized that life is probably too short, and certainly I read too slowly, to spend another minute with Philip Roth He s Jewish, did you know JEWISH Also, he is a man Men have penises, did you know PENISES that are very important and special self starting things, and when they don t work it is an AMERICAN TRAGEDY, and when they do, well they just do stuff and we observe all of that with some very pretty sentences that almost distract a person from how we re basically not talking about much Also women are there sometimes but they are too complicated to figure out Meanwhile, back at the penis P.S Having children is complicated, too Girl children especially The end.


  7. says:

    1998 Pulitzer Prize Time Magazines 100 best novelsI read my fair share of books and most of those are classics , so usually, as a whole, they are highly rated, highly regarded books But even with that, occasionally a book comes along that raises it s head above the rest This is one of those books for me It s difficult to explain this book to others, even difficult to completely understand myself, because it doesn t flow in a straight line like most books, non linear I think they call it But I can say this, it makes an impression, it s impactful, thought provoking, and yes, even depressing Roth, like a fine surgeon, lays open the heart and soul of an American family, and it is writing and story telling at it s best.RIP Philip Roth May 23, 2018


  8. says:

    Everybody who flashed the signs of intelligence he took to be intelligent And so he had failed to see into his daughter, failed to see into his wife, failed to see into his one and only mistress probably had never even begun to see into himself What was he, stripped of all the signs he flashed People were standing up everywhere shouting, This is me This is me Every time you looked at them they stood up and told you who they were, and the truth of it was that they had no idea of who or what they were than he had They believed their flashing signs too They ought to be standing up and shouting, This isn t me This isn t me They would if they had any decency Then you might know how to proceed through the flashing bullshit of this world This excerpt pretty much sums up the book on surface for me This is the story of Swede, an obedient son, a successful businessman, and a devoted family man Things were all going great until his only daughter at the age of 15 plant a bomb in the town post office, killing two people Illusion of a perfect family shattered and what followed was an intense search of a father about where did he go wrong in the raising his daughter.I wouldn t have read this book had I not pledged to read ten award winners at the start of the year as one of my reading resolution for 2017 I was not expecting much after the disappointment of The Road While The Road had minimal dialogues, this was incessant rant of protagonist It was frustrating when Swede tells about a person at different occasions but what makes it engrossing that he present a different picture of same person everytime It tested my limits as a reader but boy how beautifully author has created this maze where I kept wandering, walking same path again and again yet feeling that I was exploring this path for the very first time It just left me mesmerised.This book is brilliant in expressing emotions if a doting father, passion of a husband, devotion of a son, rage of a man who blames himself for what his daughter became, pain of a man when he stripped layers after layers of lies in which he believed all his life, and helplessness of a husband when his wife went into shock So so many emotions I felt through Swede.This is a disturbing, haunting yet absolutely stunning and fantastic at the same time An amazing read but just make sure that you are ready to give it the attention which this story demands and deserves.I am definitely reading this after few years.


  9. says:

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  10. says:

    American Pastoral by Philip Roth is a 1997 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publication This book doesn t need much of an analysis from me, especially since so many have voiced such eloquent and poignant reviews of one of the best novels ever written , and have broken it down and analyzed it in great qualified detail However, I did have a few random thoughts about the book The book is not upbeat, not once, not ever It s moody, sad, and weighted down with the heaviness of yearning, regret, and disillusionment What the hell is wrong with doing things right The novel simmers with anger, directed in any number of ways, for any number of reasons, at any number of situations and people, but is also a well of deeply rooted retrospection, and even fervor The novel moves slowly, and I will confess it took two long wait periods from my library to complete it But, it was still a hypnotic novel, chock of full of allegory, and is considered a true American classic, by many I don t know how I would have felt about this book if I had read it years ago, but now I think I get it and understand why it resonates with some people, but I can also understand why others were left unimpressed There is a letdown of sorts as the book concludes, which left me feeling slightly depressed, but the book did give me much to consider This is not my first dance with Roth and it won t be my last, but it wasn t a favorite, nor do I think it lives up to the Pulitzer hype, but it was worth the extra time and effort I went through to read it However, I think I am ready to return to my regularly scheduled programming for a while 3.5 stars


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American Pastoral download American Pastoral, read online American Pastoral, kindle ebook American Pastoral, American Pastoral a1f836522f1f Pulitzer Prize Winner In American Pastoral, Philip Roth Gives Us A Novel Of Unqualified Greatness That Is An Elegy For All The Twentieth Century S Promises Of Prosperity, Civic Order, And Domestic Bliss Roth S Protagonist Is Seymour Swede Levov A Legendary High School Athlete, A Devoted Family Man, A Hard Worker, The Prosperous Inheritor Of His Father S Newark Glove Factory Comes Of Age In Thriving, Triumphant Post War America And Then One Day In , Swede S Beautiful American Luck Deserts HimFor 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 Longed 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