American Pastoral

American Pastoral

Fiction, General Fiction
Paperback Published on: 05/03/1998
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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction 1998

American Pastoral is perhaps Philip Roth’s masterpiece. Slipping into his Zuckerman sequence (briskly followed by I Married a Communist in the following year), the novel charts the slow-motion destruction of a once-ideal life.

Narrated by Nathan Zuckerman, American Pastoral focuses on Seymour "Swede" Levov, the son of a successful glove manufacturer whose business he eventually inherits. Handsome, wealthy, his story is the American Dream made real.

However, all that is shattered by the political radicalisation of his daughter, a girl outraged by the horrors of the Vietnam war. To his abject horror, her role in an act of extreme, home-turf terrorism rips his life apart: American Pastoral unpicks that downfall, the Swede’s story partly seen through the prism of his younger brother Jerry and Zuckerman’s own encounters with this most tragic of figures.

Sweeping in the political anarchy and sadness of post-Vietnam America, Roth vividly captured the end of a certain innocence, when 60s idealism was swept aside by dark and unstoppable forces.

  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • ISBN: 9780099771814
  • Number of pages: 432
  • Weight: 298g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 26 mm

Customer Reviews

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American Pastoral
American Pastoral
Something seemed to make Roth a terser writer in the middle of the 1990s: he dropped the game-playing and became a better novelist. This unbearably tense ... READ MORE
Stuart Broom
American Pastoral
Yes this is a brilliant book. I can see why Phillip Roth has won all his accolades. The narrative flows fast and free and you have to concentrate to keep u... READ MORE