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American Pastoral

by Philip Roth

  • ISBN: 9780375701429
  • ISBN10: 0375701427

American Pastoral

by Philip Roth

  • List Price: $16.95
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Publish date: 02/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780375701429
  • ISBN10: 0375701427
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Description: With this beautifully crafted and majestically sad novel, Philip Roth delivers an unalloyed masterpiece, a book that is at once a portrait of a determinedly ordinary man made extraordinary by the catastrophic intrusion of history and an elegy for the American dream of prosperity, civic order, and domestic bliss.

Roth's protagonist is Swede Levov. A star athlete at his Newark high school, he comes of age in the booming postwar years, when a grandson of immigrants could marry a former Miss New Jersey, inherit a thriving glove factory, and buy a stone house in the idyllic hamlet of Old Rimrock.

But one day in 1968, Swede's luck fails him. For on that day his adored daughter, Merry, a loving child who has turned into a sullen, fanatical teenager, plants a bomb at Old Rimrock's post office -- a bomb that kills a stranger and hurls Swede out of the longed-for American pastoral and into the indigenous American berserk.

Tenderly evoking the vanished utopia of the 1940s and '50s and gazing fearlessly into the abyss of the ensuing decades, American Pastoral is a masterpiece in a tradition as ancient as Sophocles and as current as today's headlines. It is fueled by rage and sorrow, great compassion for its characters, and a narrative pulse that is wholly irresistible.

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