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Book Review of American Pastoral

American Pastoral
American Pastoral
Author: Philip Roth
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Substores
Book Type: Paperback
Page5 avatar reviewed on

The first 90 pages kept putting me to sleep (I read before bed). Aging high school athletic stars and old men with prostate problems apparently do not interest me at all. The book did become more interesting later but the narrator (Zuckerman) is unreliable.

To me, this story was largely narrative - a commentary of the social turbulence of the 60's and an analysis of human traits, desires, etc. I was looking for a story (plot) and Roth did start to give me one but then went back to the narrative/commentary. If you are not going to have a plot then you need interesting characters. I found most of the characters and their actions/inactions more annoying than interesting. Roth left many of the threads of the story unanswered. He did convey the bewilderment and confusion of the parents of radical protesters well.

I've read a lot of Pulitzers and this one left me underwhelmed.