Thursday, September 29, 2011

American Pastoral: Written by Philip Roth

Well... I faced another challenge with this book. At times I found myself so appalled so drawn in, and then so bored... This book won the Pulitzer Prize. I can completely understand why. It is a very in your face this is life type of book. It is not a work of ghosts, zombies, magic, or anything really supernatural just the American spirit in its basic, beautiful, and horrendous form. One of the reviews given was by the San Francisco Chronicle they said "At once expansive and painstakingly detailed....(I agree with the painstakingly detailed line.) The pages of American Pastoral crackle with the electricity and zest of a first rate mind at work." Really I found the author to just keep going with his thoughts just words after words after words... I became so bored with his explanations and descriptions that I longed for Stephen Kings long drawn out explanations. I did not feel these long run on sentences in both thought and voice helped the plot or story at all. If anything it kind of withered the impact his tale was making. The main character is a real tragedy the book shows that bad things just happen to good people and vice versa. At first I found myself falling in love with this book, and its first narrator. Then I found myself confused as it seemed like a lot of this was imagined and then no.. it was actually the plot happening. Even at the end the main character thinks something profound has happened, well it did, but not in the way he pictured it. Some of the scenes in the book, okay a lot got me thinking and by the end I really did not like any of these main characters they just became more gruesome and beat down as the years went on. I found myself wishing I could just smack every one of them across the back of the head and go "Snap out of it!" There is a character that does this in the book, but even he has his own huge issues to obviously deal with. Overall I am not a huge fan of this book I can see the message and the acute detail the author weaves his tale with, but overall I was not a big fan at all. I sure talked about the book though with my husband, and it even made me wonder "can anyone raise a decent family, or live a decent life?" Or do the fates just keep weaving their webs in like ancient cultures and keep moving our strings for the worlds amusement?" I will not say don't read this book, but if you can really buckle down and handle loooooong I mean it long rambles. Then by all means there are some original aspects to this book that travel throughout the years in a such a way. Especially if you are from NJ.

1 comment:

  1. Hola, quizás os interese saber que tenemos una colección que incluye el relato 'Defender of the Faith' de Philip Roth en versión original conjuntamente con el relato 'The Courter' de Salman Rushdie.

    El formato de esta colección es innovador porque permite leer directamente la obra en inglés sin necesidad de usar el diccionario al integrarse un glosario en cada página.

    Tenéis más info de este relato y de la colección Read&Listen en