Customer Reviews

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3.5 out of 5 stars
American Pastoral
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on 31 December 2014
Very cpleased with my purchase
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2010
Having read and enjoyed Roth's 'The Plot against America' I bought American Pastoral with high expectations.Sadly I was left disappointed.
Of course Roth writes some great prose,the plot looks potentially very interesting and so too the central themes of the writing, but after my initial enthusiasm I only read about three quarters of the book having found myself becoming frustrated and word weary at the laboured effort of reading endless pages about glove making and one man's depressed exasperation as his alienated daughter thoroughly destroys his dreams and his values.
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 25 January 2009
This is the first Roth novel I have read and on this evidence am completely disinclined to read any others. The naivety of the premise is astonishing and the writing and development REALLY boring. I rarely struggle to finish a book but this was like a visit to the dentist.
Roth brings nothing remotely new, inventive or interesting to this novel:
Daughter of rich 2nd generation immigrant capitalist becomes radicalised during Vietnam war period, and tears family apart by committing violent crime doesn't require 500 pages to explore. It purports to be a commentary of sorts about aspects of middle class America but its really nothing of the the kind. If you are already a Roth fan you probably know what you are expecting, if not avoid and save a week of your life for something more stimulating and rewarding!
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on 24 November 2014
rambling and boring
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I found this book a little too hard going for my liking. Although the story was gripping, his style of writing meant that sometimes I couldn't keep up with what he was talking about. He uses really long sentences to the point where you can't remember what he was talking about at the beginning. I put this book down half way through in favour of something a little lighter hearted. I am planning to finish reading it, but it's not top of my list of books to read. I haven't read any other Philip Roth books, so perhaps that's just his style but if you're not familiar with his work you may want to look inside this book before buying it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 June 2013
It took me almost a decade to get into this book, with several faltering starts. Recently I saw someone in the tube reading it, who was quite near the end, and I asked if it was good and was told that it was worth sticking with. So with renewed vigour I struggled through the first hundred or so pages and then the story started flowing more easily. It is a fascinating story and the subplots are thought provoking and interesting at so many levels. I'd love to give it more stars, but I found it such an effort to read and it only just rewarded that effort.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2000
Once again, Roth returns to the glories of old Newark and its later decline. A lot of the same ground that's been covered in Goodbye Columbus and all the years since. Not a bad read but nothing much new here either.
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12 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2000
Brilliant idea poorly executed; the character of the Swede is a clever one, yet any feeling I had for him was obscured by the repetitive blandness of the story, which just didn't ever seem to go anywhere special. The description of postwar America interlaced in the story is interesting - but the characters are poor and the plot patchy and never fully explained. My high hopes for this book were dashed, I'm afraid, and I grudge the time which I spent reading it. I would not recommend it to anyone.
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on 23 October 2014
excellent
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on 8 September 2014
Loved it
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