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Topic: American Pastoral by Roth

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Subject: American Pastoral by Roth
Date Posted: 10/8/2009 9:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Has anyone read American Pastoral by Roth? It won a Pulitzer and I'm reading it to discuss with a group. I'm about 80 pages into it. So far I am underwhelmed . . . the writing is good but not fantastic and frankly, the story (old men with prostate problems) is not holding my interest.

So, if anyone has read it, does it get better? I am hoping someone can give me some incentive to keep reading or, alternatively, to bag it :-)

Date Posted: 10/11/2009 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Well, the first 80 pages are basically boring background info. Once the daughter is introduced the book has become much more interesting!

Date Posted: 11/1/2009 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
Posts: 533
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I've often wondered about this book.  Please get back with us to let us know if you finished and what you thought about it.

Date Posted: 11/2/2009 8:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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To me, the book is a social commentary on the Vietnam era and what spawned the radicals/war protesters.  It was interesting in that I learned a lot about the events of that time period. However, I found the characters hard to identify with and one-dimensional. I did not really care for the writing style either - wasn't bad, just not my cup of tea. Obviously the book won a Pulitzer so others felt the writing was excellent. Overall I would give the book 3 of 5 stars.

Let me know if you read it and what you think.

Date Posted: 11/3/2009 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
Posts: 533
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The reviews have been a mixed bag.  Years ago, I read Roth's Portnoy's Complaint and found it ho-hum.  American Pastoral is on a lot of must-read lists but I'll probably pass on it.