A fabulous work of American lit. It fits perfectly in the canon of Steinbeck, McCullers, Fitzgerald, even Hemingway. The themes are familiar and welco..Show More »ming. Here we have the great obsession, which is becoming increasingly British too, more's the pity, with living a comfortable life, materially replete, but at the same time, anaesthetised, numb to reality. This principle is personified as Seymour 'Swede' Levov, whose calm, laid-back, Johnny Appleseed approach to life is belied by those who share his world. The Swede is like an old cart horse who plods unknowingly along while the world beneath the surface becomes increasingly complex and angst ridden. He is a nexus of tranquillity at the heart of a storm of repressed rage.
As a recent newcomer to Roth, I read The Plot Against America in paperback this summer and enjoyed it so then I tried American Pastoral read by Ron Si..Show More »lver on Audible. That was sensationally good so then I tried My Life As A Man but it was a different reader and a few chapters in I realised it was quite disappointing so I returned it and looked for another one read by Silver - which led me to this. I've been enjoying a variety of good books for several years now on Audible and I always find that having the right reader is incredibly important. But in all my experience there has been nothing to compare with the marriage of Roth's prose with Silver's delivery. No doubt it is bound up in Roth's anecdotal monologue sort of method but if ever there were books which burst into flame when performed aloud they are these ones. Silver's range of tone, pace and dynamics is virtuosic while expressing the deepest humanity. I wish everything of Roth's was available here read by Ron Silver.