Mary's Reviews > American Pastoral

American Pastoral by Philip Roth
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's review
Jan 17, 2009

liked it
Read in December, 2008

I really wanted to love this book, a lot. I didn't. It felt important, but like it was really TRYING to be important, and just ever-so-slightly missing the mark. And something about that whole thing made me just not like it.

The character study is truly phenomenal, there is no denying that. Roth has nailed the most subtle, deep, psychological underpinnings of the American psyche. But it's specifically the Baby Boomer American psyche. Utterly self-absorbed, and even though trying to be aware and reflective if its self-absorbtion, somehow even more self-absorbed through that reflection.

Take The Corrections - similarly psychological, but has such a self-awareness that it makes it chilling, not just "Oh, wow, this guy represents America. Oh, yeah, there's a kind of Kennedy thing going on there, and Kennedy is America's Jesus, so that's kind of interesting, and should be important." I also think baby boomers just expect things to work out for them, and are flabbergasted when they don't. Welcome to the world you've wrought, baby-boomers, the world of Gen-Xers, where we EXPECT shit to go down.

Maybe I just don't like books about or written by baby boomers, or maybe I don't like Philip Roth. But did love The Human Stain, hated The Plot Against America. So there you go, it's a push.

Although, I just watched both Away From Her and The Dark Knight and didn't like either of them, so maybe it's me these days.
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message 1: by Marina (new)

Marina you have time to read books????

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