by Philip Roth
"Growing up, Seymore has to deal with the violent history of his country's background. Being a laid-back, local sports star and all-around great guy, he is unhappy when the war sweeps him and his family into complete chaos." (From the CD container)
American Pastoral has so many themes running through it that what the reader takes from this book will be highly influenced by what is going on in his or her life at the time it is read. At this moment in time, what I kept thinking about was our celebrity-worshipping society and how we idolize and expect so much from them. Then, when their lives are exposed as less than perfect, or worse, we're nearly giddy with excitement watching their fall from grace in every form of media we can get our sensation-loving paws on.
I'm going to stop there, because I feel a soapbox rant coming on if I continue with that thought. However, that is certainly not all this book as to offer. It forces thoughts about war and caring what happens to people and places far from you. It wants to know who is responsible when a child turns out bad and if we can make other people happy or if true happiness is really only found within ourselves. Not enough to think about? Good. Because there is more. A lot more. This is a thinker's novel, and it will keep you busy with philosophical questions for days.
NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!