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!


Sunday, April 19, 2009


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.


joanna said...

I haven't read anything by Roth and I'm very curious about him. I have The Plot Against America but after your review I'll check this one out too! I like philosophical questions... :-)

Lezlie said...

Joanna ~ This is only my second Roth, but I'm almost hooked. I think I could sit down with a pile of his and Chuck Palahniuk's books for the next few weeks and be perfectly content in my explorations. :-)


Ladytink_534 said...

I know society didn't worship their celebrity idols any less 50 or more years ago but it seems like it's a bit worse now. Or maybe they're just printing more now? It does bother me a bit. Don't believe I've heard of this one before but I'll admit you've made me curious!

Lezlie said...

Ladytink ~ I think 24-hour news channels, the internet, etc., has brought more attention to a lot of things. Peter and I talked about this very thing just the other day when we discussed the "tea parties". Have people always been this insane, or do we just hear about it more now? I think the answer is "yes" on both accounts.


Serena said...

This is one I've been meaning to read for some time. I best get on it.

Lezlie said...

Serena ~ It's definitely worth a move-up on the TBR.


Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

I love a good thinker novel. I haven't read anything by Roth yet, but I do have a few of his books on my shelf (not this one, though). For me some of the best books are the ones that help you reevaulate.