American Pastoral
by Philip Roth (read by Ron Silver)
Phoenix Books (audiobook)

There’s never a bad time to open Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning American Pastoral. But with a new movie adaptation starring Ewan McGregor and a new president-in-waiting, here’s the perfect opportunity to listen to what The New York Times voted one of America’s finest novels of the past 25 years. Our hero is Seymour Levov, aka “Swede”. Newark-born during the post-war boom, he was a fine athlete, businessman and honour­able, if disingenuous, father. That this happy story is told by Nathan Zuckerman, one of Roth’s slipperiest customers, should prepare us for shocks, and they arrive when Levov’s daughter, Merry, blows up the local Five and Dime and a family friend. Ron Silver, star of stage and screen, is suited to Swede’s idyll, his pacing perfect for drama.