Saturday, December 20, 2008

DCoE Book Club, Part II

For those of you reading American Pastoral by Philip's part I as a refresher.

In this section of the book, the narrator fades into the background and the Swede becomes the protagonist, and the story veers into dark territory. The Swede: successful, kind, handsome, and living the American dream, right up until his teenage daughter blows everything to smithereens. Literally. Merry Levov has transformed from a sweet, stuttering little girl into a sullen and angry teenager. A bomb explodes, a man is killed, and Merry, the alleged bomber, vanishes. Her parents are left behind to try to piece their lives back together and try to make sense of something that has none.

Roth's story draws you in...I wanted to reach into the pages and smack the ridiculous teenage Merry, and, like the Swede, felt enraged by the antics of fellow "activist" Rita Cohen. That scene with her in the hotel was just downright awful...I hated her! One thing that I enjoy is the complexity of the story and all of the characters- at first, I thought the Swede's wife Dawn would stay in the background, but she is featured prominently in the middle part of the book. I also like the tales of glove manufacturing, something that a lesser author may have simply glossed over.

Here are some vocabulary words from this section:
riven: torn apart, split into pieces
unstinting: not restricting or holding back
foundries: places where metals are cast

For those of you reading along, let's try to finish the whole thing by Sunday, January 4th. As always, feel free to post your own thoughts in the comments.

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