A review of "American Pastoral" — 1 year ago
While I found this book to be compelling and worth reading I truly felt it to be incomplete. There are a number of layers to the story, and the ending fails to tie them to one another or even to truly tie them up at all. The fact that this is the imaginings of a narrator about whom we know little makes it a bit more interesting but also a bit less realistic. Inside his imaginings we see what he imagines the main character Swede Levov would imagine and what he imagines he would think, but the reader must remember that the story has little to do with what actually happened to Swede Levov because Swede Levov is not telling the story and the narrator is not set up as omniscient.
Clearly, the narrator was influenced heavily by Swede during his boyhood, which makes him seem less dependable as an objective narrator. It seems he always wants to put Swede in the best light and does not want to fully explore his role in the drama of his own life. I would advise reading this book with an eye toward the narrator’s point of view.