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The Great American Novel Paperback – April 11, 1995

3.9 out of 5 stars 86 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Shameless comic extravagance.... Roth gleefully exploits our readiness to let baseball stand for America itself." —The New York Times

"Roth invents baseball anew, as pure slapstick.... An awesome performance." —
TheNew Republic

"Roth is better than he's ever been before.... The prose is electric." —The Atlantic

From the Inside Flap

the only pitcher who ever literally tried to kill the umpire. The ex-con first baseman, John Baal, "The Babe Ruth of the Big House," who never hit a home run sober. If you've never heard of them—or of the Ruppert Mundys, the only homeless big-league ball team in American history—it's because of the Communist plot, and the capitalist scandal, that expunged the entire Patriot League from baseball memory.

In this ribald, richly imagined, and wickedly satiric novel, Roth turns baseball's status as national pastime and myth into an occasion for unfettered picaresque farce, replete with heroism and perfidy, ebullient wordplay and a cast of characters that includes the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Vintage; Reprint edition (April 11, 1995)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0679749063
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0679749066
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 10.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.16 x 0.86 x 7.98 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.9 out of 5 stars 86 ratings

About the author

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In the 1990s Philip Roth won America’s four major literary awards in succession: the National Book Critics Circle Award for Patrimony (1991), the PEN/Faulkner Award for Operation Shylock (1993), the National Book Award for Sabbath’s Theater (1995), and the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for American Pastoral (1997). He won the Ambassador Book Award of the English-Speaking Union for I Married a Communist (1998); in the same year he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House. Previously he won the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Counterlife (1986) and the National Book Award for his first book, Goodbye, Columbus (1959). In 2000 he published The Human Stain, concluding a trilogy that depicts the ideological ethos of postwar America. For The Human Stain Roth received his second PEN/Faulkner Award as well as Britain’s W. H. Smith Award for the Best Book of the Year. In 2001 he received the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction, given every six years “for the entire work of the recipient.” In 2005 The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians Award for “the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003—2004.” In 2007 Roth received the PEN/Faulkner Award for Everyman.

Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5
86 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2019
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of Roth's best
Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2019
After his death, I have reviewed all his works in order. Many are dismal and depressing, but I enjoyed this "Great" American novel, mostly for its humorous alternative universe of the strangest baseball team imaginable.
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Reviewed in the United States on July 8, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States on November 21, 2016
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Top reviews from other countries

Irene 32
5.0 out of 5 stars a Great novel
Reviewed in Germany on February 27, 2022
Benjamin
4.0 out of 5 stars Completely insane and a lot of fun to
Reviewed in Canada on January 16, 2018
KLSH
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in Canada on September 3, 2016