The Great American Novel

The Great American Novel

4.4 7
by Philip Roth
     
 

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Gil Gamesh, 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

Overview

Gil Gamesh, 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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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." —The New Republic

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679749066
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/16/1995
Series:
Vintage International Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
506,191
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 8.01(h) x 0.88(d)

Meet the Author

In 1997 Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House and in 2002 the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction. He has twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won the PEN/Faulkner Award three times. In 2005 The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians’ Prize for “the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003-2004.” Recently Roth received PEN’s two most prestigious awards: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award and in 2007 the PEN/Bellow Award for achievement in American fiction. Roth is the only living American novelist to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America. In 2011 he received the National Humanities Medal at the White House, and was later named the fourth recipient of the Man Booker International Prize.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Connecticut
Date of Birth:
March 19, 1933
Place of Birth:
Newark, New Jersey
Education:
B.A. in English, Bucknell University, 1954; M.A. in English, University of Chicago, 1955

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The Great American Novel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
WTVCrimeDawg More than 1 year ago
In The Great American Novel, Philip Roth utilizes an alliteratively nutty narrator named "Word" Smith, a.k.a. Smitty, to tell us shamefully satirical stories about a forgotten baseball league, appropriately named the Patriot League, in order to confront the American cultural notion that baseball represents the pastoral ideal. One such story is the perpetually wandering homeless Rupert Mundys, the leagues last-placed team of marginalized misfits, highlighted by a lineup that includes a freak named "Frenchy," a nickname-less teenager, a power-hitting convict, a legless catcher, a "Kid" third baseman, an armless right fielder, and a midget. The homeless group of marginalized misfits is similar to the wandering Israelites in the Bible, and their plight successfully challenges the perception that America is the great melting pot. By challenging the melting pot myth and utilizing similarly satirical stories throughout The Great American Novel, Roth effectively argues against the notion that both baseball, specifically, and America, generally, represent the pastoral ideal.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the Great American Novel, and found it lived up to it's name. While it bounces around a bit, and the prolouge doesn't make all that much sence, it's hillarious, and I recommend it to all who have the patience to sit down and read one long, but good book. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Theres nothing like hitting a triple
tuba More than 1 year ago
This is probably the single most entertaining baseball novel I have read. Indeed, it may be the funniest novel I have read. It is obvious Mr. Roth loves baseball and even more obvious he wrapped himself in the halls of Cooperstown in order to bring all of this together. I have read it twice since 1975 and am about to start it again.
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