The Great American Novel

The Great American Novel

by Philip Roth
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The Great American Novel by Philip Roth

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.

Author Biography: 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."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780099889403
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/28/2006
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About 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, previously awarded to John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, and Saul Bellow, among others. 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 prizes: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award and in 2007 the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for achievement in American fiction. Roth is the only living American writer to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America.



Date of Birth:

March 19, 1933

Place of Birth:

Newark, New Jersey


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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