American Pastrol


He commuted from the home

he and Dawn had made together

30 miles west of Newark,

out past the suburbs

in wealthy old Rimrock

where they were raising the child

they had, a daughter, merry.

Count! Where are you?


I hear him.

Count! We're here!


Come on, count.

Penny, Russ, how are you doing?

- How's the family, Mr. Levov?

- Real good, thanks.

You two have

a good rest of your day.

You, too, Mr. Levov.

Something was

smiling down on him.

This is the way I thought

it would always be.


Life would open its arms and

he would carry all before him.

He was the Swede, after all.

- Hey.

- Hey.

Jerry Levov.

God, Nathan.

I didn't expect to see you here.

Well, I didn't expect

to see you either.

I was sure you'd find all this

sentimentality repellent.

Yeah, I do.

This nostalgia.

It's bullshit.

Do you want to find a spot?


So, why did you come?

Well, of all the forms

of bullshit available

this was the most likely

to have unsettling surprises.

And you like

unsettling surprises?

I suppose I do.

Hey, did you see that display

they have for your brother?

Like I said, I'm not

one for nostalgia.

We were, I don't know,

we were probably 10

and we went to watch

one of his practices.

He ran the ball

and his teammates

took him down and they piled on.

And we were worried

for a second, you and I.

Worried about the Swede?

No, never.

No, we were. Because

they took him down hard.

But he popped up

and dusted himself off.

And as he trotted by,

he turned, uh...

He turned to me,

his brother's friend.

I mean, I was a nobody

and he said...

"Basketball was

never like this, skip."

Yeah. Yeah, that's right.

He called me skip.

My brother's dead.

That's why I came up from

Florida, for his funeral.

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Philip Roth

Philip Milton Roth (March 19, 1933 – May 22, 2018) was an American novelist and short-story writer. Roth's fiction, regularly set in his birthplace of Newark, New Jersey, is known for its intensely autobiographical character, for philosophically and formally blurring the distinction between reality and fiction, for its "sensual, ingenious style" and for its provocative explorations of American identity.Roth first gained attention with the 1959 novella Goodbye, Columbus, for which he received the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. He became one of the most awarded American writers of his generation. His books twice received the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle award, and three times the PEN/Faulkner Award. He received a Pulitzer Prize for his 1997 novel American Pastoral, which featured one of his best-known characters, Nathan Zuckerman, a character in many of Roth's novels. The Human Stain (2000), another Zuckerman novel, was awarded the United Kingdom's WH Smith Literary Award for the best book of the year. In 2001, in Prague, Roth received the inaugural Franz Kafka Prize. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "American Pastrol" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 5 May 2021. <>.

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