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Extended Audio Sample An American Type: A Novel Audiobook, by Henry Roth Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (33 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Henry Roth Narrator: Anthony Heald Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2010 ISBN: 9781455197989
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Discovered posthumously, this final novel by the author of the greatest American immigrant novel, Call It Sleep, reintroduces us to its protagonist, Roth’s alter ego, Ira, who abandons his controlling lover, Edith, in favor of a blond, aristocratic pianist at Yaddo. The ensuing conflict between his Jewish ghetto roots and his high-flown, writerly aspirations forces Ira to abandon his family temporarily for the sun-soaked promise of the American West.

Fast-paced but wrenching, set against a backdrop of crumbling piers, bedbug-infested SROs, and skyscrapers in glimmering Manhattan and seedy LA, An American Type is perhaps the last firsthand testament of the Depression, as well as a universal statement about the constant reinvention of American identity and the transcendence of love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Mr. Roth’s innovative use of language…is both beautiful and highly realistic…Although there is no style called Rothian, there should be.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A sweeping portrait of 1930s America and the story of a writer struggling with art, love, and finding his own voice.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eoin | 5/14/2013

    " Though not of the caliber of his masterpieces, Roth still manages to sting and resonate post mortem. The painful part is that even his unfinished, unintended work is worth reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ryan Chapman | 9/18/2012

    " This book felt too cobbled together, showing too many seams for me to really enjoy it. Probably interesting for fans of the author, but otherwise I say pass. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 12/30/2011

    " Tough to give a review about a book that was edited and published posthumously. Who knows what Roth would have done with it. In any case, not even in the same league as Call it Sleep. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 5/4/2011

    " This is not a young adult novel. This is classic modern literature. While reading it, I hated it, but have grown to appreciate Roth's detail to a child's mind and perspective. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 4/30/2011

    " Possibly the most major of allvthe minor contemporary 'masterpieces' "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura | 4/25/2011

    " Hmmm, so it's a classic, well-received book that is supposed to be great about the immigrant experience in NYC at the turn of the century. It was a tough read, lots of mixed yiddish-english kid-speak. I didn't really enjoy it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 4/5/2011

    " Read this for Book Club. Reminded me of something I would have to read for school. Technically very well written and great style and structure. However, it was a very dense read and hard for me to get into. I would give it 2.5 stars if it was possible. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Edward | 2/19/2011

    " I couldn't get through it. Hate the prose style. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 1/26/2011

    " I read a yellowed and disintigrating copy of this because it had been on my shelf since high school and I took it from home because my dad told me when I was a kid that it had been his favorite book ever. I figured it was time. It is a beautiful coming of age story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Holly | 1/13/2011

    " I recommended this book for two years to my group and we finally read it. Such a classic history of a time period in American history. The fact that he went decades without writing another book is amazing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny | 1/12/2011

    " "Maggie Girl of the Streets" meets "Black Boy." I am still deciding how I feel about this one... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Junepo | 11/3/2010

    " One of my top 10 ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 9/12/2010

    " Great novel, but a bit depressing. "

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About the Author
Author Henry Roth

Henry Roth (1906–1995), European-born American novelist and short-story writer, was the author of Call It Sleep, Mercy of a Rude Stream, and An American Type.

About the Narrator

Anthony Heald, an Audie Award–winning narrator, has earned Tony nominations and an Obie Award for his theater work; appeared in television’s Law & Order, The X-Files, Miami Vice, and Boston Public; and starred as Dr. Frederick Chilton in the 1991 Oscar-winning film The Silence of the Lambs. Heald has also won ten AudioFile Earphones Awards. He lives in Ashland, Oregon, with his family.