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Download When She Was Good Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample When She Was Good Audiobook, by Philip 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 (743 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Philip Roth Narrator: Tanya Eby Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2009 ISBN: 9781441805379
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In this mesmerizing, funny, chilling novel, the setting is a small town in the 1940s Midwest, the subject the heart of a wounded and ferociously moralistic young woman, one of those implacable American moralists whose “goodness” is a terrible disease. When she was still a child, Lucy Nelson had her alcoholic failure of a father thrown in jail. Ever since then she has been trying to reform the men around her, even if that ultimately means destroying herself in the process. With his unerring portraits of Lucy and her hapless, childlike husband, Roy, Roth has created an uncompromising work of fictional realism, a vision of provincial American piety, yearning, and discontent that is at once pitiless and compassionate. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 2/20/2014

    " Three and a half stars... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 2/12/2014

    " Yet another Philip Roth book. Pretty good but I was easily distracted "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 2/11/2014

    " Maybe it's stupid of me to give this so high a rating when it's been so long since I've read it, and I should read it again. But it had a very powerful effect on me both times I read it. I reread the first chapter recently, I still love the writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jay | 1/30/2014

    " While I enjoyed the banter in the first half of the book, the plot involving weak men, their weak wives, and a girl that can develop a strong interior story then flip it twice before acting... now that can get a bit long. The first part had quite a few funny lines. These dried up as you saw the main character's personality issues come to the front. The book played off of three men that can be best described as wishy washy. There's a lot of non-decision and inert dreaming that goes on, enough to drive one crazy. The one being either a character in the book or the reader. But it is Roth, you feel you know these characters in real life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Keith | 1/27/2014

    " This was better than its reputation would suggest but still read like a transitional Roth book. Roth captures, with shifting sympathies, the ups and (mostly) downs of a marriage that should never have happened but it feels a bit belabored by the end. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Debs | 1/20/2014

    " Maybe it was a timing thing, or maybe I need more space between my Philip Roth books, but this book just didn't grab me. Didn't mind stopping midway through when it had to go back to the library. I'll probably try this one again another time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Graham Oliver | 12/2/2013

    " Part of it might have been the reader, I really wasn't a big fan of her, but I thought the book was fairly engaging right up until the part where we zoom in on Lucy's PoV. After the third scene of her fighting off Roy's advances, I gave up, it was just painful to listen to / get through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelsey | 11/18/2013

    " i loved this book. a depressing story with a frustrating end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andy | 11/17/2013

    " Wow. Best thing I've read in years. A beautifully drawn portrait of a seriously dysfunctional extended family in mid-twentieth century America. While some people have apparently read the book as misogynistic, I would say it's more a tragic story of a woman driven to the brink by the folly of men. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mstier | 10/3/2013

    " The main character- a psychotically self-righteous, judgmental young woman, is, to me, one of Roth's most interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 9/12/2013

    " Good book, but only so-so for Roth. It's on of his first and you can see him getting his legs as an author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 7/15/2013

    " A chilling book; not in the scary sense. Lucy's disintegration and her anger and despair with those around her especially the men in her life is truly chilling. This is a morality tale about the hidden truths within families "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 7/11/2013

    " This book was equal parts understandable and incomprehensible. So I split the difference and went with three stars. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisbeth Solberg | 6/27/2013

    " Finally finished this from-the-stacks. Odd rambling portrayal of a holier-than-thou daughter/wife who comes to a bad end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Corey | 10/17/2012

    " Early Roth with some of the ferocity (but not the humor) of his magnificent and important later novels. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Bthomas | 7/12/2012

    " This is one of the worst novels i have read in a long time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emma | 4/13/2012

    " I remember liking this book, but I do not remember much about it. Like the other Philip Roth books I have read I remember small passages and many of the images I created in my mind when reading descriptions of the houses and the settings of the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sonia | 4/13/2012

    " Liked it. Lucy was such a witch. Definitely of the moral stamp that she would either be burned at the stake or burning people at the stake. Like how you keep on trying to root for her and how skillfully and subtly Roth reveals her madness. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel Weitzman | 2/27/2012

    " ER never gets old. At least not on the page. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 2/20/2012

    " Painful, angry, hard to read but also lovely. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheila Dreckman | 8/2/2011

    " This book, to me anyway, was amazing. This character could have been my deceased sister. It helped me understand my sister. I liked the way the book built and how, for me anyway, you did not understand the full extent of what was happening until the last page. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ethan | 3/25/2011

    " Roth again proves that he knows human flaw better than anyone else. From the time she called the police on her drunk father, Lucy has always been morally superior. That superiority turns her into a disgusting (and loony) person hated by the people she expects the most from. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisbeth | 2/6/2011

    " Finally finished this from-the-stacks. Odd rambling portrayal of a holier-than-thou daughter/wife who comes to a bad end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 12/29/2010

    " A chilling book; not in the scary sense. Lucy's disintegration and her anger and despair with those around her especially the men in her life is truly chilling. This is a morality tale about the hidden truths within families
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tiamoyo | 7/1/2010

    " It read like all exposition and no real story; I kept waiting for something interesting to happen and it never quite did. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dragana | 6/19/2010

    " shining insight into dark psyche, female and non-jewish at that "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mstier | 1/2/2010

    " The main character- a psychotically self-righteous, judgmental young woman, is, to me, one of Roth's most interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sonia | 11/7/2009

    " Liked it. Lucy was such a witch. Definitely of the moral stamp that she would either be burned at the stake or burning people at the stake. Like how you keep on trying to root for her and how skillfully and subtly Roth reveals her madness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Keith | 3/6/2009

    " This was better than its reputation would suggest but still read like a transitional Roth book. Roth captures, with shifting sympathies, the ups and (mostly) downs of a marriage that should never have happened but it feels a bit belabored by the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 1/20/2009

    " Maybe it's stupid of me to give this so high a rating when it's been so long since I've read it, and I should read it again. But it had a very powerful effect on me both times I read it. I reread the first chapter recently, I still love the writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 12/29/2008

    " Good book, but only so-so for Roth. It's on of his first and you can see him getting his legs as an author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 12/18/2008

    " Rigid morality as a disease. Cool. "

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About the Author
Author Philip Roth

Philip Roth is one of the most decorated writers in American history, having won the National Book Critics Circle Award twice, the PEN/Faulkner Award three times, the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, and many more. He also won the Ambassador Book Award of the English-Speaking Union and in the same year received the National Medal of Arts at the White House. 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.”

About the Narrator

Tanya Eby is a narrator and novelist who has narrated more than fifty New York Times and USA Today bestsellers, earning two AudioFile Earphones Awards. She has a BA in English language and literature from Grand Valley State University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her children.