American Pastoral by Philip Roth
As the American century draws to an uneasy close, Philip Roth gives us an elegy for all our century's promises of prosperity, civic order, and domestic bliss. Roth's protagonist is a legendary athlete who grows up in the booming postwar years to marry a former Miss New Jersey, inherit his father's glove factory, and move into a stone house in the idyllic hamlet of Old Rimrock. And then one day in 1968, Swede's beautiful American luck deserts him. Compulsively readable, propelled by sorrow, rage, and a deep compassion for its characters, this is Roth's masterpiece.