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The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington

>> Thursday, June 12, 2008

Genre: Fiction
Publication Date: 1918 originally, (1989 this edition)
Pages: 516
Challenges:
Decades 08 #8 1910’s), TBR 2008 #9, A-Z Reading #34 (T Author),

I’ve had this Pulitzer Prize winning novel on my TBR list for years. I’m glad I finally read it. It’s a family saga of three generations of a once powerful family in a Midwest town during 1870’s through the beginnings of the 20th century.

The decline of the aristocracy and the growth of the middle class, along with the massive changes that the automobile, industrialization and urbanization brought to the country form the background to this family saga. The main character is rather unlikable, but the focus is on him because it’s primarily his world that is being turned upside down. The expectation that he didn’t have to ‘do’ anything as mundane as have a profession is something that he’s unwilling to give up. He is the child of the wealthy class and his family’s decline is contrasted with the rise of what he considers the “riffraff” of the less than aristocratic members of society.

The book read like a historical novel to me, but when it was written it was quite contemporary. I enjoyed it a lot.

7 comments:

____Maggie 6/13/2008 8:51 AM  

I like that word riffraff. Not for the meaning, but the sound. Am I haughty?!? ;)

Just stopped by to let you know the Sense of Place Contest is ready for entries! Good Luck if you choose to participate! :)

Carrie K 6/13/2008 3:43 PM  

I've been meaning to read that book forever, and then watch the Orson Welles movie of it.

SuziQoregon 6/13/2008 8:59 PM  

Maggie: it's a great word!

Carrie: Now that I've read the book I really want to get the movie from the library.

Teddy Rose 6/13/2008 9:14 PM  

I've had this on my TBR for a very long time as well. I really need to read it already. Thanks for the review.

SuziQoregon 6/14/2008 5:19 PM  

TeddyRose- I think you'll enjoy it.

Scrappy Kay 6/18/2008 4:15 AM  

I've never seen the movie OR read the book. I'd better get on it - sounds like a great selection!

SuziQoregon 6/18/2008 6:48 PM  

Kay: I actually enjoyed it more than I'd expected.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment. I read and respond them here although not always right away. If you would prefer an email response let me know.

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