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Across Spoon River (Prairie State Books) Paperback – February 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press (February 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252060512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252060519
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,417,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
This frank verbal self-portrait reveals the forming of the epitaphal poet. His early years are seen against the backdrop of his midwestern roots, his law training, and emergent writing. Particularly of interest are his anecdotes of life in the Chicago of Clarence Darrow, the White City, and his romantic ventures. The text gives insight into what formed the voices of Spoon River Anthology. It's haunting, wistful and funny. Tender nostalgia, particularly for Illinoisans.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 18, 1997
Format: Paperback
Best known for his 1915 bestseller "Spoon River Anthology", Masters writes in a style simple and intimate; something that almost anyone can read.
This personal portrait paints a picture of the attorney/author's life, loves, pinnacles, and misfortunes, and gives us a clear view of life as it was at the turn of the century.
Born in Garnett, Kansas, and raised in the Petersburg, Illinois region, Masters tells the story of the famous and not-so-famous people who touched his life and left their marks on this celebrated author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Glaeg on December 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
During most of my reading of this 1936 autobiography, I forgot all about why I'd sought it out in the first place -- which was because I'd wanted to find out everything I could about the making of Edgar Lee Masters' brilliant and deathless work of free verse, SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY. But instead I became totally absorbed in the author's powerful, short evocations of all the people and happenings of his own life. Hardly ever has a work of nonfiction drawn me from sentence to sentence so compellingly as ACROSS SPOON RIVER. "My mother was acute of perception," he writes, "Her mind flashed with divination, she looked through doors and walls with those clairvoyant eyes, all this beyond nearly anyone I have ever known." In strict chronological fashion, Masters begins with the lives of his New England ancestors, then moves on to describe each of his boyhood homes in the small Illinois towns of Lewistown and Petersburg. He tells what all his teachers were like, how he came upon the mentors of his life, and where amidst the world of books he found his lasting literary inspirations as he progressed to manhood and took up the practice of law in Chicago. Obviously his encounters there with the political and literary lights of the age (Bryant, Sandburg, Theodore Roosevelt, Mencken, etc.) are a delight. But what makes all this story hang together is that one spring day when he'd reached his mid-forties -- after a visit by his mother to Chicago and inspired by their long conversations about their small town past -- Masters went up to his room and wrote the first portraits making up SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY. That book -- unexpectedly filled with penetrating insights into the mysteries of the human condition -- made him instantly famous.Read more ›
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By olenka on June 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have both Across Spoon River and Spoon River Anthology.
Across Spoon River is boring. Masters goes off a great deal to tell about his numerous family members. I had lost track of them very soon.

On the other hand, Spoon River Anthology is interesting and dynamic. It is a masterpiece actually. When I first checked out the book from a library, I only read one poem per day to prolong the pleasure.

By the way, reading Masters' poems, I've noticed many logical expressions.
In programming terms, some of the poems contain while, for loops, switch, and if else statements.
Awesome discovery.
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