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Mr. Bridge Paperback – September 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 367 pages
  • Publisher: North Point Press; Reissue edition (September 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865470545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865470545
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,027,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"For all their satire and dark implications, the novels of the Bridge family remain in the memory as triumphs of faultless realism. Mr. Connell's art is one of restraint and perfect mimicry." -- The New York Times

"The reissue of these classic American novels is an event to be celebrated.... Mr. and Mrs. Bridge are forever human, forever vulnerable, forever pitiable. In spare, whimsical, ironic prose, Connell exposes each and every one of their wrinkles and then, in the end, offers them to us as human beings to be cherished." -- Jonathan Yardley

"With Mr. Bridge, Connell completes his saga of sweet joylessness and blunted sensibility, of marriage, family, and middle age on the plains of Protestantism. Together the Bridge novels achieve an understanding of provincial upper-middle-class U.S. life beyond anything in our literature... Mr. Bridge is a tour-de-force of contemporary American realism, a beautiful work of fiction..." -- Webster Schott, Life

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7 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The book is, at times, a painful one to read.
Debnance at Readerbuzz
Mr. Bridge recognizes that his life did not begin until he knew his wife, India Bridge.
"botatoe"
Mr. Bridge focuses on his work, politics, and a wider range of social topics.
Cosmoetica

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By "botatoe" on April 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
Evan S. Connell's "Mr. Bridge" stands, together with its companion novel, "Mrs. Bridge", as one of the outstanding works of Twentieth century American fiction. The two works, taken together, form the brilliantly wrought portrait of an upper middle class marriage in the years preceding and encompassing World War II. Linear in its narrative and meticulously realistic in its style, "Mr. Bridge" tells the story of Walter Bridge, a financially successful, but emotionally stunted, lawyer who lives out his proper married life in the wealthy Mission Hills suburb of Kansas City.
Mr. Bridge recognizes that his life did not begin until he knew his wife, India Bridge. His marriage is, in this sense, important to him. But he cannot articulate his deep feelings for his wife and, ultimately, gives up trying to express any emotion at all. "So the years passed, they had three children and accustomed themselves to a life together, and eventually Mr. Bridge decided that his wife should expect nothing more of him. After all, he was an attorney rather than a poet; he could never pretend to be what he was not."
Cold and emotionally repressed, Mr. Bridge spends all of his time at the office, becoming involved with his family only when necessary to ensure that proper middle class respectability is maintained. He spends his time visiting the bank, scrutinizing his stock certificates and counting his profits. Indeed, he is so focussed on wealth that he surprises his wife and children with stock certificates of Kansas City Power & Light on Christmas morning, only to take the gifts back into his possession so that he can properly manage them.
Manipulative and controlling, Mr.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Joseph W. Smith III on March 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Too bad this little gem isn't better known! I came to it through the Merchant-Ivory film "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge," which combines both this and its twin, "Mrs. Bridge." "Mr. Bridge" is possibly the gentlest satire I've ever read -- looking piteously but critically at an upper-middle-class businessman in the 1940s who loves money and stocks so much that he actually gives each member of his family (including the kids!) shares in Kansas City Power and Light for Christmas. Somewhat reminiscent of Ishiguro's "Remains of the Day" in its sympathetic but potent indictment of a man who stakes everything on "business" and has absolutely no understanding of himself. Brilliantly characterized and beautifully written, this is a treasure not to be missed. The final chapter is virtually perfect.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Evan S. Connell's "Mr. Bridge" stands, together with its companion novel, "Mrs. Bridge", as one of the outstanding works of Twentieth century American fiction. The two works, taken together, form the brilliantly wrought portrait of an upper middle class marriage in the years preceding and encompassing World War II. Linear in its narrative and meticulously realistic in its style, "Mr. Bridge" tells the story of Walter Bridge, a financially successful, but emotionally stunted, lawyer who lives out his proper married life in the wealthy Mission Hills suburb of Kansas City.
Mr. Bridge recognizes that his life did not begin until he knew his wife, India Bridge. His marriage is, in this sense, important to him. But he cannot articulate his deep feelings for his wife and, ultimately, gives up trying to express any emotion at all. "So the years passed, they had three children and accustomed themselves to a life together, and eventually Mr. Bridge decided that his wife should expect nothing more of him. After all, he was an attorney rather than a poet; he could never pretend to be what he was not."
Cold and emotionally repressed, Mr. Bridge spends all of his time at the office, becoming involved with his family only when necessary to ensure that proper middle class respectability is maintained. He spends his time visiting the bank, scrutinizing his stock certificates and counting his profits. Indeed, he is so focussed on wealth that he surprises his wife and children with stock certificates of Kansas City Power & Light on Christmas morning, only to take the gifts back into his possession so that he can properly manage them.
Manipulative and controlling, Mr.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cosmoetica on October 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
Mrs. Bridge, the lead of the first book, written in 1959, is named India, and she falls in love with Walter, her husband, and they have two daughters, Ruth and Carolyn, and a son, Douglas. Walter is a lawyer and the second book, Mr. Bridge, is from his point of view, and was written in 1969. This decade difference shows. Mr. Bridge is the longer, more complex work, and while it covers many of the same incidents as Mrs. Bridge there are divergences. For instance, Mrs. Bridge focuses more heavily on the family life, and in it we witness the death of Mr. Bridge, and the ascension of Douglas to family head, just as the Second World War starts. Mr. Bridge focuses on his work, politics, and a wider range of social topics. The first book checks in at 117 chapters and 246 pages, while the second is a heftier 141 chapters and 367 pages.

That said, both are great books. Period. If you want character development, poetic moments, insight, a portrait of a certain time and place, these two books cannot be beat. The Bridges are petty, refined, bigoted, caring, aloof, devoted, rich, yet simple people. In a sense it is almost impossible to review one without the other. Significantly, both books start off with the wooing and marriage of both. It is as if the books' titles signify not only who are the main characters, but what they are. Both characters define themselves by their spouse, and, de facto, all we know, or need to know, about them revolves around their married personae. The only thing more important to the couple than each other seems to be what others think of them. In Mrs.
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