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Seventeen Paperback – August 6, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

An American novelist and dramatist. Booth Tarkington was born in Indianapolis. He was one of the most popular American novelists of his time, with The Two Vanrevels and Mary's Neck appearing on the annual best-seller lists nine times. In 2001, his book The Magnificent Ambersons was named as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the editorial board of the American Modern Library. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Nabu Press (August 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1176972707
  • ISBN-13: 978-1176972704
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,015,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Because he's one of the Great American Writers.
John M. Lemon
We maybe should regard this book as reflecting too-typical of attitudes prevalent in that time, but not encourage the emulation of these attitudes.
Charles E. Joubert
Tarkington has created a subtle and sublime work here.
amateur woodworker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Charles E. Joubert on January 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Writing novels about adolescence is difficult; either because the writer in intimately involved in the business of being an adolescent and has not as yet acquired the narrative skills, or because the adult writing about that developmental stage retrospectively colors his memories of how things were. (Françoise Sagan's BONJOUR TRISTESSE is a happy example of a book written by an adolescent that effectively addresses that period.)
Newton Booth Tarkington had produced the PENROD series of juvenile novels before writing SEVENTEEN. In this work, he narrates the summer of love (lower cased letters then) of William Sylvanus Baxter, who is smitten with Miss Lola Pratt, also known as "the Baby Talk Girl" because of her talking baby talk, endearing to William, but grating on the father of the girl whom she is visiting for the summer. I read this book when I was an early teen; and years later read it to my then pre-teen daughter. On both occasions I found it to be amusing and insightful.
William is a typical young boy who goes through a series of pratfalls and misadventures. Like many of his status, he is clueless. He tries to write, um, poetry. A sure sign that his is smitten. Tarkington is able to straddle the fence of finding humor in William's behavior without being unduly condescending.
A young reviewer commented earlier that the emotions and behaviors of his characters where more like fourteen- or fifteen-year old adolescents. I would have to agree with that perspective: from the standpoint of today's teens, if Tarkington's book were written recently, it would probably merit the title "FOURTEEN." Nevertheless, I think that SEVENTEEN was an accurate depiction of middle adolescents of that upper middle social class in that era in history.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is honestly the funniest book I have ever read- it's the kind that makes you laugh out loud till the point of humiliation. A definite must for any reader with a sense of humour- Tarkington captures every moment in perfect language and real life scenes. This is the book I pick up when I'm depressed or need to laugh- it works every time.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I read "Seventeen" because in a letter to a friend F. Scott Fitzgerald said he thought the book the funniest ever written; having read it, I agree with him--it is the funniest book ever written. Tarkington kept up the entire thing the whole book through and does not take a breather or pull any punches but gives it to you straight. The characters put things inwardly where things are put inwardly and blurt out what is blurted out, and there is not that feeling of being fake that one can often get from an author when he has written a funny book. But what else is there to say? Read this book if you have ever been in love or seventeen. You will not believe how hilarious being those two things are.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
I shouldn't do this...but...
That review up there by our 17-year-old critic simply
proves that Tarkington is *exactly* on target in his
novel "Seventeen." Aforementioned critic could *be*
William Baxter...William would have reacted almost exactly
like this to Tarkington's portrait of him, is my guess.
"Seventeen" is still one of the funniest books ever
written, allowances made for time and place. Tarkington
was always a sly fellow, and he's in top form here.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is the best Tarkington book I've read yet. Booth captures the essence of the 17-year-old youth in love in this fictional account of a group of 17-year-old boys mooning over the neighborhood girl. He's got the emotions, the irascibility and the hormones all in one story. This book is a stitch as well -- humor similar to The Little Rascals is also included that had me chuckling from time to time. In addition, it gives the reader a view of what dating was back in that era. Attitudes, liberties and customs have certainly changed... Easy to read, light-hearted, and fun...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
William Baxter, aged seventeen and convinced of his own perfection and general superiority, falls madly in love with a baby-talking girl who visits a friend. Nothing goes right, ever. Booth Tarkington has perfectly captured and depicted the torture that every young man goes through in his late teens. William and the surrounding characters are all so real that it's almost painful. I laughed out loud on the train so often that my fellow riders must have thought I was crazy.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By HeyJudy VINE VOICE on January 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a sweet story, set in the American heartland at the turn of the 20th Century. The focus is the group of people and the very region which created the American nation as the greatest country in the history of the world. The rhythms of life vastly were different a hundred or so years ago, the dreams were more simple, the morality clearer-cut. Anyone reading SEVENTEEN needs to understand that this book is about a time and place now so far away and different from what we have come to know that it could be science fiction. Yet people remain the same, emotions remain the same. As a result, SEVENTEEN holds its value as the prototypical coming-of-age novel. Booth Tarkington was one of the premiere authors of his era and that is the reason why, decades later, SEVENTEEN remains worth reading. It is the definition of a classic.
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