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So Little Time Hardcover – June 1, 1943


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 595 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown; 1st edition (June 1943)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9997501470
  • ISBN-13: 978-9997501479
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,052,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By mchenryed on November 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book tells the story of Jeffrey Wilson, a success writer, who's job is to fix plays that have potential but are lacking something. Jeffrey Wilson lives in New York with his wife and children. However, at the brink of the story, World War II has broken out and there is much debate and anxiety as to whether the United States will enter the war.
The story is actually a series of events as Jeffrey and the nation change their attitudes about their involvement with the war. Jeffrey also deals with his stale marriage and his relationship with his eldest son, Jim, who inevitably will be on the front lines if the United States enters the war. Jeffrey recalls his World War I days and how that changed him and fears what another world war will do to his son. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Jeffrey realizes that time is short and he encourages his son to get the most out of life now, as there may be no tomorrow.
This book was a little bit dry. There really wasn't much tension and Jeffrey wasn't all that interesting. Marquand, however, captures the era between World War I and II and writes about it so that there is a tremendous amount of social history contained in this long book. All in all, though, I was glad to put it down and the ending didn't have the impact I would've hoped. If you are interested in learning about the early 40's and the United States' feelings towards the war in Europe, this book is outstanding, otherwise the book is fairly dull.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mara Kurtz on July 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As always, Marquand's thoughtful novels address universal issues in a very personal way. It is interesting to reflect on his 1939 perspective about politics in the United States in view of the world situation today. So many of the observations still fit to a tee. Reading this book is like spending time with old friends, smart ones who help you to understand that there is no going back and that life isn't fair.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mary E. Sibley VINE VOICE on June 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The chief characters in this sixty year old novel, Madge and Jeffrey Wilson, resemble the couple of John P. Marquand and his wife at the time of his second marriage. Reading the biography of Marquand by Millicent Bell, one learns that Marquand's wife was also managerial and given to interior decorating on a rather lavish scale. Jeffrey Wilson, hailing from Bragg, Massachusetts, a fictitious place, is a play doctor. That is to say, he works on other people's scripts to make them suitable vehicles for Broadway.

Jeff has a remote relationship with his son Jim, although things are easier from his perspective when interacting with daughter Gwen and younger son Charlie. Jeff feels that had he not married Madge, he might have written plays of his own. Jeff is concerned that Jim may be called to go into the service. It seems that in the beginning of the story Jim is enrolled in a course of military science at Harvard. The novel commences prior to the time of America's involvement in World War II.

The talk at all of the cocktail parties centers on war prospects. Persons such as Walter Newcombe, a former classmate and now a foreign correspondent, are prized as guests. They are thought to be in the know. Jeffrey's wife Madge is not only an arranger of furniture, she is an arranger of social obligations. Jeffrey feels that he knows too many people and is obliged to shift his view too often. Jeffrey's sister, four years older, is someone he thinks could be put into a Grant Wood painting.

Jeff's play-doctoring carries him to Hollywood. He cannot afford to deal with other than pot boilers he tells his friend Minot Roberts.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lee Armstrong HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The title "So Little Time" is ironic since it takes quite awhile to wade through this nearly 600-page book. The biggest problem is with the main character, Jeffrey Wilson, who seems to have a perpetual identity crisis. This guy stews over the events of his life indecisively, muddling through. He has success as a person who can fix plays, but not write one of his own. Wilson can never make up his mind. He falls in love with Louella Barnes and then inexplicably walks away from her when she falls in love with him. What kind of man does that? He marries Madge who perpetually irritates him with her concrete thinking, and repeatedly fails to stand up to her. When he heads to California and she engineers the induction of their son Jim into the military expressly against his wishes, why didn't he divorce her? Madge also determines that Jim's girlfriend Sally Sales is not good enough for her son and puts her down at every opportunity. Jeffrey takes his one decisive action of encouraging them to get married, but then Marquand totally evades what must have been Madge's meltdown upon learning that she was outmaneuvered by her husband. Wilson falls madly in love with Marianna Miller and then steps away when the play he wrote is not of sufficient quality. Wilson is so self-involved that he can't really relate to the world around him. Amid this morass of personality dysfunction, World War II looms on the horizon. Wilson wanders aimlessly through his memories of service in the previous war as he stews over re-joining and ultimately fails to do so. The tedious novel then fizzles to its unremarkable conclusion, creating the impression that Marquand was tired of writing so he stopped.Read more ›
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