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The Custom Of The Country Paperback – November 13, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-1461030256 ISBN-10: 1461030250

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The Custom Of The Country + The House of Mirth (Dover Thrift Editions) + The Age of Innocence (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461030250
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461030256
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"A well-presented edition. Orgel's introduction is superior."--Marvin Magalaner, NYU


"An excellent edition, with just the right amount of apparatus." --Burton Raffel, University of Southwestern Louisiana


About the Author

Edith Wharton (1862–1937) published poetry and short stories in magazines and in volume form before her novel The House of Mirth became a bestseller and established her as a writer of both distinction and popular appeal. Her other novels include Ethan Frome and The Age of Innocence, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Linda Wagner-Martin is Frank Borden Hanes Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the editor of The Portable Edith Wharton.

Customer Reviews

Unlike able character but very like able book!
Patricia Dudley
I thought they were okay -- beautiful descriptive passages, brilliant flashes of psychological and political insight, but with boring characters and lame story lines.
F. L. Daugherty
If you are looking for a world that will enter your heart and stay there, this is a book for you.
George Zilbergeld

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By F. L. Daugherty on August 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is Edith Wharton's real masterpiece. Before reading this novel recently (I'd hardly heard of it before), I'd read her much more famous "Age of Innocence" and "House of Mirth." I thought they were okay -- beautiful descriptive passages, brilliant flashes of psychological and political insight, but with boring characters and lame story lines. "The Custom of the Country" has all the fine qualities you expect to find in a good Wharton novel, but with an absolutely amazing protagonist -- Undine. "The Custom of the Country" is "Vanity Fair," with its much paler Becky Sharp, squared. This is what Thackeray would have written if he'd had a much keener and colder eye -- and a blacker sense of humor. This is now in my novelistic top ten -- along with (if you want to know some other books I like before taking my advice and buying/reading this): "Moby-Dick," "The Man Without Qualities," "Blood Meridian," "Remembrance of Things Past," and Burroughs' last major novel "The Western Lands."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carpe Librum on January 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Poor Ralph.

Poor Paul.

Everyone who comes into contact with Undine Spragg ends up regretting it. She pulls them in with her beauty and appearance of innocence, but this girl knows what she is doing - if only she could figure out what she wants. Constantly striving for whatever it is she doesn't have, Undine has a sense of entitlement that knows no bounds. If her parents can't provide it, then she must need a husband. If he is incapable, well, she'll find a lover who can meet her bills. She seems to feel no remorse for those she tramples in her quest to get . . . . well, she's not completely sure where.

I know that this novel is Wharton's big hit, but I honestly enjoyed others more, especially Age of Innocence, House of Mirth, and Ethan Frome. This novel is conspicuously missing the big surprise ending that haunts the reader long after finishing her other works. While not my favorite, this is still a very worthwhile read as anything by Wharton is beautifully written and thought provoking.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By paul jackson on April 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is readable, but it gets a bit tiresome. Undine goes through husbands faster than some people go through underwear in a time when divorce was frowned upon.
However, there is a moral there. Undine always wanted more than she had, and was never satisfied with what she had.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By George Zilbergeld on December 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book, much above the quality of much current fiction. If you are looking for a world that will enter your heart and stay there, this is a book for you. Be warned- once you read this, it will be forever more be a part of you and that part will be sad . No sadder than life but a true reflection of life.

Dr.Zilbergeld
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By LFNYC on August 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book deserves another 5 star review. I place it at #1 of EW's big 3. If you've read Age of Innocence and House of Myrth, but missed this one, make sure to read it. It is timeless, imho. The year may be 2011, but there are still plenty of Undines in NYC.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Winters on June 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading about a quarter of the novel, I decided that any more time spent among this group of characters was very unlikely to enrich my soul. After a few days I reconsidered, and went on reading it to the end. It held my interest, but the book offered no redeeming insight to reconsider my original impression. A painstaking portrait of such self involved characters and their ambitions, however ably depicted, is most unsatisfying in a work considered a "classic".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Diane flight on February 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you don't like books where the main character is unlikeable you will not enjoy this book. The hideously named Undine Spragg (Undie to her father) is a spoilt, selfish social climber almost completely without a conscious. Her only admirable qualities are her determination and non- conformity. Undine usually gets what she wants despite the societal constraints of the times in which she lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mother of 9 on January 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoy reading books written around the turn of the 20th century; life is so similar to ours in many ways, and yet so different in others. So this book, written in 1913, seemed right up my alley. It's the story of Undine Spragg, who is around 18 or 20 at the beginning of the story. She has browbeaten her father into moving from Apex, somewhere in the midwest, to New York City, so she can enjoy the "right" people and an "exciting" life. I spent the entire book despising Undine, marvelling at her husband, who was "to the manor born," and therefore had a familial allowance of $3000 per year, and didn't work (Ford paid about $30 per week, or $1500 per year, at that time). Undine's father was required to give an allowance to her husband, as well, to pay for her upkeep, and she never thought anyone ever gave her enough. The book follows her through New York, Italy, Paris and back. It was well written, and fast enough paced, but the world was so foreign to me, and Undine so spoiled and selfish, that I just didn't enjoy it.
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