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Winesburg, Ohio: (A Modern Library E-Book) (Modern Library 100 Best Novels) [Kindle Edition]

Sherwood Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)

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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

'Here [is] a new order of short story,' said H. L. Mencken when Winesburg, Ohio was published in 1919. 'It is so vivid, so full of insight, so shiningly life-like and glowing, that the book is lifted into a category all its own.' Indeed, Sherwood Anderson's timeless cycle of loosely connected tales--in which a young reporter named George Willard probes the hopes, dreams, and fears of the solitary people in a small Midwestern town at the turn of the century--embraced a new frankness and realism that ushered American literature into the modern age. 'There are moments in American life to which Anderson gave not only the first but the final expression,' wrote Malcolm Cowley. 'Winesburg, Ohio is far from the pessimistic or morbidly sexual work it was once attacked for being. Instead it is a work of love, an attempt to break down the walls of loneliness, and, in its own fashion, a celebration of small-town life in the lost days of good will and innocence.'


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Library Journal praised this edition of Sherwood Anderson's famed short stories as "the finest edition of this seminal work available." Reconstructed to be as close to the original text as possible, Winesburg, Ohio depicts the strange, secret lives of the inhabitants of a small town. In "Hands," Wing Biddlebaum tries to hide the tale of his banishment from a Pennsylvania town, a tale represented by his hands. In "Adventure," lonely Alice Hindman impulsively walks naked into the night rain. Threaded through the stories is the viewpoint of George Willard, the young newspaper reporter who, like his creator, stands witness to the dark and despairing dealings of a community of isolated people.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-Life in a small western town, by Sherwood Anderson. Narrated by Flo Gibson.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 408 KB
  • Print Length: 141 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1848301588
  • Publisher: Modern Library (November 1, 2000)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000QEJ0VA
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #688,436 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
92 of 98 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sherwood Anderson published this collection of short stories in 1919 all set in fictional town of Winesburg, Ohio. Even though it's written in the third person, it's told through the narrative voice of George Willard, the town reporter, who shows up in most of the stories, sometimes taking an active role and at other times just telling a story.
It is obvious that the writer loves these people, and is frustrated at the isolation and unhappiness of their lives, even though he makes it clear that they hold within themselves everything needed to make them happy. The character in the first story is a dying old writer who is attempting to write about all the people he has known as a "book of grotesques". What follows is the collection of stories, which each character fulfilling that expectation.
There are the young lovers who don't quite connect; there is a old man so obsessed with religious fervor that he attempts to sacrifice his grandson; there is a married man who regrets it all and tries to warn a younger man of future unhappiness; there's a doctor and a sick woman who try to connect. The book is full of people who toil all their lives and never achieve happiness. As I made my way through the book I kept hoping that even one of the characters would rise above the morass. It didn't happen.
The writer has a wonderful sense of place and the town of Winesburg in the early part of the 20th Century is very real. These people were not poor or disadvantaged in the usual sense of the word; they didn't suffer fire, floods or famine. Instead, they trapped themselves in their own psychological webs that made it impossible for them to lead anything but sad unfulfilled lives. This is a fine book and stands alone as a clear voice of its time.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A daughter's gift... December 18, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
... Isn't one of the ultimate benchmarks of successful parenting when your child selects a book from her bookshelf, and says: "Here Dad, you may enjoy this"? Of course I had to overcome that instinctive shudder when I recognized the not very "zippy" title as belong to one of those "school assignment" books I had so successfully dodged. Yet considering it is far past the time to reconsider that initial aversion, and that the only teacher I have to please is myself; and then there is the matter of the pedigree of the recommender... so why not?

I did not get past the introduction before I uncovered a recommendation that reinforced the others. Sherwood Anderson was a mentor to both Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner, no small matter in itself. The not very fictional town of Winesburg, Ohio is based on the very real town of Clyde, Ohio, wherever that is. It proves to be located not that far off the shores of Lake Erie, between Cleveland and Toledo. Clyde still has only around 6,000 people, and their website promotes the virtues of small town living. But where is their most famous writer? You have to "drill down" two levels in their website, to find a brief, two sentence mention of the writer who literally "put them on the map." They'd rather talk about their Civil War General, James McPherson, or the Whirlpool plant. So, perhaps the ultimate endorsement: he had told too much about them, a realistic assessment of the town that jars with the "pro-business" image the website promotes, and thus numerous folks today are still not fond of him.

The book itself is composed of 24 short stories; many of them could be "stand alone" in their excellence.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Modern January 13, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm ashamed to say that I avoided this book for decades - decades! - based soley on a cover. My mother had the book on her bookshelves, an older edition with a painting of a turn of the century couple courting on the front. It looked vaguely impressionist, and left me to conclude that the stories inside would probably be a bunch of sentimentalist claptrap. How wrong I was!

The book inside is more akin to a Hopper painting than a Degas. Anderson manages an amazing level of character development within the short stories. The stories themselves work independently, but also work together to tell the story of an American Midwestern town. And the feeling one is left with is that everything you have read is essentially and authentically American.

To comment on the Kindle version specifically, it seems well formatted to this reader. I've noticed a typo here and there, but nothing glaring, and nothing that distracts from the experience of reading the book.
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In the context of today's tell-all society, the kinds of human revelations and insights that Sherwood Anderson wove into the Winesburg stories may seem tame and even pedestrian. But at the time, few good writers were even attempting to penetrate into the "real life" experience of ordinary Americans. His efforts so many years ago are all the more valuable today, however, since it provides us a glimpse of what life was *really* like for some people in much-romanticized "small town America."
This novel is really a collection of loosely interrelated short stories, or perhaps even a series of character sketches, but so what? The value here is in the individual images and insights that Anderson provides, not in any emergent "plot."
The glimpses into the inner lives of ordinary Americans and the fine descriptions of place, mood, and events that Anderson provides in this work still speak to some readers, at least, today. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Collection of Short Stories about a Small American Town
A nice look at small town American in the time of the machine age where people questioned themselves and their beliefs in a fast changing world.
Published 4 days ago by ragamuffinrabbit
3.0 out of 5 stars Eih.
Not really loving this book. I find it slow and uninteresting.
Published 5 days ago by Lisa
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Speaks of the American character with unflinching honesty and great compassion. very few authors write like this anymore.
Published 13 days ago by Kit Angell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
classic Amereican work. Read this if you have not.
Published 17 days ago by s an
5.0 out of 5 stars A Celebration of the Ordinary
This novel may seem boring to some and others may not like it cause it seems like the story does not really have a plot. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Andy Li
5.0 out of 5 stars A great American work of art
This is a defining American classic. This is a series of related stories exploring the sad and sometimes desperate lives of the people who live in Winesburg, Ohio. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gregory S. Martinez
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An American Classic well worth the read.
Published 1 month ago by Repha Buckman
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not a fun read.
I am a little ambivalent about this book. I loved the first story, and I liked some of the other ones, but to be totally honest, it was a little bit boring. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Max H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the great writers of the 20th century.
Published 1 month ago by John Andrews
3.0 out of 5 stars arrived in perfect shape, arrived quickly- actually early
School book, arrived in perfect shape, arrived quickly- actually early. price- great!
Published 1 month ago by NPC
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