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Winesburg, Ohio (Penguin Classics) Paperback – September 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reissue edition (September 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140186557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140186550
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #579,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

There is a reason this book is still read.
Francine Jewett
As I made my way through the book I kept hoping that even one of the characters would rise above the morass.
Linda Linguvic
Anderson manages an amazing level of character development within the short stories.
SeaShell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 21, 2002
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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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By SeaShell on 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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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Douglas A. Greenberg VINE VOICE on June 12, 1999
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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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A.J. on February 12, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sherwood Anderson's "Winesburg, Ohio" is a string of twenty-one connected stories (plus an introduction) that, like James Joyce's "Dubliners", links a community of people to a single place and time and explores common themes. Most of the stories are told from the vista of the recurring central character George Willard, the local newspaper reporter and a sort of alter ego of Anderson, who used his own rural hometown of Clyde, Ohio, as a model for Winesburg.
Rather than an idyllic portrayal of American small town life in the 1890's, these stories are about psychological isolation, loneliness, and sexual repression and frustration brought about by small town mores. These people are as sad and neurotic as any that might be found living in the big cities. Anderson calls them "grotesques," people who are warped by the sanctimoniousness of provincial piety and their own inhibitions. His nonchalant, ironic way of writing understates the peculiarity and the gloominess of the stories.
The stories are loaded with symbolism that is difficult to decipher. My favorite is probably the four-part "Godliness", which, in a satire of religious fervor, merges parodies of the biblical tales of Abraham's near-sacrifice of Isaac and David's slaying of Goliath. But all the stories have interesting allusions of various degrees of subtlety. This work must have seemed quite groundbreaking in its depth, complexity, and boldness when it was first published in 1919.
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