- Paperback: 258 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; Reprint edition (August 25, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781463788520
- ISBN-13: 978-1463788520
- ASIN: 1463788525
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,563,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Magnificent Ambersons Paperback – August 25, 2011
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"An admirable study of character and of American life." --New York Times(New York Times )
About the Author
Booth Tarkington (1869-1946), a prolific writer who achieved overnight success with his first novel, The Gentleman from Indiana (1899), is perhaps best remembered as the author of the popular Penrod adventures and Seventeen (1916). He was awarded a second Pulitzer Prize for the novel Alice Adams (1921).
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What I got was a masterpiece; easily one of the finest novels ever written.
`The Magnificent Ambersons' discusses just that, the Amberson family. Written in 1919, Booth's novel follows this family as they manage to imprint the stamp of their souls on life in early Indianapolis. Set during the dawn of the twentieth century, as the industrial revolution was beginning to rear its head, the novel dissects the fateful Amberson clan, delving into the young and rather self-interested George Amberson Minafer, grandson to the family's wealthy patriarch. Focusing on this young man, we follow him as he is brought up by a mother who dotes on his every want and desire, to his detriment, as she constantly shields him from the harsh realities of `consequence'. Because of her unyielding affections, George grows up crooked so-to-speak, a man who is convinced in his own infallibility, completely absorbed in his own ideas and opinions, constantly forcing them on those around him. His faults are exemplified when he begins to show carnal interest in young Lucy Morgan, the daughter of a man who at one time owned George's mother's own heart. As George's father's health wanes and his mother's attention becomes preoccupied, George begins to meddle in a way that proves disastrous, causing heartache for everyone involved; even George.
As the novel progresses the reader is completely consumed with the rich development of character. George is not the only one fleshed out completely, but everyone from Lucy to Eugene (her father) to George's mother and of course, the devilishly self-concerned Aunt Fanny. Reading between lines and identifying each character's most intimate flaws is so richly rewarding.
Comparing the film and the novel would be a sad waste of attentions, considering that both are equally impressive while being vastly different. The conclusion attained by Booth Tarkington is phenomenal for it really delivers a well-rounded idea of who George Amberson Minafer was; a complete portrayal. That being said, Welles was able to extract something equally monumental out of his portrayal of the family, and so one cannot fault or prefer one to the other.
Well, the novel is better, but that's just how the world works.