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Penrod Paperback – January 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
If you enjoyed Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn, then do yourself a favor and read Penrod. It's a page-turner, laugh-out-loud funny, and a classic in its own right. For decades, Penrod was very popular novel. But it fails today's litmus test of political correctness, so it is probably doomed to be forgotten. And that's a real tragedy. Penrod is beautifully written. It is filled with love, wit, and charm. And ninety years after it was written, most of what it has to say about people still rings true. Whenever I need a dose of innocence, humor, and insightful commentary on the human condition, I know I can rely on Tarkington to deliver the goods. It's a cliche, but they don't write them like this anymore. Too bad for us.
Aspects of the subject matter, however, while generally accepted in the early 1900s and treated kindly herein by the author, would simply not fly under today's political-correctness coercion. As far as popular literature is concerned, it is effectively a banned book. Consequently, "Penrod" eventually will fade from general literary consciousness, and linger only in the memories of those who truly appreciate a fine novel.
Penrod tries to spend his entire life having what he thinks is harmless fun with his friends and neighbors and learning about the amazing world in which he is living. Unfortunately, everything he does gets him in trouble with the adults around him--teachers, parents, parents of neighbors. And Penrod is always bewildered about the fact that he is in trouble, bewildered by the fact that he takes a beating at punishment, and equally bewildered by the times he escapes punishment.
Of course, as a preteen, he is also bewildered by girls. He has a crush on a girl living in his neighborhood, but is completely unaware of how to get him to like her. She refers to him as the worst boy in town, and demands that he never speak to her. Interestingly she angers him even more by calling him a "little gentleman" than she does by ignoring him and calling him the worst boy in town. Of course, all this leads to Penrod falling deeper in love.
You will certainly enjoy this gentle book about the life of a charming and smart boy.
It is unfortunate, but America has been muzzled by the forces of Political Correctness, which may be why this book has been swept under the carpet for so long. For Boothe Tarkington wasn't at all acceptable by the standards of our modern self appointed High Priests of PC. But hey, that's all the more reason you should read this hilarious story! Go on, buy this book and defy the Thought Police to tell you what you are and are not allowed to laugh about anymore! We used to have Free Speech, you know, before we were Balkanized by people determined to find something to be offended over at any (ahem!) niggling cost. Wouldn't it be great if we all relaxed and agreed to try that experiment again?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book. It gives insight into what life was like in the early part of the 20th century. It reminded me of what elementary school was like, way back when. Read morePublished 46 minutes ago by Stephanie Wade
This book is advertized as "illustrated". It is not. The author had line drawings that added to the text. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Joh J.
Excellent story telling reflecting the time and the place so well. Some language and views would be considered politically incorrect today!Published 2 months ago by Kevin McKinney
Well written and very entertaining considering its a book about a twelve year oldPublished 2 months ago by Arthur J. Golder
My daughter may not have been as excited about this book as I was but it was an easy way to supplement her schoolwork. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Finding Sanity In Our Crazy Life
I read this in a library book, putting it on Hold on the strength of my intense enjoyment of "Seventeen. Read morePublished 9 months ago by DF
I read Penrod, then immediately read Penrod and Sam. Wonderful books! Mr. Tarkington really got into the minds of young boys, explaining why they think like they do, and act as... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Sherri O. Roberts