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The Turmoil: A Novel Paperback – Large Print, June 14, 2012

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

An American novelist and dramatist. Booth Tarkington was born in Indianapolis. He was one of the most popular American novelists of his time, with The Two Vanrevels and Mary's Neck appearing on the annual best-seller lists nine times. In 2001, his book The Magnificent Ambersons was named as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the editorial board of the American Modern Library.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: ReadHowYouWant; Large Print 16 pt edition (June 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442914157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442914155
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Tarkington manages to cram an East of Eden epic into 350 pages. The story begins with the sallow and sickly Bibbs coming home from a sanitarium. He has been placed there because of his nerves. His father, known as Sheridan, is the leading capitalist in the bustling Indiana town and his other two sons are at the helm of his money making machine. Sheridan despises his son for being weak. Bibbs, is a poet and dislikes work. He is very smart and not interested in making money. He'd rather write and think. The primary focus of the story is his rehabilitation. He discovers his next door neighbor, Mary, and falls in love with her (typical Tarkington romance). His father forces him into the company's "inner" works were he is forced to work at a noisy machine all day. He dislikes what capitalism and greed has done, noting the heavy smog in the air (ashes come down like snow) and the problems of capitalism. However he grows stronger and we find him to be a very capable man. The "turmoil" is Bibbs finding a balance between working and "living." Tarkington almost comes off as a Sinclair Lewis or Ellen Glasgow at times, but overall there is a LOT going on in this novel, which carries it along extremely well. I wasn't that happy with the ending, as I didn't think Bibbs had found a compromise but rather an acceptance of his fate. One of the best Tarkington books I've read, though.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
“The Turmoil” is a book little read nowadays, and would probably be a book never read except for Orson Welles. Its author, Booth Tarkington, was a famous Indiana writer of the early 20th Century. Nowadays, when literary life is dominated by coastal authors, or those who want to move to the coasts, and the ecosystem around them, and the Midwest is merely “flyover country,” to be ignored or denigrated, this seems odd. But it wasn’t that long ago that in all aspects of life, from literature to politics, the United States had much more diversity—that is, diversity in its real, non-bastardized, sense, of an organic system of differing people making different actual contributions to society. And in “The Turmoil,” the geographic and philosophical diversity of the author and the novel’s setting adds greatly to its interest to the modern reader.

As far as Orson Welles, “The Turmoil” is the first of three novels forming a loose trilogy, nicknamed the Growth Trilogy. The second novel, “The Magnificent Ambersons,” is much better known today, largely because Orson Welles filmed it, and his film was butchered by the studio, creating the legend of a “lost” Welles film. This has kept the second book somewhat in the public literary mind, and some small percentage of those who read “The Magnificent Ambersons,” like me, then choose to read the other “Growth” books. Of course, I’m from Indiana, so Booth Tarkington is also somewhat in the backdrop of my life, making me even more likely to read these books. Purdue University has a dormitory named “Tarkington Hall,” which my father, who taught at Purdue, was associated with. And my mother read some of Tarkington’s “Penrod” stories to me as a child. Nonetheless, these books are worth reading for anyone, not just those with regional interests.
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This is a novel, I am told, that is well worth reading. Unfortunately, this edition, which is apparently printed on demand by the "Yurita Press", cannot be recommended.

The last character of chapter one is a colon. Something this egredious puts the reader on notice that there's something missing, and indeed there is--six lines of poetry from the real book are omitted. Now, you'd think that the publisher, even if inclined to cut a few corners, would have noticed that there was something wrong here. But they didn't.

Apparently, the only goal of the publisher was to make the book occupy as few pages as possible. I can't say exactly how far they succeeded in this, however, because page numbers are one of the niceties that Yurita decided to omit. They saved one page (at the expense of disorienting the new reader) by beginning the text of the book on the verso. But mostly they set in itty-bitty condensed type, with nearly 100 characters on a line. Even reading the two pages of chapter one (which occupiess five pages in a decent edition) gave me the beginnings of a headache.

At this point, I found the tell-tale hanging colon. I put the book aside, and set about getting a more responsibly edited edition. I suggest you do likewise.

One other point. The book doesn't really have a title page, but on the verso of the half-title, you see, above the copyright notice, "First Published circa 1946". 1946 is actually the year Booth Tarkington died. The novel itself was first published in 1915. Oh, well ... what's an error of thirty years or so when you have the chance to read something published by "people who are passionate about history's greatest works"?
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By Dave_42 on October 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"The Turmoil" by Booth Tarkington, was the first novel in what would become the "Growth" trilogy. Originally published in 1915, "The Turmoil" takes place in a fictional mid-west city which is never named, but which is probably modeled on Indianapolis. The name of the trilogy is appropriate, not only because these novels deal with the growth in the country, and the affect of industrialization on society, but also with Tarkington's growth as a writer which appears to have come from his taking time off after writing "The Guest of Quesnay" and resulted in novels that were much fresher and more innovative.

The focus of the novel is on the Sheridan family, which has recently come to wealth through the strong business practices of the father (James), who puts his business before everything else. Other members of the family are the weak wife, the eldest son James Jr. (i.e. Jim) - who is being groomed to replace his father, the middle child Roscoe - who is being treated like a runner-up, a daughter Edith - who is pushing to make the family part of society, and the youngest son Bibbs - who is a disappointment to his father, because he has a much different outlook on what is important in life. It is Bibbs who is the main character of the novel. Other key characters include Sibyl Sheridan - the wife of Roscoe, Bobby Lamhorn - the love interest of Edith, and Mary Vertreese, the daughter of the Vertreese family, which is an old and prestigious family in the area, but one which is keeping up appearances as they are almost without money.

There are still some issues with the racial interaction between the Sheridans and their servants which some will find offensive.
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