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When All the World Was Young (Contemporary American Fiction) Paperback – October 1, 1992

4.7 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sams continues the adventures of naive but resilient Porter Osborne Jr. in this loosely autobiographical novel set during WW II.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Sams here continues the saga of Porter Osborne Jr., a likable Georgia farmboy. In the beginning of this long and somewhat sentimental novel, set during World War II, Porter is a medical student. He deliberately flunks out so that he can join the war effort and is sent to Normandy as a medical assistant. Porter and his friends deal with the same issues found in any coming-of-age novel--family, religion, personal identity, and relations with the opposite sex. Porter, however, has an edge. He has strong ties to his Baptist family and to the rich soil that is their livelihood and a head full of poetry that becomes his solace and inspiration. In the face of war's devastation, he manages to keep his sense of humor and direction, learning that to understand who he is becoming he must remember where he came from. Readers on the same journey will appreciate this novel, as will fans of the previous Porter Osborne novels, Run with the Horsemen (Peachtree Pubs., 1982) and The Whisper of the River (Peachtree Pubs., 1984) . -- Peggie Partello, Keene State Coll., N.H.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Contemporary American Fiction
  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (October 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140172270
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140172270
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a wonderful journey that takes the reader through Porter Osborne's young life that is ordinary yet somehow extraordinary. The dialogue is honest and the accents are right-on; from the Georgia drawl to the Chicago slang. The humor is laugh-out-loud and refreshing, not contrived in the least. In fact, I picked up some handy idioms from Dr. Sams that I share with my friends and collegues. This novel sucked me in so quickly yet, I did not feel manipulated in the least. I could not help but to want to read more about this bespectled, open-mouthed, young man who approaches life with a sincerity, cleverness and candor that is unparalled.
I finished the novel convinced that Dr. Sams has one of the most amazing voices in literature today and anxious for another yarn about Porter Osborne, Jr.
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Format: Hardcover
This novel is equal to some of the best works of American literature. In a style reminiscent of Mark Twain, but with a sure voice of his own, Ferrol Sams has crafted an absolute masterpiece. The first two books in this series were phenomenal, but When All the World was Young tops even them.
The book is structured as a series of stories, all interconnected as a narrative. Each of these episodes fits in nicely with the preceding and following stories. There are a few subtle references to the earlier books, but this novel can be enjoyed independantly. If you are unfamiliar with the series, I would reccomend that you read the previous books first.
This is the rare novel that manages to be both laugh-out-loud funny, philisophical, and touching all at once. Porter (the protagonist) struggles with religion, racism, Southern culture, his attitude towards his father, women, medicine, the Army, and World War II. He is an unforgettable character: very sympathetic - naive, yet somehow worldy at the same time.
If your reading interests include serious works of literature by contemporary artists, you simply must read this book. I could not put it down the first time I read it, and have come back to it again and again.
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Format: Paperback
Ferrol Sams is one of the best authors in the US, not because of his writing, content or anything of technical nature, but because he does everything from the heart and makes it applicable to readers of all ages. I cannot think of a single soul who would not enjoy his works, as everyone seems to have a bit of Porter Longstreet Osborne, Jr. inside himself. I give this trilogy as birthday and Christmas gifts and have enjoyed them over and over myself. A definite read.
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By A Customer on July 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is, quite simply, the best book I have ever read - one of those books where you will miss the character long after the story. It was charming, hilarious, compelling, and heart wrenching. I just loved Porter Osborne Jr.!
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Format: Paperback
I don't usually read books of this genre (the protagonist is a young man who was raised on a farm in the South), and at first I thought I might not enjoy it. However, the more I read, the more I was caught up in the character and the story. A good vacation book--it's long, so you'll need plenty of time blocked out.
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Format: Hardcover
I finished When All the World Was Young this morning and felt as if I were leaving a good friend when I closed the book. The life of Porter Osborne, Jr., told with humor and poignancy. I loved all three books.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book to complete the trilogy of the Ferrol Sams books I was reading. They may be southern regional books. but the author made his continuing story seem as current as when he wrote the books. Simply put, the books have a good bit of "meat" to them.
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Format: Paperback
I received this book as a gift and once I started reading found it un-put-downable. This book is humerous, poignant and utterly believable. I am now off to order the first two books in this trilogy.
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