The Magnificent Ambersons
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The Magnificent Ambersons

3.76 (9,479 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"The Magnificent Ambersons is perhaps Tarkington's best novel," wrote critic Van Wyck Brooks. "[It is] a typical story of an American family and town the great family that locally ruled the roost and vanished virtually in a day as the town spread and darkened into a city."
Awarded the Pulitzer Prize after it was first published in 1918, Tarkington's powerful social commentary traces America's economic growth through the declining fortunes of three generations of the successful and socially prominent Amberson family. Set in a fictional Midwestern town during the latter half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries -- the epic story follows the Ambersons' downward spiraling fortunes during a period of rapid industrialization and socio-economic change in America.
George Amberson Minafer, the arrogant heir to the family's wealth, illustrates the corrupting influence of greed and materialism at a time when the swiftly turning wheels of industry and commerce are overtaking old ways. Definitions of ambition, success, and loyalty are also changing. Almost overnight the prestige of the Ambersons irreversibly changes as well. An exciting chronicle of one family's accumulation of wealth and subsequent downfall, the book also paints a fascinating portrait of the forces that shaped modern American society.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 134 x 212 x 12mm | 218g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0
  • 0486449335
  • 9780486449333
  • 168,706

Rating details

9,479 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 25% (2,407)
4 38% (3,588)
3 27% (2,542)
2 7% (702)
1 3% (240)

Our customer reviews

Mostly, this is a good, old classic. I was surprised to discover it had won a Pulitzer Prize, but I realize that this was written in a different time period. It is hard to read this book from their frame of reference. Mostly, the book goes along at a nice clip. The characters are well-developed, and the dialogue is what one would expect from this time period and this privileged cast of characters. Realism is what drives this story. If you are looking for a romantic story where everyone lives happily after, I recommend you look elsewhere. I could have done without the psychic portion of the book, but at least there was no sex nor profanity. I think the author's most exquisite moment was when he wrote about the changes that occurred as times changed in the U.S. and the priveleged classes moved onward. That is probably what earned him an award. And what of the story? I would say that the story is engaging enough, but I am not particularly fond of the ending. I did appreciate the reality of the story. I suppose that explains the ending. Realistic stories often have no conclusion. I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.show more
by Ruth Hill
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