HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington
Loading...

Alice Adams (1921)

by Booth Tarkington

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3981241,212 (3.6)38

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 38 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
I can't believe this won a Pulitzer.

This is not a deep read. The descriptions of black people and in working people in general are crude.

Alice Adams in a young 20-something. She (and her mother) desperately want her to land a good (read: wealthy and/or important) husband. But since she was 16, fewer and fewer young men have come to call. She's grasping, and they are now looking for wives, not girls. And Alice's father is a department head. He's not a business owner, he's not wealthy. They have had to scramble to put Alice out there, meanwhile they have given her younger brother none of this and he is just going to take it.

So, she is not a desirable wife for the "quality" husband she wants. In the end, mother and daughter (and father) see what must be done and start to settle into their proper places within society.

Ugh. ( )
  Dreesie | Jan 24, 2017 |
536. Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington (read 24 Apr 1958) (Pulitzer fiction prize for 1922) I read this because it won the Pulitzer fiction prize for 1922. I found it insipid. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jul 30, 2013 |
Early in his career, Booth Tarkington (1869–1946) published three short novels set in Europe. This early collection (first published in 1907) gathered them together into a single work. Several modern editions of this collection are available in paperback, as are books that include the first two stories listed.

Tarkington is remembered primarily for novels based in the US Midwest in the first three decades of the 20th century. Thus these particular stories are unusual in setting, and reveal aspects of the writer's work not familiar to most readers. Monsieur Beaucaire (first published in 1900) is a light- hearted story of a French prince living in England in the 1800s under an assumed identity. In The Beautiful Lady (1905), an Italian man named Ansolini, down on his luck while living in Paris, accepts a position from the wealthy Lambert Poor to act as an escort and tutor for his son Rufus. Ansolini of course fails miserably, and what ensues is an amusing adventure with love triangles and social intrigue. His Own People ( 1907) traces the disreputable exploits of a young American man traveling in Europe and living well beyond his means. He becomes an easy mark for a motley group of con artists. By the end of the tale, he gladly returns to the US, chastened by his experience and ready to accept his place in American society. Following this work, Tarkington focused on writing about his own country, so the novel's theme loosely parallels the author's own change in perspective from Europe back to his own beloved Midwest.

These three novellas will mainly be of interest to readers who want to explore all of the author's literary works. Other readers may find them amusing enough, although several other works by the author have had much greater staying power over the past 100 years. ( )
2 vote danielx | Jun 17, 2013 |
"Over the pictures, the vases, the old brown plush rocking-chairs and the stool, over the three gilt chairs, over the new chintz-covered easy chair and the gray velure sofa over everything everywhere, was the familiar coating of smoke and grime... Yet here was not fault of housewifery; the curse could not be lifted, as the ingrained smudges permanent on the once white woodwork proved. The grime was perpetually renewed; scrubbing only ground it in." from the novel
  AC.Belgrade | Jun 3, 2011 |
It's the turn of the 20th century in the industrialized midwest. Alice Adams is a young woman of age twenty-two. She's from a middle class family but has ambitons to rise up in society.

The difficulty is that her family doesn't have the financial means to provide her with the necessities to compete with the other women she wants to impress. For the dance at her friend's home, she doesn't have a date and coerces her brother, Walter, to escourt her. She wears a dress that is already owned but her mother fixes it up by adding some lace to it. She can't afford flowers from a florist but goes out and picks violets and wears them, by the time the dance is held, the violets are withered and dead.

The main theme of the novel is getting ahead in life, moving up in the financial and social hieracy that exists.

Alice is reminiscent of Scarlett in "Gone With The Wind' in her attempts to get ahead in society. She also wants to capture the most eligible bachelor, even if that person is promised to another. Her father, Virgil, is a more sympathetic character. He seemed content in his life but is persuaded to give up his contentment and attempt to follow his wife's dream. She wants him to go after an invention that he was partly responsible for, even at the betrayal of his former employer and trusting friend. ( )
  mikedraper | Dec 16, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To S.S. McClure
First words
The patient, an old-fashioned man, thought the nurse made a mistake in keeping both of the windows open, and her sprightly disregard of his protests added something to his hated of her.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0253215935, Paperback)

Over the pictures, the vases, the old brown plush rocking-chairs and the stool, over the three gilt chairs, over the new chintz-covered easy chair and the gray velure sofa—over everything everywhere, was the familiar coating of smoke and grime.... Yet here was not fault of housewifery; the curse could not be lifted, as the ingrained smudges permanent on the once white woodwork proved. The grime was perpetually renewed; scrubbing only ground it in. —from the novel

This is the story of a middle-class family living in the industrialized "midland country" at the turn of the 20th century. It is against this dingy backdrop that Alice Adams seeks to distinguish herself. She goes to a dance in a used dress, which her mother attempts to renew by changing the lining and adding some lace. She adorns herself not with orchids sent by the florist but with a bouquet of violets she has picked herself. Because her family cannot afford to equip her with the social props or "background" so needed to shine in society, Alice is forced to make do. Ultimately, her ambitions for making a successful marriage must be tempered by the realities of her situation. Alice Adams's resiliency of spirit makes her one of Tarkington's most compelling female characters.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:20 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Plucky and romantic Alice tries to rise above the crudities of her hopelessly shabby background in this Pulitzer Prize-winning classic about ambition and self-delusion. The lower-middle class Adams family faces a slow disintegration in a small Midwestern town. Alice, a social climber, is ashamed of her unsuccessful family and determined to distinguish herself. Lacking the social props she needs to shine in society, Alice attends a dance and lies about her background, hoping to attract a wealthy husband. But in the end, her high aspirations must be tempered by the reality of her situation. Alice Adams's resiliency of spirit makes her one of Tarkington's most compelling female characters.

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.6)
0.5
1
1.5 1
2 6
2.5 3
3 13
3.5 12
4 23
4.5 1
5 10

Indiana University Press

2 editions of this book were published by Indiana University Press.

Editions: 0253215935, 0253342279

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 137,458,081 books! | Top bar: Always visible