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Winesburg, Ohio (1919)

by Sherwood Anderson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Winesburg, Ohio (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,0151031,495 (3.81)166
In a deeply moving collection of interrelated stories, this 1919 American classic illuminates the loneliness and frustrations -- spiritual, emotional and artistic -- of life in a small town.
  1. 110
    The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (chrisharpe)
  2. 80
    My Ántonia by Willa Cather (chrisharpe)
  3. 30
    The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (bertilak)
    bertilak: Bradbury has said that Winesburg, Ohio was one of the inspirations for The Martian Chronicles (grotesque characters in Ohio versus on Mars).
  4. 30
    Main Street by Sinclair Lewis (kxlly)
  5. 10
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (FutureMrsJoshGroban)
    FutureMrsJoshGroban: The style of writing and realism in the portrayal of the characters is very similar.
  6. 10
    The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (kxlly)
  7. 10
    Fidelity: Five Stories by Wendell Berry (MissWoodhouse1816)
  8. 10
    Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters (kxlly)
  9. 00
    Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro (Jozefus)
    Jozefus: Anderson en Munro zijn vaker met elkaar vergeleken. Beide boeken bestaan uit losse verhalen over een protagonist(e) die opgroeit in een fictief provinciestadje. En in beide gevallen vertoont dat stadje een opvallende gelijkenis met de plaats waar de auteur zelf is opgegroeid.… (more)
  10. 00
    A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor (AnnaKatharina)
  11. 11
    Marriages Are Made In India by Lakshmi Raj Sharma (Publerati)
    Publerati: Like Winesburg Ohio, this story collection hangs together in mood and theme in an appealing way.
  12. 00
    Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (gust)
    gust: Ook een verhalenbundel met terugkerende personages in de verschillende verhalen
  13. 01
    The Man Without a Face by Isabelle Holland (TheLittlePhrase)

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» See also 166 mentions

English (92)  Catalan (5)  Spanish (3)  Danish (2)  German (1)  All languages (103)
Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
The themes and concepts about humanity and society in these stories are fascinating and ageless. ( )
  Nakeeya | Jun 29, 2020 |
I found this book through a slightly unusual route. I was reading "Fire Touched" an urban fantasy book and there was a description of the books on the desk of one of the Marrok, leader of the North American werewolves. Sherwood Anderson was one of the authors he was reading.

My ignorance of classic American Literature is boundless, so I'd never heard of Sherwood Anderson. The idea of a new classic book appealed to me so I picked up Anderson's most famous work, "Winesburg, Ohio".

"Winesburg, Ohio" is a series of linked short stories about the residents of Winesburg. It was published in 1919, the same year as Virginia Woolf's "Night and Day" and P.G. Wodehouse's "My Man Jeeves" yet it reads as if it had been written a century earlier.

The premise of "Winesburg, Ohio" is very similar to Elizabeth Strout's "Anything Is Possible": each story builds on a central cast of characters and their influence on each other's fate is revealed.

The writing is very different. Whereas "Anything Is Possible" paints deeply nuanced, intense portraits of the personal landscapes of individuals who know each other, "Winesburg, Ohio" feels s set of sketches drawn with stubs of pencil, full of energy but rudely formed.

The writing is long-winded, self-consciously portentous and consistently remains at a distance from the minds of the protagonists.

At first, I thought I might be seeing a sort of text-version of Fauvism - all the passion with none of the foam.

As I read on I put that idea aside and saw the book as a poorly constructed rant against small-town Ohio, who the author sees a being driven insane by truths that have turned sour by being held on to too tightly. The author's voice is so all persuasive that his agenda and passions shine more brightly than any of the characters in the book.

To me, this book can serve only two purposes: as an historical artefact to show how far the American Novel has evolved, or as an instrument of torture to be used to turn Highschool kids off the idea of reading to themselves.

I can imagine essays being written about the emergence of post-rural American and the shifts in mores as small towns forsake their frontier history and try to embrace the modern. It's all there but it's not all good.

It seems to me that Sherwood Anderson is a polemicist with no real talent for storytelling. This is a great example of a book that is a classic because it's a hundred years old and has been kept in print by the school curriculum long after it has lost any popular appeal.

( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
A short story collection about residents of a small town in Ohio.
Most of the characters seem to live quite lonely, unhappy lives and the whole mood of the book is quite depressing.
Usually I don't mind depressing/dark books and quite enjoy them, but unfortunately this one was quite disappointing.
It was just boring, and I didn't care about any of the characters, who just seemed miserable for the sake of being miserable.
I guess there is some realistic elements in the everyday lives described, which many might enjoy. ( )
  naratemari | Jan 4, 2020 |
For a book filled with desperate people and hopelessness, this was very good. Stories ended unexpectedly, with not much explanation, but it worked. Of course, I was horribly depressed for half a day after reading this - be warned! ( )
  carliwi | Sep 23, 2019 |
Somehow I had never read this book, so im glad it got picked for one of my book clubs. Sherwood Anderson describes life in a small Ohio town that is ostensibly based on his own hometown. It is not a pleasant portrait.

The action in the book takes place almost entirely at night, sand the darkness reflects the lives of most of the book's characters. There is lying, cheating, illicit sex and just about every other vice you can think of. No wonder the people in Anderson's home town were appalled when this book came out. A very depressing, yet accurate look at the venial life in a small town. ( )
  etxgardener | Sep 4, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
In the autumn of 1915, while living in a bohemian boardinghouse on Chicago’s Near North Side, Sherwood Anderson began work on a collection of tales describing the tortured lives of the inhabitants of Winesburg, a fictional Ohio town, in the 1890s. Drawing on his own experience growing up in the agricultural hamlet of Clyde, Ohio, he breathed life into a band of neurotic castaways adrift on the flatlands of the Midwest, each of them in their own way struggling — and failing — to locate meaning, personal connection and love amid the town’s elm-shaded streets.
Het boek kent enkele zich nogal herhalende thema’s en lijdt wat onder de afwezigheid van de psychologische inzichten die de er opvolgende decennia gemeengoed zouden worden. Toch heeft deze terechte heruitgave meer dan louter literair historische waarde. Het toont een Amerika op de historische grens van een agrarische naar een industriële samenleving, en het toont de onmacht, de hopeloos lijkende ontsnappingsstrategieën, de dieptrieste psychologische problematiek van het voetvolk dat nooit erkenning zou krijgen in het Amerikaanse succesverhaal. Sherwood Anderson zal dit nooit als oogmerk hebben gehad, omdat hij het lot van zijn personages als universeel zag en dat met veel mededogen noteerde.
added by Jozefus | editNRC Handelsblad, Jan Donkers (pay site) (May 26, 2011)

» Add other authors (124 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anderson, Sherwoodprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cowley, MalcolmIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howe, IrvingIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koontz, DeanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stahl, Ben F.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trevisani, GiuseppeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the memory of my mother, Emma Smith Anderson, whose keen observations on the life about her first awoke in me the hunger to see beneath the surface of lives, this book is dedicated.
First words
The writer, an old man with a white mustache, had some difficulty in getting into bed. The windows of the house in which he lived were high and he wanted to look at the trees when he awoke in the morning. A carpenter came to fix the bed so that it would be on a level with the window.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Short stories with common setting and several common characters, and a rough chronological order. Life in small town Ohio in the late nineteenth century.

Includes: "Hands"
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Average: (3.81)
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1 19
1.5 3
2 57
2.5 11
3 203
3.5 65
4 296
4.5 45
5 234

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