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Tono-Bungay by H. G. Wells
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Tono-Bungay (original 1909; edition 2011)

by H. G. Wells

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7091813,323 (3.54)48
Member:amerynth
Title:Tono-Bungay
Authors:H. G. Wells
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2011), Paperback, 302 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:read 2012, fiction, 1001 books, london

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Tono-Bungay by H. G. Wells (1909)

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» See also 48 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
This is an odd book. It starts out as a critique of the English class system(an underlying theme throughout), moves onto a story about a quack remedy and the misleading advertising around it, reckless financial speculation, a spot of imperialistic theft on the high seas and finally an episode that echoes Bert Smallways' adventures in The War in the Air. Despite this Wells manages to hold everything together through his energetic and often humorous writing. If it is not the great masterpiece the author thought it was, it is nevertheless worth reading for the sheer brio of the story. ( )
1 vote David106 | Jul 1, 2015 |
This isn't the H.G. Wells you think you know and it is a genius commentary of advertising and the boom/bust that it brings into our lives even today. Take what is basically water, call it Tono-Bungay and market the heck out of it as the medicine that will cure practically anything. You have a hit, a fad, the next big thing, but slowly that empire that you build on nothing starts to crumble. You start buying your own advertising slogans, everything you touch turns to gold and getting full of yourself. The bottom falls out and what is left? ( )
  ChewDigest | Nov 17, 2014 |
How marketing a product can lead to riches and then to bankruptcy. Insightful and pertinent to today's consumer. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
It's both amazing and alarming how much this book still rings true.

It's the story of a huckster. Or, more accurately, a want-to-be chemist who turned into a huckster.

"This irrational muddle of a community in which we live gave him that, paid him at that rate for sitting in a room and scheming and telling it lies. For he created nothing, he invented nothing, he economized nothing....It was all a monstrous payment for courageous fiction, a gratuity in return for the one reality of human life -- illusion. We gave them a feeling of hope and profit; we sent a tidal wave of water and confidence into their stranded affairs." ( )
  bug_girl | Mar 30, 2014 |
Available as a free audiobook from https://librivox.org/ ( )
  captbirdseye | Mar 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
AN entertaining book with both a story and a moral, and not a dull page, is a rare achievement for an author nowadays. These results have been attained in the work before us, (Tono-Bungay. By H.G. Wells. New York: Duffield Co. $1.50. 460 pp.)
added by jlelliott | editThe New York Times (Jan 30, 1909)
 

» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
H. G. Wellsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barrett, AndreaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Most people in this world seem to live "in character"; they have a beginning, a middle and an end, and the three are congruous one with another and true to the rules of their type. You can speak of them as being of this sort of people or that. They are, as theatrical people say, no more (and no less) than "character actors."
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From Amazon.com:

Presented as a miraculous cure-all, Tono-Bungay is in fact nothing other than a pleasant-tasting liquid with no positive effects. Nonetheless, when the young George Ponderevo is employed by his uncle Edward to help market this ineffective medicine, he finds his life overwhelmed by its sudden success. Soon the worthless substance is turned into a formidable fortune as society becomes convinced of the merits of Tono-Bungay through a combination of skilled advertising and public credulity.

-Includes a newly established text, a full biographical essay on Wells, a list of further reading, and detailed notes
-Edward Mendelson’s introduction explores the many ways in which Tono-Bungay satirizes the fictions and delusions that shape modern life.
About the Author
Edward Mendelson is a writer, critic, and professor of English at Columbia University. Patrick Parrinder has written on H. G. Wells, science fiction, and James Joyce.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141441119, Paperback)

Presented as a miraculous cure-all, Tono-Bungay is in fact nothing other than a pleasant-tasting liquid with no positive effects. Nonetheless, when the young George Ponderevo is employed by his uncle Edward to help market this ineffective medicine, he finds his life overwhelmed by its sudden success. Soon the worthless substance is turned into a formidable fortune as society becomes convinced of the merits of Tono-Bungay through a combination of skilled advertising and public credulity.

-Includes a newly established text, a full biographical essay on Wells, a list of further reading, and detailed notes
-Edward Mendelson’s introduction explores the many ways in which Tono-Bungay satirizes the fictions and delusions that shape modern life

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:35 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

George Ponderovo's quiet young life is changed for ever when he is forced to leave home and is apprenticed to his dynamic Uncle Edward in his chemist's shop. Edward, determined to 'strike out', invents a bogus medicine called Tono-Bungay which earns him a vast fortune. George's share of the wealth enables him to live out his fantasies by building an aeroplane. As he witnesses the spectacular rise of the Tono-Bungay empire he contemplates a corrupt English society that allows his uncle to wield so much power. This is the only popular edition of the text to include Wells's final revisions. The notes explain his multi-layered allusions, and the Introduction places the novel in its literary and historical context.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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