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The Gentleman from Indianapolis: A Treasury…

The Gentleman from Indianapolis: A Treasury of Booth Tarkington

by Booth Tarkington

Other authors: John Beecroft (Editor)

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873195,475 (4.88)14



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I found this volume in my mother's home after her death and decided to keep it. It's in fairly good condition with the exception of the dust jacket, which I threw away keeping the end notes (blurbs).

I plan to read the novels and stories from time to time, and will write my thoughts on them in this space as I finish each.

Alice Adams (complete novel)
Reading from a 21st century perspective, I found the 1920s characters of Alice Adams and her mother very annoying and harmful to their family. The mother was constantly nagging her husband to better himself by leaving his secure if lowly position in a company to start a new business. Alice was a very cheerful person who seemed to get along happily with everyone, but she pretended to be of a social class higher than she was. She had been popular in high school, and thought that popularity alone could get her through adulthood. I found it strange that a 22 year old woman whose family's finances were almost stretched to the limit (partly because of hers and her mother's demands) would not be earning her own way.

I finally got through the novel, just to see how it would turn out, but it has put me off wanting to read the others in this volume: The Magnificent Ambersons and Penrod. I will give them a try though.
  FancyHorse | Feb 24, 2014 |
The Gentleman from Indianapolis is a collection that provides an excellent introduction to the fiction of American author Booth Tarkington (1869- 1946). It includes the entire text of three novels – Penrod, The Magnificent Ambersons, and Alice Adams. Also included are excerpts from three other novels: Gentle Julia, Seventeen, and Little Orvie. The collection also contains seven shorter works. “Mrs. Protheroe” and “Great Men’s Sons” are excerpted from In the Arena: Stories of Political Life, a 1905 book that the author based on his experience as a state legislator for the state of Indiana. “Dolling” and “Mrs. Dodge, Mrs. Cromwell and Mrs. Roderick Brooks Battle” are magazine pieces that eventually were collected into the book Women. The remaining three short stories are Tarkington’s “The One Hundred Dollar Bill,” “Mary Smith,” and “Stella Crozier.”

This collection offers a comprehensive overview of Tarkington’’s best work. Two of the included novels won Pulitzer Prizes -- The Magnificent Ambersons (1918) and Alice Adams (1921) – both of which were made into movies. Penrod (1914) was immensely popular in its day, and continues to charm modern readers with its amusing depiction of boyhood in the midwestern US soon after the turn of the century. The excerpted Little Orvie is one of my favorites of his novels. “Stella Crozier” (which I had not encountered before this collection) is an immensely clever and entertaining story. It demands to be read a second time, once the reader figures out what is going on.

Although Tarkington is not much read these days, the author’s wit, subtlety, and immense skill with language places him among the foremost of US authors. This collection serves as a fine introduction to his work, one likely to inspire many a reader to explore further the literary contributions of this fine writer.

Note to a reader seeking a copy of this work: Do not confuse this collection with a book of similar title, The Man from Indiana, Tarkington's first novel, which he published in 1899. ( )
4 vote danielx | Jun 15, 2013 |
  sanjuanslim | Oct 26, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tarkington, Boothprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beecroft, JohnEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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