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The Magnificent Ambersons

Booth Tarkington

Book Overview: 

In a world where a gentleman’s life is defined more “by being, rather than by doing,” a family’s reputation can be compromised if it is not guarded carefully, and the sole heir of the Amberson family is proving himself to be a difficult person. Expected by the family to carry on its proud traditions, George Amberson Minafer is trusted implicitly. But though rich relatives provide the elegant suits, the handsome young man who wears them is filled with little but appearances. And this happens in spite of, or perhaps, because of, his mother’s selfless love that places him above her own happiness.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Lucy exclaimed. "We stayed there late enough last night: papa and I were almost the last to go. He and your mother and Miss Fanny Minafer got the musicians to play another waltz when everybody else had gone downstairs and the fiddles were being put away in their cases. Papa danced part of it with Miss Minafer and the rest with your mother. Miss Minafer's your aunt, isn't she?"

"Yes; she lives with us. I tease her a good deal."

"What about?"

"Oh, anything handy—whatever's easy to tease an old maid about."

"Doesn't she mind?"

"She usually has sort of a grouch on me," laughed George. "Nothing much. That's our house just beyond grandfather's." He waved a sealskin gauntlet to indicate the house Major Amberson had built for Isabel as a wedding gift. "It's almost the same as grandfather's, only not as large and hasn't got a regular ballroom. We gave the dance, last night, at grandfather's on account of the ballroom, a. . . Read More

Community Reviews

“There aren't any old times. When times are gone they're not old, they're dead! There aren't any times but new times!”
― Booth Tarkington, The Magnificent Ambersons

This is one of those fantastic little classics (it won the Pulitzer Prize's second prize for the Novel category in 1919) that while not

ABSOLUTEY MAGNIFICENT......... could not put it down!!!!! Review later -- Time to hike! xoxo

Thank you *Anne*!!!! ...... for telling me about this book!

I knew nothing about Booth Tarkington until just a few days ago.
For those who might not either, ( okay, maybe just a few of you)...
Booth Tark

The Magnificent Ambersons is the story of the changes of early 20th Century as seen through the life of one family. It's a wonderful character driven story, told with sharply ironic humor and wit. I enjoyed it far more than I expected, often chuckling and laughing at the wonderful dialogue and the n

“At the age of nine, George Amberson Minafer, the Major's one grandchild, was a princely terror…”

I just wanted to throttle George “Georgie” Minafer through at least the first half, no, three quarters, of this novel. He is a rude, spoilt, obnoxious and down right cruel child and matures into a uppity

First and last 100 pages are exquisite - as good as anything I've ever read. Middle section bogs down in some repetition and tedious dialogue as the world passes the Ambersons by and they fritter away their lives in clueless trivialities. Many readers will not be able to stand the uncompromising stu

The Magnificent Ambersons transported me to a mid-western town in the early 1900s at the dawn of the industrial age. As automobiles begin to appear, as soft black coal pollutes the avenues, the most prominent family in town (the Ambersons) are forced to change.

The reader feels little sympathy for G

This novel was not at all about what I had anticipated it would be, and surprised me in a very good way. Booth Tarkington is one of those names you know, you feel you certainly must have read, but then you realize you never have. I have two of his novels on my Pulitzer challenge, this one and Alice

Not a memorable story. Descriptions were good but this one wasn't for me.

All the tropes of the All-American novel notwithstanding, the best part of "Magnificent Ambersons" is the creation of its protagonist, Georgie Amberson, perennial brat & complete a$$hole. His impressions on the town, of which he is the most affluent and expectation-filled member, of the riffraff, ar

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