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The Reverberator

Henry James

Book Overview: 

Another Jamesian look at Americans in Paris. What happens when a reporter for an American scandal sheet (The Reverberator) is looking for a good story, though one which might interfere with the marriage plans of a young American woman in the City of Light? This book has been described as "a delicious Parisian bonbon," and its generally good humor stands in contrast with some of the writer's other work

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ady sitting in the court of the hotel with her father and sister. Mr. Dosson was new to Gaston Probert, but the young man might have been a naturalist visiting a rank country with a net of such narrow meshes as to let no creature of the air escape. The little party was as usual expecting Mr. Flack at any moment, and they had collected downstairs, so that he might pick them up easily. They had, on the first floor, an expensive parlour, decorated in white and gold, with sofas of crimson damask; but there was something lonely in that grandeur and the place had become mainly a receptacle for their tall trunks, with a half-emptied paper of chocolates or marrons glaces on every table. After young Probert's first call his name was often on the lips of the simple trio, and Mr. Dosson grew still more jocose, making nothing of a secret of his perception that Francie hit the bull's-eye "every time." Mr. Waterlow had returned their visit, but that was rather a matter of course, since. . . Read More

Community Reviews

"She seemed to be doing nothing as hard as she could." I feel as though, of this whole book, this is the quote which most accurately epitomizes the essence of what I've just read. A lot of nothing going on, to be sure. In fact, the story was unrelentingly snail-like in it's progression; it doesn'...more

This proves that Henry James had a sense of humour if your standards of evidence are really low. I liked it a lot but now I look back on my Henry James years as a kind of affliction, perhaps like reformed dopeheads might glance back wistfully at their marijuana years. And there is, come to think...more

The Reverberator, which was originally published in Macmillan's Magazine in 1888, is about Americans abroad and the increasing intrusiveness of a certain kind of gossipy newspaper. It's also, mostly, about people: how they act, what they say, what motivates them. It's set in Paris, but aside from a trip to Saint-Germ...more

The title refers to an American newspaper, not a coveted sex toy. A major character, George Flack, pushy, funsy fella in Europe, rollicks the plot by sending a gossipy "Abroad" col home about some Americans in Paris, c 1888. Henry James frowned upon the Press and its vulgar excuse to "Get a story...more

For the reader interested in a light nuptial comedy from James, I would recommend Washington Square over this one. Curiously, James' NY Edition includes The Reverberator and omits W.S., suggesting that the author saw something in the former work that his readers (judging by the response here on Goodreads) generally don...more

Not exactly outstanding but certainly a must-read in my daring attempt to gain a basic English literary culture. All in all it is a very predictable, slow moving, psychology-driven, Anna Karenina-style high society novel, whose piquant come mainly from what seems to be James' trademark, the descr...more

Henry James and the Scandal Sheet: A Review of The Reverberator (1888), revised 1908

Readers of James have not shown as much interest in this short novel as in many of his other works of fiction. Mistakenly regarded as a comparatively lightweight performance, The Reverberator nevertheless...more

"Echo" to zabawna i zdecydowanie zbyt krótka opowieść o uroczej Amerykance, dwóch pretendentach do jej ręki i intrydze tkanej grubymi nićmi. Nie brakuje tutaj piekielnych knowań ambitnego dziennikarza, misternych planów starszej siostry, drobnych oszustw zakochanego młodzieńca i manipulacji prawd...more

Henry James takes on the 19th century paparazzi in this relatively breezy and straightforward (remember, it *is* Henry James) tale. The usual suspects are gathered by Hank: innocent American girl, rich American father, old European society family, and modern villain upsetting everybody.

The villa...more

This novel is a short retread of territory James had already covered (partially) in _The American_ and _The Europeans_ a decade before this work's publication. The tone is more in a comic register (which, more often than not, is something that James could not really handle well), and concerns the...more

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