"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Friday, October 18, 2019

Friday quotes and review: Winesburg, Ohio

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from the book.
Th
e Friday56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56.

The book I am currently reading (with a summary and review):

Title: Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
Book Beginnings: from the beginning of the first story, "The Books of the Grotesque"---
The writer, an old man with a white mustache, had some difficulty 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.
Friday56: from the beginning of the fifth story, "The Philosopher"---
Doctor Parcival was a large man with a drooping mouth covered by a yellow mustache...His teeth were black and irregular and there was something strange about his eyes. The lid of his left eye twitched; it fell down and snapped up; it was exactly as though the lid of the eye were a window shade and someone stood inside the doctor's head playing with the cord.
Summary: The fictional town of Winesburg, Ohio was based on Clyde, Ohio where the author grew up. It was a town of 1800 people in the late 1910s, where everyone knew everyone else. The book is a collection of short stories based upon these people. In fact, Sherwood Anderson suggested that "there are grotesques in all villages who are spiritually and psychologically warped by emotional or sexual frustrations." He sets about to write their stories. One person, George Willard, who writes for the local newspaper, is the only character to appear in more than one story. It is possible the the reader is supposed to think that George, who people find themselves drawn to talk to, is the actual writer of the stories.
Review: Like most short story collections I have liked some stories better than others, but one certainly gets the feeling that the town is indeed made up of a bunch of grotesques. When it was published in 1919 it won high praise from reviewers. One said, the book "contains two of the half dozen most remarkable stories written in this century. It is an extraordinarily good book." It certainly hearkens back to olden times made up of horse and buggies, candles and lanterns, and even a night watchman. The book, a classic recommended to me long ago by an English teacher friend, is my Classics Club Spin selection of the quarter. I wanted to read short stories on my recent trip and found a lightweight paperback edition of Winesburg, Ohio so I took it with me. Would I recommend this book to general readers? Probably not unless someone was looking for a book which had a general nostalgia feel to it.

16 comments:

  1. Great excerpts. I like the descriptions. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

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  2. I've not heard of this before. Clearly I need to improve my knowledge of the US classics!

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  3. I haven't heard of this one before. It seems interesting.

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  4. One day I will read this! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it. :)

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  5. The Books of the Grotesque is a pretty awesome title. I'd never heard of this before. (See? So you're not alone in that.) Love the imagery of the doctor's eye!

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  6. I would definitely have to be in the right mood to give this one a try.

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  7. I hadn't heard of this one either. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  8. I hope you love this one, sounds interesting! Happy weekend!

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  9. I'm not a fan (generally) of short stories. I do like nostalgia though!

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    1. I'm glad I've read it if for no toher reason than I can say I did.

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  10. This sounds like an interesting collection. It is interesting to look back at books like this and see what was popular at the time. I hope you have a great week!

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    1. I liked it better and better as the stories began to meld and one got a sense of what the village life was like.

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  11. I have never heard of this before, but I hope you are enjoying it. :-)

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