The Friday56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Find 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.