Friday, April 27, 2012

LR Blog Tour and Give@way: The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington

Title: The Magnificent Ambersons
Author: Booth Tarkington
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Legacy Romance
Publish Date: First published in 1918 (LR's version was published in 2012)
Source: Legacy Romance

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You want to dip your toe into classics.
  • You love really, really horribly behaving characters.
What's the Story?:

Synopsis from LR: " 'At the age of nine, George Amberson Minafer, the Major's one grandchild, was a princely terror...'

Georgie Amberson Minafer, the spoiled only grandchild of a wealthy Midwest family, is alternately loathed and revered by nearly everyone in town. His beautiful face and privileged upbringing create an image that is difficult for people to resist, particularly people who are used to watching everything the Amberson family says and does. When Lucy Morgan arrives in town and enters the story, she too is captured by the magnificence of the Amberson family, and particularly by Georgie. But little do Georgie and Lucy know that their parents were also once in love.

Isabel Amberson, Georgie's mother, was the most sought-after girl in town. Eugene Morgan, Lucy's father, was the only young man who could capture Isabel's heart. Through a youthful misunderstanding the star-crossed lovers were parted, only to be reunited years later, now with children of their own. Will Eugene and Isabel be able to finish their love story with a happy ending? Or will Georgie, used to being worshipped by his mother, be unable to accept that his mother is a woman who may need some completion outside of serving her one and only adored son?"

My Two Cents:

Way back in 1918, this book won a Pulitzer prize. It's also very often placed on lists of classics to read. After reading this book, I can see why! The Magnificent Ambersons is one of those books that can definitely be enjoyed no matter when you're reading it. Although it's apparent that George's world is a lot different than our world today, there are several universal themes in the books that transfer through time rather well.

At some point in your life, you've probably come across someone like George Amberson Minafer. They are spoiled to the core. They get everything they want. Their family adores them and gives them all that they have even though their behavior is absolutely ridiculous. They take everything for granted. They just make you absolutely infuriated and have you wondering if there is any justice, any justice at all in the world. You wait in anticipation for the day when something happens to turn it all around. All you want to do is see them get what they deserve. Maybe you don't necessarily want them harmed but you want something to happen to get them to take it down a notch (or two or six). There are unfortunately people like that out in the world and so I think that we can identify with those feelings at some point in our lifetimes. I hated George throughout the entire book almost (and sometimes you just need a character to hate!).

All this being said, even though George is a completely terrible individual who lacks any inkling of manners, kindness, or niceness, Tarkington is able to turn it all around at the end (but you'll have to just read to see how he does it). Which brings us to another universal theme, we all are just humans. Nothing more, nothing less.

And then there's Lucy. Lucy is a really fantastic character. She is the total antithesis of horrible George. I loved having that comparison between the two characters. Even though Lucy is very nice and George is so horrible, Lucy can still be very nice to George.

For those of you who, like me, are looking to get more 'classics' in their literary diet, this is a great book to try. I think its always easier to read the classics when they have universal themes that aren't subject to change with time. We can always find a little bit of ourselves in these sorts of books, which makes the reading of them all the more pleasurable!

Bottom line: This is a great book of character study!


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  1. I loved this book. George was not a likable character but I loved reading about him and the ending was great.

  2. I've always meant to read this. No time like the present. Thanks for the chance.

  3. I want this book! I've heard such good things about it recently, though I'd never heard about it before. Thanks so much for hosting a giveaway. :)

  4. Unfortunately, I have yet to read this book. It looks like it needs to be on my TBR List! Thank you for the information on this book and the giveaway!
    PhoenixCarvelli at gmail dot com

  5. I have always wanted to read this one. Glad to see it is being reintroduced to readers today.

    1. I really love that Legacy Romance is re-introducing these books to brand new audiences!

  6. i have never read this book, but would like to very much and then...well, i'd like to watch the mini-series!

  7. Never read this, but I'd give it a try if I won it!

  8. I enjoyed your review. Sounds like a good book.


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