Book Review: The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington

Sometimes you want a book that is undemanding—an easy way to wind down at night before heading to bed.

This book can fill that need.  It’s worthy of reading: it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1919, and is considered one of the top 100 novels by the Modern Library Series.  Booth Tarkington is a respected author.

OK, so what’s it about?  It’s about three generations of the Amberson family—very well-to-do at the turn of the century.  The setting is the midwest.

There is a short history of the original family, but the emphasis soon becomes centered on George Minafer, the grandson of the original Major Amberson.

He’s a perfect specimen of a spoiled brat and doesn’t change much as he grows up.  If you know Peter Campbell in Mad Men—-you’ve got your Georgie.

Life being what it is, and especially in Tarkington stories, young love enters the scene and Georgie falls in love with a new girl in town, Miss Lucy Morgan.   The plot thickens when it becomes known to us that her father was a former smitten beau of Georgie’s mother.   But she married Wilbur Minafer.

Mr. Morgan is in the automobile business.  And “get a horse!” is usually the greeting the townspeople shout to him.

There are twists and turns in the plot which you can discover in your own easy chair, but I will tell you that Georgie takes it upon himself to save the diminishing family name.

Less than 300 pages–pleasant, and then you can check it off all your “good reading” lists.


You already know me---I'm in your book club. I've been in your book club in Wisconsin, in New York, in Missouri, in Connecticut. Now I'm in your book club in Pennsylvania. I love books! (I also collect buttons!) I'm looking forward to having conversations about books with people just like you----who also love books and want to talk about them. Send me an email: booksandbooks (at) me about a book you are reading. (or buttons of interest)
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2 Responses to Book Review: The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington

  1. booksilver says:

    I loved Tarkington’s Penrod! I’ll try this one, too.

  2. Good–let me know what you think.

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