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The Magnificent Ambersons (1918)

por Booth Tarkington

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Séries: Growth Trilogy (2)

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1,395419,796 (3.84)156
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize when it was first published in 1918, The Magnificent Ambersons chronicles the changing fortunes of three generations of an American dynasty. The family serves as a metaphor for the old society that crumbled after the Industrial Revolution while a middle-western town spread and darkened into a city. George Amberson Minafer is the spoiled and arrogant grandson of the founder of the family's magnificence. Eclipsed by a new breed of industrial tycoons and land developers whose power comes not through family connections but through financial dealings and modern manufacturing, George descends from the Midwestern aristocracy to the working class. As the wheels of industry transform the social landscape, the definitions of ambition, success, and loyalty also change.… (mais)
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    Buddenbrooks por Thomas Mann (ari.joki)
    ari.joki: A tale of the changing fortunes of a family over several generations.
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I have always enjoyed Tarkington, and i have finally gotten to this one, his winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1918. (I read it in a larger omnibus of several of Tarkington's works titled 'The Gentleman from Indianapolis.') My one big beef of this novel, is that the main character George Amberson Minafer is just 100% unlikable....which can make for a long slog, cuz who wants to be entertained by reading endlessly about someone you cannot stand? But Tarkington has some talent in the way he makes us all want him to see the error of his ways .....and we keep reading in hopes. Tarkington's subtle wit is fully present and accounted for here and his descriptions of this metamorphosis of a mid-USA town becoming a city in the early 20th century is very captivating. I could always picture where we were and what the houses looked like, etc., and i enjoy that. I plowed through this in one day which surprised me. Would it cut the mustard today for this prize??? highly unlikely, but that's what makes it so much fun! ( )
  jeffome | Nov 28, 2020 |
Oh! How the mighty have fallen! Georgie gets his comeuppance! A great read. The ending is all that keeps it from getting five stars. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
A good family saga, but the awfulness of George Amberson Minafer almost made me stop reading. He's an unrelentingly selfish twit, and that really made it hard for me to "enjoy" the book. But it's a good story, can't argue with that. ( )
  ReadMeAnother | Apr 16, 2020 |
God, another book where the main character, also from Indiana no less, is an ass. This one infinitely worse than the one in The House of a Thousand Candles. The Thousand Candles guy was merely an ass, the Amberson guy is a total, 100% asshole. Oh well, it won a Pulitzer Prize, right, so I'm bound to get something out of this one.

In the end it turned out to be a rather interesting book. It's basically about change and how it goes on whether or not you approve. The main character, a total asshole named George Amberson Minafer, believes by dint of his money and his birth that he is above everyone else, riffraff in his world view. His indulgent mother and grandfather pretty much let him get away with it. But things change, the basis of the family fortune dissipates, people take up industrialization, the town expands and changes, stately mansions are replaced by cottages and tenements, and what was once the town pretty much owned and run by the Ambersons has forgotten them and left them behind. The riffraff can be said to have won.

Although written a hundred years ago, this deals with the recurring problem with which we all have to cope. We grow up with assumptions as to the "right" way for things to be, but in some things, what is obviously "right" for one generation changes for the next.
( )
  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
A classic novel describing the downfall of a nineteenth-century American family, which serves as a metaphor for the rapid disappearance of agrarian small-town America at the hands of twentieth-century industrialization and sprawl. George Amberson Minafer has grown up knowing the importance of his place as the heir to the wealthy and prominent Ambersons, and it has left him spoiled, arrogant and obsessed with his "name." But the end of the nineteenth century brings some devastating changes, embodied by Eugene Morgan, a former suitor of George's mother who has become an inventor of the hot new technology, automobiles. The conflict between George and Eugene will eventually bring down the entire Amberson family and bring irrevocable change to their world.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1919 for this book, Booth Tarkington was an incredibly popular writer who authored many bestsellers of his day. His writing is very good, keeping up the forward movement of the plot while still taking time to beautifully evoke the details of the lost nineteenth-century world -- social mores, architecture, clothing. (Unfortunately, one of the period details he includes is racism toward the black servants of the Amberson family.)

The theme of this novel seems to leave Tarkington a bit conflicted. It's true that the Ambersons are not a pleasant bunch and that a lot of their undoing can be blamed on their own foolishness and arrogance, particularly George. But despite that, Tarkington seems almost elegiac in describing their downfall, and he makes it clear that he is sympathetic to George's complaints about the automobile and the devaluation of the Amberson estate. But it's difficult for a modern-day reader to feel much sympathy for a young man who insists that the best people are people who "are" things and not people who "do" things. Tarkington makes a lot of excuses about George's youth, and it's true that young people are susceptible to being idealists about some truly terrible ideas. Tarkington is prescient about some of the problems that widespread automobile use will lead to -- pollution, sprawl -- but he doesn't seem quite sure if the widespread prosperity that also resulted was a good thing or not. I think that may be why Tarkington's work is fairly obscure today, despite being well-written. But in a time when we are facing rapid societal changes ourselves, maybe a look back at how a previous century handled these problems is worthwhile. ( )
  sophroniaborgia | Apr 15, 2019 |
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Booth Tarkingtonautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Duplain, JacquelineTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Testa, MartinaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Major Amberson had "made a fortune" in 1873, when other people were losing fortunes, and the magnificence of the Ambersons began then. 
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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize when it was first published in 1918, The Magnificent Ambersons chronicles the changing fortunes of three generations of an American dynasty. The family serves as a metaphor for the old society that crumbled after the Industrial Revolution while a middle-western town spread and darkened into a city. George Amberson Minafer is the spoiled and arrogant grandson of the founder of the family's magnificence. Eclipsed by a new breed of industrial tycoons and land developers whose power comes not through family connections but through financial dealings and modern manufacturing, George descends from the Midwestern aristocracy to the working class. As the wheels of industry transform the social landscape, the definitions of ambition, success, and loyalty also change.

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