The Magnificent Ambersons

  • by Booth Tarkington
  • Narrated by Geoffrey Blaisdell
  • 9 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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, as a Midwestern town spreads and darkens 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.Orson Welles based his classic film of the same name on Tarkington's novel.

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What the Critics Say

Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 1919"All fiction collections should own a copy." (Library Journal)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Many of the great ones too are soon forgotten

This is one of those fantastic little classics (it won the Pulitzer Prizes second prize for the Novel category in 1919) that while not exactly ignored, certainly aren't read as frequently today as the author's talent should demand. It was made in 1942 into a movie by Orson Wells (his second film) so it does have that anchor to keep it from slipping further into the darkness of the past. I guess old fiction is like old families.

"Nothing stays or holds truly.
Great Caesar dead and turned to clay
stopped no hole to keep the wind away;
dead Caesar was nothing but tiresome bit
of print in a book that schoolboys study
for awhile and then forget."

I guess the same can be said of literature. Most books are eventually pulped. Even the good and many, many of the great ones too are soon forgotten. The writer's impulse is for some glimmer of immortality, but memories and readers are damn fickle things. We collectively shrug off and forget those we recently purchased, those banging the publisher's gongs to get attention, and to hell with all those public domain dead writers -- even if they did write such beautiful books.
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- Darwin8u "I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^"

Great story but Ho-Hum narration

This classic is ruined by the narration - no inflection - almost a monotone. Took me months to get through it - I could only stand the narrator for about 1-2 hours!
Get the book - but find another narrator!
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- Anne "Say something about yourself!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-04-2007
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.