Sherwood Anderson writes almost as if he were eavesdropping on the private domestic lives of a small Ohio town's inhabitants in the early 1900s. The central figure, George Willard, is a young budding journalist working for the local paper who allows the listener in on the latest gossip being circulated in this casual study of the insular Midwest, when America was still growing up. This timeless collection charted a new stylistic path for modern fiction.
Through twenty-two connected short stories, Sherwood Anderson looks into the lives of the inhabitants of a small town in the American heartland. These psychological portraits of the sensitive and imaginative of Winesburg’s population are seen through the eyes of a young reporter-narrator, George Willard. Their stories are about loneliness and alienation, passion and virginity, wealth and poverty, thrift and profligacy, carelessness and abandon. With its simple and intense style, Winesburg, Ohio evokes the quiet moments of epiphany in the lives of ordinary men and women.
Sherwood Anderson (1876–1941) was born in Camden, Ohio. Largely self-educated, he worked at various trades while writing fiction in his spare time. For several years he worked as a copywriter in Chicago where he became part of the Chicago literary renaissance. As an author, he strongly influenced American short-story writing, and his best-known book, Winesburg, Ohio (1919), brought him recognition as a leader in the revolt against established literary traditions.
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The actors in this book are not good. The accents sounded off, with one in particular who sounded more like a New England fisherman than an Ohio resident. The pace is ponderous and read with clarity but no inflection or emotion. It sounded like an experiment for fledgling voice actors to enunciate each word, each syllable as perfectly as possible. The calliope sounding music between stories made this entire thing cringe-worthy. Maybe if the audience had been expected to be a young grammar school class, this would be acceptable.
The story was fine, often considered a classic, but somewhat dated, a quality with which real classics aren't plagued.
It would be hard to have it get any worse.
None that occur to me.
Save your money.
- JM Blackie