The lower-middle class Adams family faces a slow disintegration in a small Midwestern town. Alice, a social climber, is ashamed of her unsuccessful family and determined to distinguish herself. Lacking the social props she needs to shine in society, Alice attends a dance and lies about her background, hoping to attract a wealthy husband. But in the end, her high aspirations must be tempered by the reality of her situation.
Alice Adams' resiliency of spirit makes her one of Tarkington's most compelling female characters.
(P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Elderly (1932), retired university professor, degrees in engineering and economics.
A charmingly written story set in the 1920's in a small city reflecting the optimism and aspirations of the American people as the industrial age spreads across the country. Tarkington presents the Adam's family's dreams of "getting ahead," of rising through the socio-economic levels of the town. His descriptions of the parents, a tired, aging father who has not risen to the monetary levels his wife longs for and who blames him and carps continually about his missed opportunity; an unhappy, pampered son too coddled by his mother and a daughter upon whom falls the burden of trying to fulfill her mother's dreams are deftly written. The story could easily be set in hundreds of small towns in 2011. A small jewel of writing.
Booth Tarkington yes; Traci Svendsgaard, no.
I wouldn't know what the most memorable moment of ALICE ADAMS is, as I stopped listening after the first ten minutes.
The narrator assumes this story is taking place in the South, and gives all the characters Southern accents, which is ridiculous. Tarkington wrote very specifically about the Midwest, where he was born, raised, lived and died. The narrator destroys the experience by making every character sound like they're out of William Faulkner.
I'll read the book on my own in order to appreciate it properly, without the "improvement" of an utterly misguided narrator. This recording should either be redone with the right narrator or removed from the Audible catalog.
It is unfortunate that Booth Tarkington was a contemporary of Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner and Lewis. He has been swept aside by America's greatest 20th century writers. This book shows that his Pulitzer prizes were well deserved. True freedom is found by giving up falsehoods on social status and marital bliss. Excellent narration, especially with the Southern accent, make this book a 5 star winner.
Can't understand how this formulaic melodrama won the Pulitzer Prize; I guess audiences were much less sophisticated then. The narrator needs to go back to narration school; she has a nice enough voice, but that hokey and regionally inappropriate accent she adopts makes the already thin story nearly unlistenable.
I found the book had too much talk, which just added to could have simply been a short story. Not really my cup of tea.
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