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Ethan Frome | [Edith Wharton]

Ethan Frome

Ethan Frome is a 1911 novel by Edith Wharton, set in turn-of-the-century New England, in the fictitious town of Starkfield, Massachusetts. It is the story of a poor farmer, lonely and downtrodden, his wife Zeena, and their pretty and vivacious cousin, Mattie Silver. This is a short but powerful and engrossing drama, and although it is the least characteristic of the author's novels, it has become her most celebrated book.
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Publisher's Summary

Ethan Frome is a 1911 novel by Edith Wharton, set in turn-of-the-century New England, in the fictitious town of Starkfield, Massachusetts. It is the story of a poor farmer, lonely and downtrodden, his wife Zeena, and their pretty and vivacious cousin, Mattie Silver. This is a short but powerful and engrossing drama, and although it is the least characteristic of the author's novels, it has become her most celebrated book.

(P)1988 Jimcin Recordings

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2.9 (26 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Boston, MA United States 09-03-12
    Amazon Customer Boston, MA United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    76
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    Performance
    Story
    "Not sure why this is considered Wharton's best..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The story, as is true of many of Wharton's novels and short stories, is well written. EF represents a departure from the author's typical focus on the weathy of New York during the late 1800s. I like the way Wharton captures the feel of New England; I could easily picture the harsh climate, Starkfield, as well as the charcters. The story however, is a bit predictable and lacks the complexiety compared to other works such as House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Not surprised.


    Which character – as performed by Jim Killavey – was your favorite?

    Frome's wife, Zeena


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No. It lacks sufficient complexity.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Kovler 01-01-09
    J. Kovler 01-01-09 Member Since 2007

    LK

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Dark Story"

    This is the rather depressing tale of Ethan Frome, a man trapped in an unhappy marriage to a sickly, morose wife and at the same time in love with their young, lively house guest. The writer's characterizations are astute and her language powerful. However, the quality of writing was much higher than that of the narration which I found slow and very stilted. To the narrator's credit I will say that the diction was clear, probably a result of his very pronounced, unnatural style. Even though I was able to appreciate the book itself (I'd give 4-5 stars to the actual writing)I suggest you listen to the sample clip before committing to this!

    5 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron New York, NY, United States 02-19-09
    Ron New York, NY, United States 02-19-09 Member Since 2004
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    "Quite possibly the worst narrator..."

    ...possible. Ethan Frome is a masterpiece. It deserves a first-rate reading; this version is unbearable.


    2 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Seidler Brooklyn, NY United States 01-13-09
    Ruth Seidler Brooklyn, NY United States 01-13-09 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wharton's Ethan Frome"

    I love Edith Wharton's writing and wit, and her social sensibilities, and I believe this book lives up to my expectations there. But the reading is so slow and lifeless that I began to find the book rather tedious. There is no expression and no change in pace in the reading, no tonal modulation at all, so that after a while one's eyes would glaze over if the story were not so engaging.

    2 of 15 people found this review helpful
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