Winesburg, Ohio

A Group of Tales of Ohio Small Town Life
Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

Public Domain (P)2004 Alcazar AudioWorks

What listeners say about Winesburg, Ohio

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One great reader and one terrible one

This book is so beautifully written, revealing the deep, complex and sometimes tragic inner lives of various residents of a small Ohio town. One narrator, male, reads the majority of the stories, and has an interesting rural sort of accent, which adds to his characterization. He gets the rhythm of the writing beautifully, and really adds to the experience of encountering this book. However, there's a woman narrator who is just terrible. She can't even get the sentences to scan right, pausing where there should not be a pause, in the middle of a sentence. Her attempts at emphasizing certain words are so amateurish as to be pathetic. It's a great book, but the spottiness of the narration really detracted from the listening experience. Nevertheless, when I finished it I started right in listening to it again--it's that good a book.

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Read it yourself

What disappointed you about Winesburg, Ohio?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

The story was fine, often considered a classic, but somewhat dated, a quality with which real classics aren't plagued.

How could the performance have been better?

It would be hard to have it get any worse.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

None that occur to me.

Any additional comments?

Save your money.

2 people found this helpful