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The Turmoil (Dodo Press)
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The Turmoil (The Growth Trilogy #1)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  131 ratings  ·  19 reviews
A novel in the tradition of those of Sherwood Anderson and Sinclair Lewis, The Turmoil is set in what was once a small, quiet city - never named but closely resembling the author's hometown of Indianapolis - that has been rapidly transformed into a bustling, money-making nest of competitors overrun by "the worshippers of Bigness."

The Turmoil tells the intertwined stories o

Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1915)
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I read The Turmoil because it's the first in a three book series, the second of which is The Magnificent Ambersons, a Pulitzer winner. I'd also previously read Tarkington's Penrod which became one of my all-time favorites. So, how did The Turmoil stack up? It's not hilarious as Penrod, though there are some really funny parts. It's also not as much of a vocabulary lesson, but it definitely stands on its own as a book worth reading. It took some time to grow on me, but grow on me it did, and by t ...more
Originally read in July 2012.

The Turmoil was a novel that I liked moderately the first time I read it, but after mulling it over a good deal and reading it a second time, it has firmly ensconced itself as my second-favorite book by Booth Tarkington. Written first of what he would later group together and call his Growth trilogy, it is set chronologically after The Magnificent Ambersons, in what we're given to understand is the same nameless "midland city" (likely based on Tarkington's native cit
“The Turmoil” by Booth Tarkington, was the first novel in what would become the “Growth” trilogy. Originally published in 1915, “The Turmoil” takes place in a fictional mid-west city which is never named, but which is probably modeled on Indianapolis. The name of the trilogy is appropriate, not only because these novels deal with the growth in the country, and the affect of industrialization on society, but also with Tarkington’s growth as a writer which appears to have come from his taking time ...more
Why is Booth Tarkington so neglected?? What a fine writer. The Turmoil is the second of the "Growth" trilogy, the first of which is Pulitzer winner The Magnificent Ambersons. Good story, intensely American, and a more sympathetic protagonist than Ambersons' Georgie. A bit dated in a few parts, but vastly better than most of today's prizewinners. The list of Tarkington novels and stories that were used in Hollywood numbers in the 70s -- they recognized a storyteller, and I think we would profit b ...more
Steve Sarrica
A fun, if utterly predictable, look at a new money family at the beginning of the Industrial Age in the US. Most of the characterizations are cartoonish at best, with the scion of the Sheridan family being the sterling example. Enjoyable as a period piece. I'm wondering if "The Magnificent Ambersons" will come off better.
Joseph Whitt
My quest to read all fiction Pulitzer's hit an early road bump since The Magnificent Ambersons is the second in a trilogy. The Turmoil is the first and depicts a period of time in the life of the Sheridan's and more precisely the lives and relationship of Mr. Sheridan and his youngest son and heir, Bibbs.

The Sheridan's are a newly wealthy family fresh on the success of Mr. Sheridan's business savvy. Already with two sons and a daughter, Bibbs quickly becomes the outcast of the family. Even his
Karen Chung
I choose this book because I'd just downloaded all the Librivox audio files for Joyce's Ulysses - then found I couldn't stomach it. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was a demanding listen, but I ultimately appreciated it. Not so with Ulysses. Moby-Dick was a Sunday picnic by comparison. Maybe sometime in the future - not now. I decided to look for something else.

I went to the Librivox catalog and starting browsing the "A"s. It turned out to be a lousy place to start looking for a normal ki
Z Coonen
Elaborate, plush prose about a gritty, grimy town and the families who live there. The contrast between the new and old money, the symbols of wealth covered in soot, and rapid changes that the soft coal industry bring to neighbors make this story surprisingly fascinating. Some humor, plenty of tragedy, language for people of color reflects the time the book was written - 100 years ago.
Reading this I got the sense of a young man trying to take down his whole surroundings, and the great thing is he nearly succeeds. There’s something sort of naive and juvenile in his determination to make this charging, heaving, American machine take a breath and a look in the mirror, but he does it with a passion that’s charming. Also great descriptions of chaotic streets and industrial cityscapes.
L.  (I've Past 400)
On the whole I like Booth Tarkington's work but this one was a miss for me.
Kim Daniel
I absolutely loved this novel about a family caught up by wealth and the American Dream.
Susan Haines
Liked it unexpectedly! Only read it when I realized the book I'd already started, The Magnificent Ambersons, was number 2 of a trilogy and I hadn't read number 1. I love when a book written so long ago fits in with current culture so seamlessly. I guess love of money and pursuit of more, bigger, better has been around a long time.
Better than I expected. The first in a trilogy with The Magnificent Ambersons next. I'll have to hunt that one up at the Tacoma Bookstore. This is a story of a wealthy father who systematically alienates his children one by one with his unrealistic expectations. The quarrels and shouting at each other seemed quite realistic, even though it was published in 1915.
The Turmoil by booth Tarkington is about two families in a mid-west city during the beginning of 20th century. One family, is part of the rising class of industrialists who are just coming to power and the other is part of the old-money genteel class who are falling. I found the book to be pretty good and look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.
This is the other book I picked up in front of the Diller Library on a table that said "free books - please take", along what turned out to be an American first edition of "The Edwardians". This looks to be a 1915 edition. The crazy Diller Library!

I am glad to see it is part of a trilogy.
I really loved this book, the first in the Growth Trilogy by Booth Tarkington. Many of the issues presented in this series are still valid issues of today and the characters are very real. A real tear-jerker in the end and a great read.
Joan Thompson
This heavy going in parts but overall it was interesting to read. There are long parts of description that are hard to read, but scimmed through these.
I am glad I discovered this mostly forgotten turn-of-the-century novelist... I'm kinda hooked on these quick reads!
Mary McDonald
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Apr 25, 2015
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Booth Tarkington was an American novelist and dramatist best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novels The Magnificent Ambersons and Alice Adams.
More about Booth Tarkington...

Other Books in the Series

The Growth Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Magnificent Ambersons (The Growth Trilogy, #2)
  • National Avenue (The Growth Trilogy, #3)
The Magnificent Ambersons (The Growth Trilogy, #2) Alice Adams Penrod Seventeen Penrod and Sam

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