Peyton Place
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Peyton Place

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  4,905 ratings  ·  475 reviews
First published in 1956, PEYTON PLACE uncovers the passions, lies and cruelties that simmer beneath the surface of a postcard-perfect town. At the centre of the novel are three women, each with a secret to hide: Constance MacKenzie, the original desperate housewife; her daughter Allison, whose dreams are stifled by small-town small-mindedness; and Selena Cross, her gypsy-e...more
Kindle Edition, 412 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Northeastern University Press (first published 1955)
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Michael Borowski
Without a question, my favorite read of all-time. I've re-read it every Fall since my first time in 1986.
Forget about the naysayers who write it off as mere soap, Metalious' earthy descriptions of the seasons alone are worth it. Anyone from a small town will be able to relate, but this is a MUST for anyone from a New England smalltown. We summered next door to the small town upon which this novel was based, and this one hits the nail right on the head. Enjoy!
And if you do like it, I highly sugge...more
Tiny Pants
I had to go down to four stars because I thought the ending fizzled, but this was darn close to a five-star read. I was expecting something lurid a la Jacqueline Susann, but this is actually more like a New England-y version of To Kill a Mockingbird -- class conflict, racism, and closely-kept secrets in a small town. The other closest comparison would be to Stephen King, in that Peyton Place features an enormous cast of very New England-y characters, as well as many digressions into their though...more
christa
... more like melrose place. i couldn't put it down. part of me wished i was reading it in 1951, hiding the copy in a clothes hamper next to a bottle of vodka.
Adrienne
Apr 20, 2010 Adrienne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Adrienne by: J~rod Andersons review
Shelves: library-loan
One of the many things I remember from my childhood home is my mothers bookshelf which included the usual Readers Digest Omnibus books, a copy of Teach Yourself Italian, Norah Lofts, a book about Shackletons Adventures in Antarctica, Lady Chatterleys Lover and Peyton PLace. I can't remember if any of the books ever moved from their place on that shelf (which would indicate that someone was reading them) my mother never spoke about either of the two banned books and I was never, even slightly int...more
Shannon
I got a beaten up original copy from Goodwill for 10 cents, and have probably reread it 20 times in the past few years. This book must have been truly revolutionary when it was first published. Metalious manages to flesh out the town's entire population. The omniscient point of view gives a very realistic depiction of a town on the surface, and all the complicated, corrupt, hidden undercurrents. If you've ever read Salem's Lot, Stephen King wrote it as a supernatural version of Peyton Place.
Maria João Fernandes
"O amor não é estático. Muda, pode crescer, pode mingar, e até desaparecer. O importante, quando o amor se extingue, é recordar o que tivemos e esquecer o que perdemos."

Grace Metalious expõe a falsidade de uma pequena cidade chamada Peyton Place, denunciando as diferentes camadas sociais que se destacam pelo poder económico, mas que se assemelham nos comportamentos hipócritas. A autora sabia o que queria dizer sobre os boatos, a vergonha e as relações de uma cidade pequena e foi, com alguma ousa...more
Jessica
SCANDALOUS!

Yes, even by today's standards this book is quite the scandalous read. I've heard it spoken of with winks and nudges since I was a kid, and finally decided to read it and . . . . well! Affairs, abortions, drunken benders, legal and political machinations, unhappy marriages, abuse, swears, religious crises, it's all there! Peyton Place seems like a nice, quiet little town, until you peer behind the curtains, and then the ugly underbelly is revealed. The book was highly addictive, told...more
Roberta
L'estate indiana è come una donna: morbida, calda, appassionata, ma incostante. Va e viene come e quando le pare e nessuno sa se arriverà davvero né per quanto si tratterrà.

Grace Metalious non è certo la prima a scrivere dell'ipocrisia e della doppiezza di quella società, ma è una donna ed è la prima donna normale a farlo, e non una signora di New York educata in qualche buona università. E' una casalinga di campagna, sboccata e brusca, "la casalinga che ha scritto un bestseller", e non si è lim...more
Judy Vanderhule
I must confess. I read this book on a bit of a lark. This is the only book my mother ever forbid me to read. Back in the 50s when it first came out, it was all the rage, but considered quite shocking by many midwesterners. At the time, I was too young to care whether or not I read. I had too many other fun things to do. Over the years I thought about reading it several times, but never followed through. It took me over 30 years to finally sit down and read it. It is a remarkable and powerful boo...more
Joanne Renaud
At times reminiscent of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD or the sprawling New England cast of IT, PEYTON PLACE starts out strong, but eventually sags under the weight of too many characters and too many plotlines. The friendship of Selena Cross and Allison MacKenzie is pretty interesting, and I became especially invested in Selena. Unfortunately, the two characters drift apart, and the focus is lost. You know you're in trouble if more ink is spent on Allison having sex with her married boyfriend, a guy who...more
Angela Hunt
My book club just read PEYTON PLACE in light on the new book, HIT LIT. We wanted to see how the elements listed in HIT LIT played out in Peyton Place to make it a best seller in its day. Social issues, cynicism toward religion, secret societies, sexual tension, active rather than introspective characters--all the elements were there. Reading it in 2012 was interesting--many of the elements considered scandalous in the book's heyday would be considered humdrum today. A good read, but I can see wh...more
Qtilla
I read this book the first time at about 16 and was blown away. Now rereading it as an adult I find many problems with it. I'm sure very few will agree, but while it was interesting I couldn't find much sympathy for most of the characters. And (probably related to that) was rather emotionally untouched by this book. (For contrast I cried at the movie Up- within the first 5 minutes.) I felt as though ants were being smashed. It was a parade of the grotesque. Tragedy after tragedy with surprisingl...more
Rob
I don't mean to cause any offense to people who grew up in the fifties, but in a way I'm glad that I didn't come of age then. It seems hard to understand the criticisms that were thrown at this book in that time. I agree with the author when she said "to talk about adults without talking about their sex drives is like talking about a window without glass."

I look back at what I was taught in Literature classes, that things like symbolism are what make a novel great, and all that just seems like c...more
Natalee
I have had a sweet tooth for pop culture trash. With that being said, I thought I would take on the classic of trash...Peyton's Place. It was actually a look into the mind set of anywhere USA in the post war homes. People talk about a simpler time, but really there was nothing simple about the lives of the characters in this book. I can imagine just HOW scandalous it was. There are things in this book that stung me just as hard as it might have when the book was released. One of the first things...more
Brittany Seyb
Wow! "Peyton Place" is actually a good book, no a really good book. I truly wasn't expecting this from knowing that it was a bestseller that rocked the continental United States for it's scandalous content. I thought it would be a lame story about a lame place in New England that was dated and basically that the story was crap. But that was not the case after all.

The truth of the matter is that the issues in this book are still quite relevant today, whether we want to acknowledge it or not. Look...more
Núria
‘Peyton Place’ fue escrito en los años 50; el éxito fue tan grande que luego llegó una secuela. Después, la novela se convirtió en película, y finalmente en serie de televisión, que probablemente es la forma que más le pegue a esta historia, porque al fin y al cabo es un culebrón. Lo sabía antes de empezarlo, pero aún así me esperaba más. No sé, esperaba engancharme más y empatizar más con los personajes. Tiene las virtudes de un culebrón: se lee rápido, y no aburre sino que entretiene. Pero ta...more
Misha Crews
This is one of those books whose very title has become part of the American lexicon, and now I understand why! PEYTON PLACE is full of multi-faceted characters -- none of them all good, none of them all bad, but all of them memorable. With enviable skill and obvious love, Grace Metalious paints a vivid picture of a small New England town and the people who live, die and love there.

What I learned most from reading this book is that the literary seeds which Metalious planted with this novel have...more
Roberta
Finalmente mi sono decisa a rileggerlo. Per quanto abbia cercato di evitarlo, mi sono trovata più volte a pensare che, mezzo secolo fa, questo romanzo era ritenuto scandaloso come oggi sono scandalose le 50 sfumature di grigio.
Peyton Place è però più onesto. La piccola cittadina americana, coi suoi pettegolezzi, i suoi ubriaconi, l'avidità e il sesso è molto più reale di tutti i deliri di E. L. James. La cittadina è una comunità chiusa, con i suoi pro e i suoi contro. Ne vediamo il lato positiv...more
Kristel
I've read this book twice, once in high school and again for f2f book club in February 2008. It was published in 1956. The setting is 1920 to 1940 in a New England Town. I was not happy to read this book. I enjoyed it better in high school. Too many bad things happened with no one theme. Too many characters with little character development. I don't believe it was very believable though it touched on some very real social concerns.

"Most surprising book on the best seller list (1956) was Peyton P...more
Brenda Pike
There is a part of me that's disappointed that Peyton Place isn't as steamy as its reputation. Teenage fumblings, incest and accidental pregnancies aren't really all that titillating. But I guess it just makes sense that what was scandalous in 1956 isn't today. However, it's a good book, and I feel bad that its quality has been overshadowed by its infamy.

The town of Peyton Place is remarkably reminiscent of the town I grew up in. From the claustrophobic atmosphere, to the mill bosses all living...more
Jennie
I really liked this book. It was written in 1956 and contains scenes which were considered scandalous. However, even when I read this as a younger woman in the late eighties I really liked the way the author portrayed the characters and the realities which, even though were unspoken, were still happening. Oh, the hypocrisy! I loved this book.
Verna
I like this book very much. Grace Metalious was way ahead of her time when she wrote Peyton Place. I felt I was reading a contemporary novel not a work of fiction written during the 1950's. I can see why society at that time was not ready for this book. Peyton Place revealed too much. All of the evils of society normally swept under the rug are confronted in this important book. Metalious was a woman of remarkable courage and insight. I think this book has been mislabeled and not seen for the fi...more
Susanne
According to the introduction:

"In upscale Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, a sign was posted on the library's front lawn: "This library does not carry Peyton Place. If you want it, go to Salem."

As a Salem resident, you could not have come up with a better advertising campaign to get me to read this book if you tried. ;)


Update: I can definitely see why some places feared this book - it is very racy for its time. Even for today, while not explicit, it is full of scandalous Adult Issues.
The movie w...more
Mary Anne
While I was familiar with the TV show and the movie I'd never seen a copy of this book until I read it some years ago. This novel was a pot-boiler in the 1950s and probably passed around by teenagers with specific "dirty" passages marked. It really is quite tame by today's standards, but it was ground breaking when it was published. Even today Peyton Place conjures up the dark underside of small towns in America and the hypocritical nature of society. This started me on a quest for other reveali...more
Caitlin
This is one of the craziest novels I've ever read. While reading, my face often was contorted in an expression of disbelief, or perhaps what the phrase "oh my god? seriously?!" would look like if it was visual. Yet I was unable to put it down. There was a lot going on, and I always wanted to know what the next shenanigan would be. Scandalous, racy, and fun, I would definitely recommend this for a summer read.
Jessica
Back in the day, Peyton Place was considered By today's standards, it did not seem quite as racy. The story takes place in the small town of Peyton Place, NH in the 1930's and 1940's. It is about the secrets and lies of the small town residents and the consequences of those secrets. The book reminded me of a soap opera and I am glad to have read it since it played a part in American pop culture.
Chris Gager
Another long ago book read and recently remembered. I probably read my older sister's copy. This book caused a lot of controversy for it's truth telling about small town New England life but was also a bit over the top melodramatic. Still praiseworthy however. The movie was shot in Camden, Me. Date read is a guess. GM led a difficult life. I think alcohol was problem.
Theresa
It is a well written book that becomes a timeless classic. Peyton Place is such a book. This was my first time reading it, but won't likely be my last. This book read almost like Seinfeld...in a good way. LOL There was no definitive plot event necessarily. Just people of a town going about their daily lives. What I loved about the book is that it felt so nostalgic. It was written about a time when children still went outside and played and explored their surroundings and enjoyed nature. It remin...more
Nancy
I thought this would be very "soap opera-y" but it wasn't. I really enjoyed it. The writing was good and the characters were interesting. It is a little dated but not enough to not make it worthwhile to read. We pass through Gilmanton, NH, often, and almost every time we drive through I think of the book. Glad I finally read it.
Allison Burnette
This is my mom's favorite book and she had been wanting me to read it for years. Although I didn't love it as much as she did, I appreciate the risks this author took writing about such scandalous topics in 1956. Mom loved the book and tv show so much, I was named Allison after the main character Allison Mackenzie!
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21004
Grace Metalious was an American author, best known for the controversial novel Peyton Place.

She was born into poverty and a broken home as Marie Grace de Repentigny in the mill town of Manchester, New Hampshire. Blessed with the gift of imagination, she was driven to write from an early age. After graduating from Manchester High School Central, she married George Metalious in 1943, became a housew...more
More about Grace Metalious...
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“There can be neither beauty, nor trust, nor security between a man and a woman if there is not truth.” 14 likes
“The public loves to create a hero....Sometimes I think they do it for the sheer joy of knocking him down from the highest peak. Like a child who builds a house of blocks and then destroys it with one vicious kick.” 10 likes
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