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The Philadelphian

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Touted by its original publisher as an exposé and indictment of blue-blooded Philadelphia society, the late Richard Powell's The Philadelphian was released to rave reviews and later became the 1959 Oscar-nominated film, The Young Philadelphians, starring Paul Newman and Robert Vaughn.

The Philadelphian was an immediate national bestseller, and in the 50 years since its deb

Paperback, 323 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Plexus Publishing (NJ) (first published 1956)
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this was a decent read. i have to admit, i skimmed all the stuff about tony in the war. i always enjoy reading about philadelphia, even if it's fiction.

but dude. i do not get the obsession with "society" and the lengths people will go to to be a part of it. i suppose that there is still a "philadelphia way of life" and "society" that i don't know about. i don't fit in in those circles.

apparently the movie is terrible.

would i read this again? no. but i wouldn't disrecommend it to anyone either.
Rick Claypool
A rather well-written and well-structured novel telling the inspiring story of how, through determination and wits, impoverished immigrants can in a few generations can produce a hot shot lawyer who joins high society, helps corporations dodge tax liabilities, and generally betrays his struggling ancestors' class interests (because that's what they would have wanted).
Wish there was more about the older generations. Fun reading a book set in Philly. Overall good. Much better than the movie that was based on it.
Oh man, what a delight this was to read. Now mind you, it only gets three start cause its structure was pretty conventional (sometimes boring and predictable) and it wasn't badly written per se, but it wasn't exactly literature.

But what this was a love letter to Philadelphia and even though it was written 50 years ago, it captures the same crazy devotion many of us have today.

Plot: a poor Irish lass escaping famine travels to the US, becomes a maid, seduces the young son of the fancy society peo
This is the first book of R. Powell that I have read, many years ago while still in college, and loved the story very much! It might have been written as an expose at the time, but for me, it's a story of the real struggles a boy went through, and the tough decisions he had to make as a man to beat the odds. An excellent read!
I read the Readers Digest Condensed version. Although the morals of the story are sometimes doubtful but it fabulously written, haven't enjoyed a story this much in a long time!
May 29, 2014 Renee added it
Same story - immigrants moving up in society - Philadelphia references only thing enjoyable about the book . . .
Jamie Kulyarit
I have read this book in Thai edition. First time i looked at the book, i hesitated to start reading because of its thickness. Finally, i took just only 3 days to finish feeling like i couldn't put it down. The story is good. I also fall in love with all characters in this book but the third part broke my heart.
I read this book in five days - I barely finish books in three months, let alone less than a week. I really enjoyed Powell's writing style and unique story-telling sense. This was quite enjoyable.
Jessica Coulter
I had to read it for my History of Philadelphia class. It was an enjoyable book but I would not have read it otherwise. I only found it enjoyable due to its Philadelphia references.
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Richard P. Powell, a graduate of Princeton University, was a journalist and worked in advertising before becoming a full time writer. Two of his books, 'the Philadelphian' and 'Pioneer, Go Home!' were best-sellers in the '50s and were both adapted into movies.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
More about Richard Powell...
Say It With Bullets (Hard Case Crime #18) Pioneer, Go Home! Whom The Gods Would Destroy Don Quixote, U.S.A. I Take This Land: Florida, 1895-1946

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