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The Book Class

3.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  56 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Christopher Gates, cynical homosexual son of a member of a ladies' book club, narrates this tale of upper-class women who struggle to find meaning within the strict confines of New York society in the first decade of the twentieth century. (Nancy Pearl)
Hardcover, 212 pages
Published 1984 by Houghton Mifflin (first published 1974)
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The Book Class by Louis Auchincloss
Books Set in 1910s
1st out of 1 book — 1 voter
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldPride and Prejudice by Jane AustenJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëEmma by Jane AustenThe Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Upper Classes
102nd out of 231 books — 93 voters

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May 20, 2013 Pascale rated it did not like it
A very minor entry in the huge Auchincloss œuvre. What it amounts to is a series of anecdotes about a number of society ladies who belong to a book club, but references to the dealings of the book club are rather perfunctory. In spite of Auchincloss's fluid style and command of his material, this is a vey slight book with no memorable characters or scenes.
Nov 16, 2007 Dottie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2005, own
this book certainly reads as from a different time -- but it makes the time live and it was a thoroughly delightful read.
Oct 31, 2015 Lynn rated it it was ok
I'll have to read another of his novels to determine if I might like his work. This book did nothing for me beyond leaving me with impressions of a class of women mostly born to money in the late 1880s/early 1890s. That was interesting, but not enough. An hour after finishing the novel I could not recall what story belonged with which character; they didn't "stick" with me.
Feb 06, 2009 Nancy rated it liked it
Louis Auchincloss has a unique talent for portraying the privileged women of the first half of the 20th century. In his world of New York society the men may boast of the external trappings of power and position, but their personalities pale when compared with the women who surround them.

His novels are fascinating studies of these women. The Book Class is not unlike a stroll through a gallery of Sargent paintings---rather than reading as a novel, it is sketches of the various members of a book
Jan 11, 2014 Carolyn rated it liked it
A bit of a disappointment in what I was looking for in the book. The early 19th century when women first won the vote and WW1 had already passed into WW2 starting. Rather than concentrate on the new woman: The woman who went to work for the first time in her husbands shoes while he was at war. This author decides to focus most attention on the boys and the fathers he grew up near. The first chapter I believe is very misleading.However it is a bit of historical interest. Just not so much in the t ...more
Jan 12, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was ok
This book is made up of a series of sketches about the members of a upperclass New York women's book club. What is presented is interesting but without depth and it does not include much interaction between members.
Barbara Mader
Jul 15, 2010 Barbara Mader rated it liked it
This book is nowhere as good as his wonderful _Rector of Justin_, which enthralled me, but I still found some of the character descriptions and behaviors intriguing. Very loosely constructed, a bit lame in parts (for Auchincloss). Not a keeper.
Jan 15, 2008 Laura rated it liked it
Not my favorite Auchincloss novel but this man is fabulous in his literary descriptions of life in old money New York City. His books are always nice to read in between other selections.
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Louis Stanton Auchincloss was an American novelist, historian, and essayist.

Among Auchincloss's best-known books are the multi-generational sagas The House of Five Talents, Portrait in Brownstone, and East Side Story. Other well-known novels include The Rector of Justin, the tale of a renowned headmaster of a school like Groton trying to deal with changing times, and The Embezzler, a look at white
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