Brewster's Millions
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Brewster's Millions

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  196 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Would you be able to spend a million dollars in cash and leave yourself penniless, if it meant you would then be given many more millions? That's poor Monty Brewster's dilemma in this charming 1903 tale which has been made into a movie six times, the most recent starring Richard Pryor and John Candy.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published November 1st 1999 by Indiana University Press (first published 1902)
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Vlad
Like most, my first exposure to the story was the excellent 1985 comedy directed by Walter Hill and starring Richard Pryor. The movie is a classic of the genre; funny and fast-paced, featuring Pryor's greatest comedic film performance, and an excellent supporting role played by John Candy. When, I learned that Brewster's Millions was originally a book, and had been adapted into film 10 different times (the first by Cecil B DeMille in 1914!), I was excited to read it.

And it starts out promisingl...more
Todd Cannon
Feb 27, 2013 Todd Cannon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I purchased this book for Free from Amazon.com. It is one of the thousands of Public Domain books they offer in Kindle format.

I remember seeing the Movie Brewster's Million's starring Richard Pryor in the late 1980s. Lately I have been wanting to see it again and the search for the movie led to me discovering that it was based upon this book. It also led me to discover that there have been several movies based upon this book. The first one released in 1914.

As with most Book v. Movie comparisons,...more
John
You know, it's funny how we often forget how exceptional truly talented authors are. By that I mean those authors who can tell a story which is inventive, interesting, engaging, and timeless. All too often today, we get caught up with both what I call "series work", where the author continues developing a character through a series of novels (and expects you to continue to buy the series regardless of whether he/she is able to write well), or by novels that are sensational, yet only in the conte...more
L.
Since it was originally written in the early 1900s, I don't imagine too many people nowadays have read this book without having heard of it through the 1985 Richard Pryor movie adaptation. But if you enjoy the film, as I do, then I'd recommend the novel if you can find it.

About all I'll say in comparing the 2 versions is this: the one and only similarity is they both center around a man named Montgomery Brewster having to dispose of a certain sum of willed money within a specified time period, w...more
Kathy
This book was the inspiration for at least two late 20th century movies, I believe (Eddie Murphy starred in one). I actually prefer the book by a large margin. However, those reading the book need to remember the time period in which it takes place, which puts it in perspective.
Bree (AnotherLookBook)
Apr 07, 2014 Bree (AnotherLookBook) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of P.G. Wodehouse
A novel about a man who is tasked with spending every penny of a million dollar inheritance within a year. 1903.

Full review (and recommendations!) at Another look book

I don't know why it took me so long to review this...Maybe it was just nice to have a review in reserves? I don't know! But I DO know that this was a really solid, enjoyable read. I'd recommend this one if you like the idea of an American P.G. Wodehouse, and a Wooster and a Jeeves all rolled up into one main character. Plus, after...more
Phil Syphe
“Brewster's Millions” is a story of one man’s challenge to spend a million dollars – plus all gained interest – within a year in order to inherit seven million dollars.

I like the idea behind this book but it lacks conflict. What conflict there is tends to get sorted out too quick and easily, especially during a deadly confrontation with some Arabs, which has potential for bringing the story to life, but instead the situation is resolved without much ado.

I like George Barr McCutcheon’s style in o...more
Gottfried Neuner
The classic American story of a young man who has to piss away a fortune to gain another one.
It has been made into movies multiple times, the most famous one being, most likely, the 1985 version with Richard Pryor. All the adaptions had the same basic plot, and here would be the original: Monty Brewster is a young man of limited means, working in a New York bank. He's not himself rich, but he has prospects. That is, by chapter 2 of the novel he doesn't have these prospects as his grandfather die...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Story:
I had no idea this was a book! My knowledge of it was limited entirely to the movie starring Richard Pryor. For those of you who have seen the movie, the basic plot is pretty much the same, however, pretty much everything else is pretty different. This probably comes as little surprise, if you know that the novel was published in 1902.

Brewster receives an inheritance of 1 million dollars and is, unsurprisingly, incredibly excited. Then, soon after, he learns that he is eligible for a secon...more
Gail
There are very few people in the world today who read George Barr McCutcheon, but he was one of the most popular authors to come out of Indiana in his heyday. This edition had photos from a stage play based on this story, and there have been at least two motion pictures done.

His books are always a quick read (this took a week because it was the one I was reading at the shop, so I was only really reading a couple of days) and entertaining in a period sort of way. If you want your heroes "manly a...more
Andrew Garvey
Obviously very different to the 1980s Richard Pryor film, the original book, written in 1902 is entertaining enough, in a very odd and slightly unsatisfactory way. With an abrupt ending and a cast of largely indistinguishable characters, some of which just disappear with little explanation, there's plenty of weaknesses but it is still a fun, light read with some very nice verbal exchanges.

Charged with spending $1 million in just under a year (clearly much, much harder than it sounds, especially...more
Cherie Davidson
I first read this book when I was 10 years old. I'd found it in an old, musty second hand store. I fell in love with the vocabulary and phrases of my grandparents' youth. The manners and social interactions of the time charmed me, and the whole idea of having to spend an exorbitant amount of money and have nothing to show for it, sent my imagination reeling!

This very charming book was written in a simpler time, about the good things in our human natures. How to be unselfish, that love is often s...more
Lorene
Did you think Richard Pryor wrote the story? Wrong, but thanks for playing!! Written in 1902, it was a Broadway play but most of us would only know the story via the RP movie of the same name. It was fun to read it from its original time 110 years ago. The detail is a little over the top at times and some of the extravagances quite reasonable by today's standards, but it was fun to read this Christmas gift from Kyle a couple of years after receiving it. (I've been saving it for just the right ti...more
Naulayne Raiche Enders
The book is definitely better than the movie. Brewster, the main character, has to spend 1 million dollars in order to inherit a second inheritance of several million. I thought the main character did a good job of not imploding. I think it would be hard as you approach the end of spending extravagantly to continue spending when the natural inclination would be to save some for a rainy day or just in case.
Miriam
I think I actually spent 99 cents on this one, but it was close to free, and I remember seeing a movie version of this many years ago. The premise was interesting, and the main character is fun. It moved along at a brisk pace, and the love story was expected but still pleasant. The ending left a little to be desired, but it was a good weekend read, and definitely better than the 1980s movie version.
vega480
Ever since watching the Richard Pryor movie this story has been one of my favorites. I am glad I came across the information that is was based off of this book. If you enjoyed the movie and have found yourself wondering how you would spend the money to get the inheritance then this is worth a read for you.
Kevin Colwell
This book has a very silly premise: Montgomery Brewster's uncle on his mother's bequeathes him a rather substantial fortune on the condition that he first spend all of his father's more modest fortune leaving nothing to show for it; he goes for it. Fun and fast-moving, with some great moments of dry humor.
Evan Morris
I had to abandon this about two thirds of the way in. Life is too short to be subjected to such inane claptrap for a sustained period of time. The premise is absurd, the jokes are feeble, the characters are uniformly bland and the whole thing is completely inconsequential. It really merits no further notice.
Rick
I read it because when I came across it I remembered the Richard Prior movie and thought it would be interesting to read the original story. It was very different, mostly because it was set in a different time and place, and social circle. Therefore it put forth a different message, I think.
Laurie
Cute novel from 1903...kind of a cross between P.G. Wodehouse, Jerome K. Jerome and Grace S. Richmond...humorous, wholesome, romantic adventure in NYC and abroad. Fluffy--but apparently it's been made into a film four times! And I'd never heard of it.
Voracious
3.5. Fun apart from the racist bits, which at least were not numerous.
Robert
Another novels that opens a door on an unappreciated era of history and , through the assumptions of the author, gives us a better understanding of our forefathers.
Nev Px
I really liked this book, having not seen the up-to-date film....I read this with no pre-conception - a brilliant read and a great twist at the end
Sarah
Entertaining little early 20th century romp (nope, no Richard Pryor here). Download if for free on Project Gutengerg!
Melissa
Sep 21, 2010 Melissa marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, books-i-own
I'm not sure if it's any good, but I picked it up at a library sale because it was cheap and old.
Doug
A really fun read! Had me on an emotional roller coaster up until the very last page!
Pat Hardy
Feb 06, 2012 Pat Hardy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Pat by: john sheiry
A fascinating angle on the million dollar storyline..Held my attention.
Jill
This book was rife with vaguery and lacking in discernible or enticing plot.
Karen


This book is just a good old-fashioned enjoyable read.
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George Barr McCutcheon was an American popular novelist and playwright. His best known works include the series of novels set in Graustark, a fictional East European country, and the novel Brewster's Millions, which was adapted into a play and several films.
More about George Barr McCutcheon...
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