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Cimarron

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  470 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Restless Yancey Cravat, a pioneer newspaper editor and lawyer, settles in Osage, a muddy town thrown together overnight when the Oklahoma territory opens in 1889. To this place he brings his wife Sabra, a woman both conventional and well-bred.

Against all odds, Sabra develops a brilliant business sense. She makes a success of the newspaper, a success that ultimately leads

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Mass Market Paperback, 255 pages
Published April 12th 1976 by Fawcett (first published January 1st 1929)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jeff Jellets
Feb 02, 2017 Jeff Jellets rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction

The most popular book of 1930!

So my second crazy reading goal of 2017 is to read the “most popular” book of the year for each year that ends in zero, beginning in 1930. I’m intentionally choosing “popular” books over either “classic” or “critically acclaimed” because I’m hoping to catch a little bit of the cultural zeitgeist that was prevalent at the time. Kind of like … what were people “into” back then and what resonated with them.

Hence Cimarron by Edna Ferber. Set against the rough and tumble
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Martin
Oct 30, 2012 Martin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There are two excellent film versions (in my opinion, some people don't like either version) of this novel, one in 1930 starring Irene Dunne and another in 1960 starring Maria Schell. They adapt the novel in very different ways, highlighting certain characters over others and changing events at will. This is quite easy to do, not to mention necessary, because the source material is a shambling mess. In the films, Sabra becomes sympathetic over time. In the novel, she remains fairly racist throug ...more
K.M. Weiland
Cimarron marks the end (for now) of my excursion into Edna Ferber's works, and it embodies many of the strengths and flaws Ferber portrays in all her stories.

On the plus side, we have strong, almost painfully realistic characters. There is a demanding undercurrent of no-nonsense tell-it-like-it-is beneath Ferber's romanticism, just as there are startling cliche busters hiding behind the melodrama. In addition to her always vivid sense of setting, I appreciate her warty characters. They aren't al
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John Freeman
Nov 14, 2013 John Freeman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ferber brings the west to life in this sprawling historical novel about Oklahoma—from the Land Rush of 1889, through statehood, to the 2nd oil boom. Set in fictional Osage, Cimarron is the story of Sabra and Yancey Cravat, whose relationship could be seen as a metaphor for the settling and taming of the Indian territories.

Sabra, the main protagonist, is a typical Ferber female heroine: smart, strong, self-sufficient, principled and independent. But she’s a tragic hero too, flawed with bigotry, n
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Lee Anne
Dec 06, 2016 Lee Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-author
Another strong Ferber novel. This one reads like a practice run for Giant: genteel woman goes into the Wild West, finds she's stronger than she knew. Giant is the far better novel, though, with this one having a rushed ending and feeling like a compressed epic. There are also several troubling-for-today's-times depictions of African-Americans, Native Americans, and Jews. Be prepared to put things in the context of the age, and you can still find a lot to enjoy here.
Robin
Feb 12, 2013 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was introduced to these characters as a short story in the 7th grade. Our class was so enthralled with it; the teacher told us that it was an excerpt from a book. We begged to read it – and she adjusted the curriculum to accommodate it. I am quite sure that I read it at least six times during my high school years. Loved the story, the characters and the history lesson.
Reading Faerie
Dear Jebus, what a crap-load of depression!
Phaedra221
Jul 21, 2017 Phaedra221 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing novel, published in 1929, regarding the settling of Oklahoma. The first film adaptation in 1931 was met with success, however, the remake in 1960 was not successful. I'm glad I did not get the film from the library, but rather the book. If you've never read this, definitely put it on your to read list. The grit and determination of the main characters, Yancey and Sabra Cravat, will have you wondering how they survived. The other players and events in the book grab and hold you. Oh, by ...more
Dennis Mitton
Cimarron, by Edna Ferber, is a long, gangly novel set in territorial Oklahoma. Published in 1929, it veers a bit from my beaten path but I've got boxes of these old classics and it's time to start reading them. If anyone wants to chime in about how this stacks up against classic Western or historical novels I would be happy to hear it.

This one is long. My edition stretches to almost 400 pages that Hemingway would have certainly pared to less than two hundred. Ferber’s style, common then and frow
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Lynn Green
I very much enjoyed this account of early day Oklahoma.
Lisbeth Solberg
Ferber has a florid writing style that made this slow going for me, plus the book was out of sight and out of mind for a while after being taken along on a medical appointment and then left in a bag.

On the one hand, her vocabulary and powers of description are prodigious; on the other, they sometimes overshadow character and dialogue. Several archetypes of the American West were evident here, and I suspect that this work, along with at least two movie adaptations, helped make them iconic. Some r
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L.A. Starks
Jun 11, 2014 L.A. Starks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I loved this book for its sharply-observed history and situations--especially since it is set in the place I grew up, and then researched again for my second book, STRIKE PRICE--the late 1920s stereotypes are breathtakingly bad. I'm torn because Ferber has crammed so much that is witty and historically accurate into this novel, yet she shows no sympathy or fellow-feeling for her nonwhite characters. But at least she includes them--Osage, Kaw, Poncas.

Ferber has written about Osage County in
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Meredith Floyd
Jan 06, 2017 Meredith Floyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting throwback to heroines of the silver screen. I felt as though Elizabeth Taylor or Vivian Leigh was performing throughout the book with a strong , anti-hero such as Clark Gable's Rhett Butler starring opposite them. Family drama at it's finest and most devastating. An interesting read, but not one I will partake of again. The writing was interesting and vibrant, but it lacked, for me, the in-depth view of characters that I so desperately wanted to understand. It was as if I was read ...more
Kathy
Jul 05, 2016 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many years ago, I read Ferber's book So Big, and really enjoyed it. So I thought I would read another. Cimarron is the story of the 1889 Run in Oklahoma and the years after that with the oil production, Indian relationships, etc. One thing very interesting: The book was written in 1930 and has a fantastic vocabulary. If I was very compulsive I would have read it with the dictionary next to me. I really did not recognize some words, and many were complex. Also, there were paragraphs that extended ...more
Nancy
Sep 19, 2016 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have vacillated between three and four stars. I appreciate historical novels. I think this may be more like a memoir. The tale of the historical characters was presented to be more accurate than what we had learned from Hollywood - no great surprise! This is the story of a silly, young girl who runs the way to the Wild West - well sot of, since her home was San Francisco, following a man who she thinks will be the answer to her prayers. (Such silliness and naïveté leaves me cold.) Eventually ...more
Sue
Nov 05, 2012 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is very dated and politically incorrect especially in regard to the Indians. At first I thought the book was going to be about Yancey, but Sabra is the strong willed woman who carves civilization out of the red dirt of Oklahoma. I cringed when reading how Sabra thinks about the Indians that were forced to come to Oklahoma. However, I remember that as a child I heard some of this prejudice voiced. Despite her flaws it is Sabra who stays even when Yancey has disappeared again. Instead of ...more
Deborah
it's was moderately okay. The writing style of Ferber is mildly interesting, but overall, it was a difficulty to finish the book, although I did. Having just finished working on an Oklahoma History class online with a student, this book was fun in that it talked about many of the events of early Oklahoma and famous people of Oklahoma like David Payne. The fact that this was well liked by the people of the early 30s isn't a surprise as it would seem that many folk from that time were hungry for A ...more
Jennifer
I read this book as part of the curriculum for a "Women Writing the West" course, and it was one of the more enjoyable reads. This text was also adapted into a film (available for free viewing on YouTube). Of course, the two texts go their separate ways, but it was an interesting comparison. We don't hear much of Ms. Ferber in contemporary lit courses, but she was a widly popular author, and deservedly so. She reins in her vast vocabulary for a mainstream audience, but her poetic voice is not lo ...more
Kristen
Aug 12, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pioneering the frontier of Oklahoma, Yancey and Sabra Cravat enter the territory after the Run of 1889. Although Yancey, who opens a newspaper and law office in the fictional town of Osage, near the Osage Indian Reservation, is a character bigger than life, it is his wife who remains tied to the land and carves a life for herself and family out of the harsh forbidding plains. A story reminiscent of Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner, without the hard to read stream of conscious writing style.
Laurie Cockerell
Oh my, how I loved this little book! I had heard that the main character, Yancy, was based on Sam Houston's youngest child, Temple Houston - so that peaked my curiosity. While it is obviously not autobiographical - just loosely based on Temple - it is a wonderful story about the settlement of the Oklahoma Territory by those brave pioneer men and women willing to risk it all. I adored every second of this beautifully written, historic, and delightful novel. Can't wait to read more of Edna Ferber' ...more
Laura
Feb 28, 2010 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I liked the first half to three quarters of this book better than the ending. That seemed less realistic to me, although I understood it. The book is about a woman who had been raised with southern traditions but married a man who was crazy about the expanding West and wanted to be involved in all aspects of it. They had two children but moved to a brand new shanty town and helped build it up - they ran the newspaper. Her husband kept running off so she ran the newspaper, unheard of in those tim ...more
Claudia Reinfelds
Sep 21, 2013 Claudia Reinfelds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction
"A little purplish bubble rose to his lips, and she wiped it away with her fine white handkerchief, and another rose to take its place."

I read this book when in 8th grade, taking Oklahoma history. The above line was what I remembered about this book. Rightly so, it was a fine ending to a fine tale. I reread it to review the Oklahoma history so well told here, since I am again an Oklahoman. Next I am going to find the old movie, as I have not seen that since 8th grade either.
Jim Puskas
Colorful but lacking in any continuity of plot. Ferber presents details not as things of beauty or even significance but rather as bits of reality and therefore often ugly. Lots of drama, color, movement but often haphazard, just for visual effect. Stuck me as written for stage decoration. That characteristic of Ferber's style probably contributed to her work being used for films. Doesn't make for great reading.
Bree (AnotherLookBook)
A novel about the early settlers of the Oklahoma territory, focusing in particular on an adventure-seeking lawyer/newspaper man, as well as his wife who molds the rugged land into a home. 1929.

I absolutely LOVED this book. Of all the sagas I've read, especially sagas of place, it's my new favorite.

Full review & other reading recommendations at Another look book
Stephanie
Nov 14, 2009 Stephanie rated it liked it
What I really like about Edna Ferber's books is that they are concretely located in specific places and times and, when possible, she has gone to those places to talk to people. This brings her books alive, because the way that people talk and act seems particular to that space/time location, whether it is the settling of Oklahoma (as in Cimarron), Texas oil country (Giant, Wisconsin lumberjacks (Come and Get It), or pre-statehood Alaska (Ice Palace).
Elaine
Feb 03, 2009 Elaine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yes, I'm reading it. No, it's not Shakespeare. Somehow, though, I'm prevented by putting it aside by my desire to find out WHAT HAPPENS.

Later....Well, I found out what happened. Sigh, another unsatisfying ending--I'd hoped for better from Edna Ferber. I just don't believe Sabra morphed into a cool, tolerant person. Or that Yancey appeared out of nowhere to save lives and die while doing it.
Bruce Deming
May 04, 2014 Bruce Deming rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not finish this book yet and set it aside due to mainly enjoying its most famous scene of the Oklahoma land rush. Writing is excellent and characters excellent. Please forgive my laziness as I usually read books to the end but got a good taste of this fine book even if I didn't make it a full meal yet.
Susan O
I enjoyed this book, both the writing and the story. She gives good descriptions of the people and the landscape. The racism rankles, but it was representative of the time Ferber lived and of the time she was writing about.
Rachel
Jun 01, 2015 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-classic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jackson Burnett
Nov 26, 2012 Jackson Burnett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, western
Ferber begins Cimarron very slowly, but it's worth wading through to get to the rest of the novel. An overly romantic portrayal of the settling of Oklahoma, the book is still a part of the canon of the Old West and should be approached as such.
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Edna Ferber was an American novelist, short story writer and playwright. Her novels were popular in her lifetime and included the Pulitzer Prize-winning So Big (1924), Show Boat (1926; made into the celebrated 1927 musical), Cimarron (1929; made into the 1931 film which won the Academy Award for Best Picture), and Giant (1952; made into the 1956 Hollywood movie).
Ferber was born August 15, 1885, in
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