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Ethan Frome & Selected Stories (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  282 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
One of Edith Wharton s few works of fiction that takes place outside of an urban, upper-class setting, Ethan Frome draws upon the bleak, barren landscape of rural New England. A poor farmer, Ethan finds himself stuck in a miserable marriage to Zeenie, a sickly, tyrannical woman, until he falls in love with her visiting cousin, the vivacious Mattie Silver. As Mattie is forc ...more
ebook, 274 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Barnes & Noble Classics
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Esteban del Mal
Ethan Frome is one of those stories that people have a strong reaction to, typically in the negative. And if you read it and rated it one or two stars, you probably don't like it because you think everyone falls somewhere on the Seth Rogan/Tony Robbins spectrum of affable enthusiasm for life. You probably also grew-up in some nondescript suburb which you never moved from, most of your friends are white, and if not, they at least share your taste in chain restaurants and are consistently, non-thr ...more
Sam Flanagan
Though not set in her typical circles of socialite aristocracy, Ethan Frome carries the distinct flavor of Edith Wharton. Her firm grasp of the human struggle for independence and understanding is pervasive and profound. Ethan is the embodiment of the awakened romantic who is bound to a constricting and outdated system of social norms and moralities, and the dreary landscape of a small Connecticut town in the dead of winter serves as the realized metaphor of the paralyzing hopelessness that Fro ...more
Jun 19, 2009 Jeanette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2009
The bleak New England setting of Ethan Frome helps set the tone for this rather bleak little novel.
Ethan Frome is a poor, down trodden, and in my opinion weak willed farmer. He is married to Zeena, a hypochondriac, uncommunicative, rigid, complaining, manipulative (I could go on...) woman.
When Zeena's destitute cousin Mattie Silver moves in with the Fromes Ethan quickly becomes enamored with the young, happy woman who seems to be the exact opposite of his wife in every way. Ethan finds himself b
Mar 25, 2013 Charly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone.
Ethan Frome and the other selected stories were a bit on the transparent side for me. Perhaps for their time they were more engrossing, but it wasn't a thrilling adventure for me.

Frome is a man caught between two lives and in trying to deal with it ends up caught in yet another.

Predictable and not something I move right to the top of my "to read" list.
Feb 12, 2015 Bryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my god, the things Edith does to her characters! All of these stories were great. Ethan Frome is obviously a deserved classic, but my favorite was "The Pretext" which broke my heart in one million places. After the emotional turmoil of those two stories, I was happy to end on the hilarious note that was "Xingu."
May 31, 2015 Jacqui rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Memorable Quotes
Ethan Frome
"Guess he's been in Starkfield too many winters. Most of the smart one's get away."

"He seemed a part of the mute melancholy landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm and sentient in him fast bound below the surface; but there was nothing unfriendly in his silence.“

“...he lived in a depth of moral isolation too remote for casual access...”

“It looks just as if it was painted!” It seemed to Ethan that the art of definition could go no farther, a
Mark Sandbothe
Jul 14, 2013 Mark Sandbothe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Ethan Frome: A short story set in a cold and brutal New England town. The geography and weather play a substantial part in this short story. Its all pervasive. I liked that it was told in a flashback mode as it internalized the inevitably of everything that was going to happen. Everything lead inexorably toward it. I did think the sled riding incident at the end was somewhat contrived. Really, out of the blue Mattie says to him; let’s kill ourselves, I can’t do anything without you; and Ethan ag ...more
May 14, 2016 Neha rated it it was amazing
This book of Wharton's has Ethan frome and few other short stories namely
The pretext
The afterword
The legend
And the Xingu
And with exception of the legend I liked everything.
Ethan frome is tragic story of Ethan and Hus wife zeena and lover Matt.I just love the way Edith Wharton portrays her characters. They suffer yet they live their life enduring its torture for the sake of people they don't even love. Satiric!!
The pretext made me even more thoughtful.The end was horrible I was kinda half expec
Jeni Enjaian
I did not enjoy this book. However, my lack of enjoyment was much different than the lack I just wrote about in my review of "The Good Soldier" by Ford Maddox Ford.
The primary reason that I did not enjoy this book was the incredibly depressing nature of the primary story, "Ethan Frome," and the morbid slant of the other stories included in the collection.
Wharton created a fluid narrative free of confusion that admirably tugged at the reader's heartstrings. That much is true about "Ethan Frome."
Rachel Pieters
The first story had promise. There was a lot of great tension and I thought it was going to be really fantastic at the end, but I got there and I was like, "Um, okay. That was anti-climactic and odd."

It was a bit of a jump to read a novel written in this time period b/c Edith Wharton does embellish a bit on detail in old language, which is fine, and it was interesting to read about this time and place from that perspective, but at times I just wasn't entirely sure what she was saying.

When I go
Alex Milledge
Jun 17, 2015 Alex Milledge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
If I read this book before reading Wharton's age of innocence, I would have been spared from saying much negative about her as an author.

I have never read a book that made me want to cry than Ethan Frome.

Well, maybe with the exception of when Piggy died in The Lord of the a Flies, but I can strongly relate to the struggles of Ethan Frome, in how he lives in a world that severely restricts his freedom and wishes to love a girl that he can't have. All of these emotions swelled in me and made me f
Jennifer Woods
I liked this book. I liked it so much better than The Chronicles of a Death Foretold. I could actually get into this book. The whole book I was thinking that Mattie and Ethan should be together instead of Zena and Ethan. However, I was also thinking how if he did marry Mattie it would be just like his marriage with Zena since both of them helped him care for someone in his family and he fell in love with each of them while this was occurring. The parallel between this book and Chronicle is the w ...more
Frank Spencer
I just read Ethan Frome and will save the other stories for later. Her writing here is just as good as in The Age of Innocence. It is a lot darker here, with a lot of writing describing darkness, hopelessness and danger. This is surely an early book to have a suicide pact, but there it is. People stuck in situations and relationships that hold no advantage for them is certainly a theme. It is interesting that the horses are described by their breed or color like, "a big-boned grey." The horses s ...more
Lea Ann
I try to pick up a classic every now and then and I'm glad I gave Ethan Frome a shot. It was $1.00 at my library's book sale and was much shorter Thai thought it would be. I don't know if I consider Ethan Frome a tragic character. I would have liked to see the characters go through a bit more to get to their final ending, but Ethan is a very well developed character given the length of the story. The lack of a happy ending was great though because I always consider complex characters and consequ ...more
Jun 24, 2011 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Edith Wharton has a way of describing the bleak, cold landscape of rural New England like no other; she also knows how to get into the head of her characters and illuminate their psychological torment and severe loneliness, matching the inner with the outer landscape seamlessly. Ethan Frome is both a pathetic and sympathetic character, eking out a a dispassionate life, until Mattie shines the only brightness in his miserable existence; but don't hope for a happily-ever-after ending. This is Whar ...more
Candace Hinkle
"Ethan Frome" is a great novella. It is a classic tragedy that is warmly and tightly woven. The reason that I gave it 3 stars is that the other stories in the volume are not as great. The one exception is the hilarious "Xyngu" - a satire on women at the time who hung out in "culture clubs". Overall, it is really worth reading BUT if you want Edith Wharton at her best, you really should read "Age of Innocence".
This is the first novel I have read from Edith Wharton. I loved it. I'm certain I'll be reading more from her before long. As a technical critique: it was well written, straight forward with a singular theme, void of unnecessary frills, and certainly memorable. As an emotional critique: I was completely sucked in and transported from my living room to a sleigh in 1911 New England. I enjoyed reading this story, and my heart aches for Ethan.
Sarah Anne
This edition contains the short stories The Pretext, Afterward, The Legend, Xingu.

Ethan Frome was a really amazing story and there was something unexpected for me at the end. It was brilliant but I won't be watching the movie. Each of the stories was very solid, except for Xingu, which was absolutely a five star story and it was very funny. I loved that one.
Morninglight Mama
I did like it, yes, although there's really no way to feel happy while reading this story at any point. I'm a fan of Wharton's writing style, but the melancholy and misery that pervade this novel are overwhelming and definitely affecting. Poor Ethan. Poor Mattie. And poor Zeena. That's all I can think after reading this short novel for the second time in my life.
Champaign Public Library
Ethan Frome is my favorite Wharton novel and it is very different from her New York social life novels like The Age of Innocence. There were three or four additional short stories in the book that were not very strong.
The short stories in this book are somewhat dark and eerie. It's interesting because the book is written with elaborate text yet the stories are mysterious and weird. It's a rather strange combination.
Mar 22, 2011 Sasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fact that Edith Wharton was unhappily married certainly comes through in this and other stories. Written with subtlety, its bleak imagery painting an outward portrait of the inner suffering of her characters. It's like the New England version of Sartre's "No Exit."
Oct 06, 2012 Dawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Angst. Wow. Yes it's a little dark and depressing, but it really wowed me. Fantastic writing, fantastic detail, and a twist ending that left me thinking. I don't know how the character of Ethan Frome wouldn't haunt your mind for awhile.
Melanie Benefield
Ethan Frome was better than I remember it, but I think Xingu was a better story that students would appreciate reading more than Ethan Frome. Afterward is also a much better story and the supernatural element was very cool.
Theresa Bolen
Yes, Edith Wharton is a classic writer we should all read...
Having said that, I get tired of the pretentious characters Wharton writes. I guess I'm glad I read it so I could say I did it, but I never want to read it again. Ever.
Jim Short
Oct 12, 2015 Jim Short rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
The last story (Xingu) was the most fun to read. It's a short story that picks up very quickly and although it remains firmly in the traditional settings fo Edith Wharton's stories, the characters are lampooned as one on the outside would see them.
How dare that back-stabbing cheating little punk run off with her little cousin and expect everything to be OK afterwards. i mean he was, what, 30 and she was, what, 19? *mumbles* what an arogant punk...
Fifteenth book of the school year. This was quite possibly the most depressing thing I've had to read in a really, really long time. That's about it. I really do wish I had something a bit more cheery to say about it, but one might notice when reading Ethan Frome's not cheery. At all.
Apr 03, 2016 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Ethan Frome" and "The Pretext" were terrific, "Xingu" was clever. Other two stories lagged a bit. But overall a short and very worthwhile intro to Wharton.
Melanie Mcdaniel
Dec 24, 2014 Melanie Mcdaniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Beautifully crafted stories. Ethan Frome is very sad & Xingu made me laugh so all in all a nice mixture of emotions.
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Edith Newbold Jones was born into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses." The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family's return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the a ...more
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