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Winesburg, Ohio: Text and Criticism

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  23,135 Ratings  ·  1,621 Reviews
Published in 1919, Winesburg, Ohio is Sherwood Anderson’s masterpiece, a work in which he achieved the goal to which he believed all true writers should aspire: to see and feel “all of life within.” In a perfectly imagined world, an archetypal small American town, he reveals the hidden passions that turn ordinary lives into unforgettable ones. Unified by the recurring pres ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published August 1st 1996 by Penguin Books (first published May 8th 1919)
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zut, alors! i don't even know where to begin. i had such a complicated reaction to this book. am i the only person who didn't find this depressing?? this book is life - it is tender and gentle and melancholy and real. not everything works out according to plan here, but what ever does? that's not necessarily depressing, it's just a reality that can either be moped over and dwelled upon, or accepted and moved on from. this is the emotional truth of life - we don't understand our urges, we make ba
Dec 08, 2015 s.penkevich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone and anyone
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Peter
Only the few know the sweetness of the twisted apples.

When you stop and listen, life is a brilliant cacophony of love and pain, where we are all struggling to shed the shackles of loneliness and stand full and actualized in a society that never bothers to truly look into our hearts. Sherwood Anderson’s gorgeous Winesburg, Ohio, which beautifully blurs the line between a collection of short stories and a novel, is a testament to the loneliness in our hearts, and delivers a pessimistic, yet ulti
Paquita Maria Sanchez
AKA: Goddamn you, George Willard

My apologies to you, goodreads're going to have to make room for one more. This book is bittersweet like therapy, like sweating out a lifetime's worth of drugs and drink in a mentholly sauna-room, like looking through a photo album from a decade or so ago when you thought you knew who you were but you had no idea...and still probably don't. Well, neither do the folks in Winesburg, Ohio. I loved, sympathized with and related to each individual, even
Fuck, I loved this book...

I loved its drab mood, and existential feel.

I loved the descriptive writing, and the small town, midwest setting, with the seasons and people changing, but life in general, staying the same.

I loved the wild brilliance to the endings.

More than anything, and what made this novel truly special to me, was its insight into the raw emotions and psychological underpinnings of people's inner worlds. Reading this felt like peering into human nature.

I loved the depth of character
Winesburg, Ohio, is certainly the geographical ancestor of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, Washington, and Lumberton, North Carolina (Blue Velvet) -- not so much for its omens of severed ears and one-armed men, but for its wealth of turbulent emotion (e.g., rage, despair, lust, contempt... all the good ones, really) concealed behind a picturesque scrim of small town American life. Yeah, the shopworn theme of middle class American repression has been done to death -- Sam Mendes’s American Beauty may ha ...more
Camille Stein
Sep 12, 2016 Camille Stein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Winesburg, Ohio 1st.jpg

«El amor es como un viento que agita la hierba debajo de los árboles en una noche oscura—le había dicho—. No debe usted tratar de convertirlo en algo definido. Es un accidente divino que ocurre a veces en la vida. Si trata usted de definirlo y tenerlo por seguro y de vivir bajo los árboles, donde sopla la suave brisa nocturna, llegará enseguida el largo día del desengaño y la seca polvareda que levantan los carros cubrirá los labios inflamados por los besos».

Lo que volvía grotesca a la gente era
July 2010

Hey, Winesburg, Ohio. You got a minute? There’s something I want to talk to you about.

Look, we’ve been reading each other for a few weeks now, and I think we’ve both had a good time. I’m glad we decided to move slowly. You’re a collection of short stories and, however linked those stories were, I wanted to take the time to appreciate each one. It seemed like the right thing to do. And it was. You're an amazing book, full of passion and life, an old-fashioned kind of gal. Really charming
Sep 22, 2016 Fabian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy Moley! Virginia Woolf finds the very caverns leading to hell. Anderson makes miscellaneous dips in the very depths of actual fire... the residents of Winesburg all live there--they are the ghosts of the living. Anecdotes in Winesburg (devoid of time or protagonist) are juicy with implication and horrific details. They are grave, all of them portends of certain annihilation and the never-ending stasis of existence. What you will see in this unforgettable experiment and ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS ...more
"I wanted to run away from everything but I wanted to run towards something too. Don't you see, dear, how it was?"
-- Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio


This is one of those important novels I would have probably passed over or missed if Sherwood Anderson wasn't mentioned in so many lists--and if so many authors I admire (Faulkner, Hemingway, Steinbeck, O'Connor, McCarthy) didn't mention (or perhaps not mention, but just shadow) him as an influence or inspiration.

There is something beautiful abou

Okay, fine, I didn't like it.

I believe I had a crisis of faith whilst reading Winesburg, Ohio. One of the bestest reasons for GR is that I've been exposed to writers that I'd never heard of and to reviews that made me sit up and say 'To the library, NOW' and I really wanted to believe that I'd benefit from reading this. I really did.

So, uh... what went wrong? Where is this crisis of faith? Okay, maybe not faith---maybe foundation is a better word. See, I always sort of thought of myself as an
Esteban del Mal
Sep 05, 2010 Esteban del Mal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Esteban by: The GR Community
Shelves: novel, fiction, americana

A man and woman meet at a bar. They begin to talk and learn that each has trouble staying in long-term relationships because their sexual tastes are considered deviant. Excited, they decide to return to the woman’s apartment. After a bit of heavy petting, the woman excuses herself to her bedroom, promising to return wearing something more appropriate. Minutes pass and the woman emerges from her room in dominatrix attire to find the man nude, spent and smoking a cigarette. Ince
I've just started this but I have in mind the American radio show This American Life and the snarly description they quoted from a (I've never watched it but I gather it was sort of trashy) tv show, "Is that that [radio:] show by those hipster know-it-alls who talk about how fascinating ordinary people are?"

Anyone can read this book and call it beautiful, moving, insightful, etc. But someone who reads this and then continues to snub the "common" man for no reason other than boredom, a perceived
Emily May
Oct 10, 2012 Emily May rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I apologise for my lack of originality, but I need to steal karen's perfect summarisation of this book: "this book is life - it is tender and gentle and melancholy and real. not everything works out according to plan here, but what ever does?"

There is no better way to put it than that. Winesburg, Ohio is a collection of short stories about the inhabitants of the small town of Winesburg, it is a very real story about the lives of "normal" people. Those people who work hard every day of their l
Aug 26, 2010 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to David by: The Benmeister
If not for goodreads I might never have read this extraordinary book, despite its acknowledged status as a classic. But only a fool would ignore the recommendations of readers as smart as Montambeau, Jason Pettus, and my good friend Ben Harrison, and I'm not a complete idiot. So this past weekend I finally sat down to read Winesburg, Ohio, curious to see if it could possibly meet expectations.

God, I loved this book! In the two dozen or so linked vignettes that make up his account of the small t
Nov 08, 2012 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jason by: Goodreads Illuminati
First read, 2-stars:
The Goodread Illuminati have really suffered Stockholm Syndrome with this one. Winesburg, Ohio. Somebody throws out a 5-star rating, quickly followed by a 4-star, two more 5-stars…another 4-star. The book propagates like herpes simplex II. Are my Goodread friends preening each other? Are they making the naked circle march of a rugby club initiation, where the closer you follow a naked friend ahead, the less people see your own frontal nudity? The book within a week is plottin
Dec 22, 2015 Kinga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: random
When European artists want to place their symbolical tale in a setting that’s nowhere and everywhere they often settle for Central-Eastern Europe. There are so many countries there, the borders keep changing all the time, no one can keep up, so the artists can let their imagination run wild. They can even invent a whole new country and stick it somewhere between Hungary and Czech Republic. Poland is also a good place. A classic Spanish baroque play – Life is a Dream by Calderón de la Barca takes ...more
Glenn Sumi
Winesburg? More like Whines-burg...

I know this book of linked short stories about the lonely inhabitants of a small American town in the first decades of the 20th century has been influential, and is considered a classic, but I found it a drag: opaque, vague, obvious, tiresome.

Yeah yeah, I get it: small town = claustrophobic, gossipy, repressive, hypocritical, lonely.

Honestly? I’d suggest flipping through a book of Edward Hopper painting reproductions (see below), since he deals with some simil
Jun 28, 2015 Edward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

--The Book of the Grotesque

--Hands, concerning Wing Biddlebaum
--Paper Pills, concerning Doctor Reefy
--Mother, concerning Elizabeth Willard
--The Philosopher, concerning Doctor Parcival
--Nobody Knows, concerning Louise Trunnion

Godliness, a Tale in Four Parts:
--I, concerning Jesse Bentley
--II, also concerning Jesse Bentley
--III, Surrender, concerning Louise Bentley
--IV, Terror, concerning David Hardy

--A Man of Ideas, concerning Joe Welling
--Adventure, concerning Alice Hindman
Mar 06, 2007 Rolls rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone adventurous
Sherwood Anderson's "Winesburg, Oh." is one of the most criminally undervalued books in the whole damned canon. Mention it to most people and of the few who have heard of it precious few of those have actually read it. I am in no way shape or form trying to sound highfaluting. I bought this book a full year before I actually sat down to read it and that was only 4 months ago. I was finally swayed to do so because a good buddy of mine and I were itching to read some books together and we both hap ...more
A couple weeks ago, since my daughter had decided on a birthday party at Build-a-Bear Workshop, we had to take a trip to the dreaded mall. I don't like the mall. There's always parents screaming at their kids, it smells wierd, there's now monitors throughout, advertising and blaring even more shit that you just have to buy. Groups of girls hanging out, but not even talking to eachother since they're all too busy texting and walking at the same time. (How do they do this?) I even spotted an angry ...more
Aug 04, 2010 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pretend that you are a beleaguered IT guy. OK, maybe you aren't as beleaguered as those in Third World countries who have no choice but to work in the Truck Nutz factory for sixteen hours a day while dying a slow death caused by meager wages, inhuman tedium, and constant exposure to airbourne faux testicular carcinogens, but you like to think that you understand their pain. Existential career crises are the new black for Americans living in the 21st Century. It is Friday afternoon and you storm ...more
Jul 10, 2012 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unbearably slow stories that filled me with a dull sort of dread. (2007)

A couple of years later (2012. Okay, a few years later.), after a re-read:

"Many people must live and die alone, even in Winesburg."

There is no way to make my original one star reaction after the first reading of this book meet up with my present feelings about it. Is it because I was in a different place in my life a few years ago? Is it because I'm impatient with books that sometimes have a slow wind-up? Is it because, we
Apr 05, 2012 knig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2012
The embarkation point for the tales is ‘the book of the grotesque’: a not too subtle harbinger of the twist and turmoil a la minute to follow. Anderson puts us on guard with this opening: bucolic to turn bellicose and bilious, incoming.

Winesburg is the ubiquitious Smallville, USA: a pastoral pastiche cauterized with the influx of urban myth. In a way ever since township sprung up and forged a lifeline to village, this tension between bucolic innocence and urban cynical know-how has been fertile
Jul 10, 2015 Cosimo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Se devi fare lo scrittore devi smetterla di giocare con le parole; sarebbe meglio mettere da parte ogni idea di scrivere, finché non sei preparato. Adesso devi vivere. Non voglio farti paura, voglio farti capire l'importanza di quello che tu puoi tentare. Non devi diventare un venditore ambulante di parole. Devi imparare quello che la gente pensa, non quel che la gente dice”.

Osservare un campo di grano come se fosse il mare; fare in segreto quello che fanno i giovani sotto gli alberi; scoprire
I wanted to love this book more than I actually did. While I was reading it, I was thinking "Winesburg, Ohio is a town full of crazies, pervs, and potential rapists." I was also thinking "Sherwood Anderson must have hated women." I don't know anything about him, so I don't know what his views were, but I thought several stories had an underlying contempt for women in general. They cheat, they deceive, they lie, they tease. Then again, the men weren't written about too favorably, either.

I realize
Mar 18, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because goodreaders told me that Steinbeck was influenced by Anderson; that Cannery Row was influenced by Winesburg, Ohio; that this book was a favorite for Wolfe, for Faulkner, for Hemingway, for Henry Miller, for David Kowalski, for brian gottlieb, for Ben, for Chris, for Philip Roth, for J., for Angie, for Moira, for Yvette, for Ray Bradbury, for H.P. Lovecraft. For John Steinbeck. How could I possibly resist it, then? How can you, now?

It's a novel and/or a series of short st
Feb 10, 2014 Lucrezia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vi capita mai la sera di camminare per strada e fermarvi a guardare le finestre delle case o dei palazzi che vi circondano?
Personalmente ci sono serate in cui camminerei con il naso per aria, in effetti curiosare nelle vite degli altri mi ha sempre affascinato, forse pensando che le vite che vivano possano essere diverse dalla mia, in alcuni momenti anche più accoglienti.
Senza parlarne e in una forma del tutto privata mi piace osservare.
A George Willard, piace osservare e fare conoscenza con tut
Jun 15, 2007 Pamela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-best
This was my third time reading this book, and I think I owe it to myself to read this book at least every other year to remind myself why it is possibly the best writing America has ever produced.

The common problem in these stories is that the characters in Winesburg feel too much, and they don't know how to articulate their sudden flashes of vivid insight. So that fervor gets turned inward, and the energy of those feelings gnarls the person until he or she becomes grotesque: The Winesburg resid
Qualcuno ha detto che leggere questi racconti è come leggere l’Antologia di Spoon River in prosa e non posso che dargli ragione, perché, in effetti l’impressione è fortissima. Il tratteggio di questo immaginario paese chiamato “Winesburg, Ohio” nasce, pagina dopo pagina, attraverso alcuni dei suoi abitanti, ma anche dalla memoria di un tempo e di un paesaggio che ormai non esisteva più, quella Clyde (Ohio) dove lo stesso Anderson era cresciuto, un luogo ancora prevalentemente rurale, ristretto, ...more
Esta es la historia de un observador, George Willard, y de sus crónicas sobre algunas de las situaciones que acontecen o acontecieron a su alrededor. Sherwood Anderson era un mago. No hay otra explicación. Es capaz de conmovernos con cualquier mísera historia, apenas importante a simple vista, pero contada con tal apasionamiento que logra hacer grande lo insignificante. Anderson es capaz de ver lo extraordinario en lo cotidiano, de hablarnos de sus semejantes con una precisión y una poesía exqui ...more
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Help me figure out which book this was? (From the 50s/60s) 3 42 Sep 22, 2016 02:54PM  
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Sherwood Anderson was an American writer who was mainly known for his short stories, most notably the collection Winesburg, Ohio. That work's influence on American fiction was profound, and its literary voice can be heard in Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, John Steinbeck, Erskine Caldwell and others.

Sherwood Anderson, (1876-1941), was an American short-story writer a
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“Love is like a wind stirring the grass beneath trees on a black night,' he had said. 'You must not try to make love definite. It is the divine accident of life. If you try to be definite and sure about it and to live beneath the trees, where soft night winds blow, the long hot day of disappointment comes swiftly and the gritty dust from passing wagons gathers upon lips inflamed and made tender by kisses.” 98 likes
“You must try to forget all you have learned,' said the old man. 'You must begin to dream. From this time on you must shut your ears to the roaring of the voices.” 88 likes
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