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The Turmoil (The Growth Trilogy #1)

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  207 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
A novel in the tradition of those of Sherwood Anderson and Sinclair Lewis, The Turmoil is set in what was once a small, quiet city - never named but closely resembling the author's hometown of Indianapolis - that has been rapidly transformed into a bustling, money-making nest of competitors overrun by "the worshippers of Bigness."

The Turmoil tells the intertwined stories o

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Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1915)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,305)
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Marcus
Oct 18, 2009 Marcus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read The Turmoil because it's the first in a three book series, the second of which is The Magnificent Ambersons, a Pulitzer winner. I'd also previously read Tarkington's Penrod which became one of my all-time favorites. So, how did The Turmoil stack up? It's not hilarious as Penrod, though there are some really funny parts. It's also not as much of a vocabulary lesson, but it definitely stands on its own as a book worth reading. It took some time to grow on me, but grow on me it did, and by t ...more
Elisabeth
Originally read in July 2012.

The Turmoil was a novel that I liked moderately the first time I read it, but after mulling it over a good deal and reading it a second time, it has firmly ensconced itself as my second-favorite book by Booth Tarkington. Written first of what he would later group together and call his Growth trilogy, it is set chronologically after The Magnificent Ambersons, in what we're given to understand is the same nameless "midland city" (likely based on Tarkington's native cit
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Sandy
When I found myself lying awake at 2 o'clock this morning thinking about this book, I realized that it really deserved five stars in my estimation. I have revised my rating accordingly. There is a lot going on in the story, and much to ponder. I really like the characters, and I just know that I won't be able to wait for a group read in December to read Volume 2 of the trilogy. For me, it has been one of those surprise reads, and a very pleasant surprise at that!

I listened to a collaborative Li
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Dave
Oct 24, 2010 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, fiction
“The Turmoil” by Booth Tarkington, was the first novel in what would become the “Growth” trilogy. Originally published in 1915, “The Turmoil” takes place in a fictional mid-west city which is never named, but which is probably modeled on Indianapolis. The name of the trilogy is appropriate, not only because these novels deal with the growth in the country, and the affect of industrialization on society, but also with Tarkington’s growth as a writer which appears to have come from his taking time ...more
Charles
Apr 26, 2016 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Turmoil” is a book little read nowadays, and would probably be a book never read except for Orson Welles. Its author, Booth Tarkington, was a famous Indiana writer of the early 20th Century. Nowadays, when literary life is dominated by coastal authors, or those who want to move to the coasts, and the ecosystem around them, and the Midwest is merely “flyover country,” to be ignored or denigrated, this seems odd. But it wasn’t that long ago that in all aspects of life, from literature to poli ...more
Deanna
Aug 02, 2015 Deanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Someone (maybe my literary daughter, Rachel) added this author's book "The Magnificent Ambersons" to her list, and after reading the reviews, I added it to my list. Then I realized it was the 2nd in a kind of series, "The Growth Trilogy", so I got this, the first one, out of the library. It was not as popular, apparently, as the 2nd one, which won the Pulitzer, but I found myself wrapped up in the story. It's very much the story of quality/class/art/sensibility versus low-brow crass capitalism a ...more
Michael
Feb 18, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: america
Why is Booth Tarkington so neglected?? What a fine writer. The Turmoil is the second of the "Growth" trilogy, the first of which is Pulitzer winner The Magnificent Ambersons. Good story, intensely American, and a more sympathetic protagonist than Ambersons' Georgie. A bit dated in a few parts, but vastly better than most of today's prizewinners. The list of Tarkington novels and stories that were used in Hollywood numbers in the 70s -- they recognized a storyteller, and I think we would profit b ...more
Steve Sarrica
A fun, if utterly predictable, look at a new money family at the beginning of the Industrial Age in the US. Most of the characterizations are cartoonish at best, with the scion of the Sheridan family being the sterling example. Enjoyable as a period piece. I'm wondering if "The Magnificent Ambersons" will come off better.
Mike Harper
Sep 08, 2015 Mike Harper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really have become a sucker for old-fashioned romances. I loved this book. Tarkington isn't subtle; his characters are either good or bad, not in-between (although one character does change, finally), and the reader is never in doubt about what the author thinks about "bigness" and "progress." The city is a character in this novel, just as similar cities are characters in Dickens' novels. The central story, though, is a plain old tear-jerking romance that leaves the reader caring deeply about ...more
Rrshively
This novel takes place close to the turn of the 20th Century. It wrestles with the issue of what constitutes success. Bibbs is considered the "useless" member of his family, but eventually shows his worth. The story of Bibbs, his family, and the girl next door makes a very interesting drama. The problem with this book is the number of paragraphs that deal with philosophy dealing with Big Business, manufacturing, the blight of the use of coal, and related subjects. Although I agree with the autho ...more
Tom James
May 11, 2016 Tom James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It depicts an era at the turn of the century when towns and cities were being transformed from the idyllic and picturesque to crowded and dirty, full of smoke and soot. If you've read "Ambersons", this story picks up where that book leaves off. Instead of an "old money" family, the Sheridans are definitely nouveau-riche and somewhat crass, to boot. There is an obnoxious father, a drunk son, a self-centred daughter, and a sensitive, but unambitious youngest son. It's interestin ...more
Joseph Whitt
My quest to read all fiction Pulitzer's hit an early road bump since The Magnificent Ambersons is the second in a trilogy. The Turmoil is the first and depicts a period of time in the life of the Sheridan's and more precisely the lives and relationship of Mr. Sheridan and his youngest son and heir, Bibbs.


The Sheridan's are a newly wealthy family fresh on the success of Mr. Sheridan's business savvy. Already with two sons and a daughter, Bibbs quickly becomes the outcast of the family. Even his
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Karen Chung
Nov 26, 2011 Karen Chung rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I choose this book because I'd just downloaded all the Librivox audio files for Joyce's Ulysses - then found I couldn't stomach it. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was a demanding listen, but I ultimately appreciated it. Not so with Ulysses. Moby-Dick was a Sunday picnic by comparison. Maybe sometime in the future - not now. I decided to look for something else.

I went to the Librivox catalog and starting browsing the "A"s. It turned out to be a lousy place to start looking for a normal ki
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Michelle Johnson
3.5 stars

It dragged in a few spots, but overall a very interesting book. I loved the ending.

I had a really, really hard time picking a trilogy for this challenge. I wanted to go with something that would be good. (I'd been in a book desert and hadnt found any GREAT books for a while.) So I looked and looked for what I thought would hold my interest.

I decided to go with this because the second book of the trilogy was a Pulitzer and my lifetime goal is to read every Pulitzer. Shouldnt have. While
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Z Coonen
Elaborate, plush prose about a gritty, grimy town and the families who live there. The contrast between the new and old money, the symbols of wealth covered in soot, and rapid changes that the soft coal industry bring to neighbors make this story surprisingly fascinating. Some humor, plenty of tragedy, language for people of color reflects the time the book was written - 100 years ago.
Rock
Mar 18, 2014 Rock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this I got the sense of a young man trying to take down his whole surroundings, and the great thing is he nearly succeeds. There’s something sort of naive and juvenile in his determination to make this charging, heaving, American machine take a breath and a look in the mirror, but he does it with a passion that’s charming. Also great descriptions of chaotic streets and industrial cityscapes.
Tanya Faberson
Jul 08, 2015 Tanya Faberson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually really loved this book. The beginning was a bit slow at first, but I quickly got absorbed in it, and it was a fun read (yes, there are some social issues presented in there that may make one turn their nose at it in the 21st century, but you have to remember this book was written in 1915). Definitely plan to check out some more of Booth Tarkington's work.
Tracy
Jun 24, 2015 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like these Booth Tarkington books. I was rooting for Bibs all throughout the book and he ended up being healthy and happy. Good book.
Kim Daniel
Apr 26, 2014 Kim Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this novel about a family caught up by wealth and the American Dream.
Susan Haines
Dec 31, 2013 Susan Haines rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Liked it unexpectedly! Only read it when I realized the book I'd already started, The Magnificent Ambersons, was number 2 of a trilogy and I hadn't read number 1. I love when a book written so long ago fits in with current culture so seamlessly. I guess love of money and pursuit of more, bigger, better has been around a long time.
Lynne
Better than I expected. The first in a trilogy with The Magnificent Ambersons next. I'll have to hunt that one up at the Tacoma Bookstore. This is a story of a wealthy father who systematically alienates his children one by one with his unrealistic expectations. The quarrels and shouting at each other seemed quite realistic, even though it was published in 1915.
John
The Turmoil by booth Tarkington is about two families in a mid-west city during the beginning of 20th century. One family, is part of the rising class of industrialists who are just coming to power and the other is part of the old-money genteel class who are falling. I found the book to be pretty good and look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.
Ashley Olzendam
Actual: 3.5
Lynne
This is the other book I picked up in front of the Diller Library on a table that said "free books - please take", along what turned out to be an American first edition of "The Edwardians". This looks to be a 1915 edition. The crazy Diller Library!

I am glad to see it is part of a trilogy.
Meleya
I really loved this book, the first in the Growth Trilogy by Booth Tarkington. Many of the issues presented in this series are still valid issues of today and the characters are very real. A real tear-jerker in the end and a great read.
Marilyn
Oct 10, 2015 Marilyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Booth Tarkington is America's male answer to the styles of Jane Austen. Except he's male and has emotionally vulnerable male characters. Great excerpt from American literature exactly 100 years ago. Universal.
Joan Thompson
Jan 29, 2011 Joan Thompson rated it really liked it
This heavy going in parts but overall it was interesting to read. There are long parts of description that are hard to read, but scimmed through these.
Emilie
Sep 08, 2011 Emilie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am glad I discovered this mostly forgotten turn-of-the-century novelist... I'm kinda hooked on these quick reads!
L. (Climbing Mt. TBR one page at a time)
On the whole I like Booth Tarkington's work but this one was a miss for me.
Jessica
Jul 19, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very nice.
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Booth Tarkington was an American novelist and dramatist best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novels The Magnificent Ambersons and Alice Adams.
More about Booth Tarkington...

Other Books in the Series

The Growth Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Magnificent Ambersons (The Growth Trilogy, #2)
  • National Avenue (The Growth Trilogy, #3)

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