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Saratoga Trunk

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  411 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
The basis for the classic film starring Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman, Saratoga Trunk unfolds the story of Clio Dulaine, an ambitious Creole beauty who more than meets her match in Clint Maroon, a handsome Texan with a head for business -- and an eye for beautiful young women. Together they do battle with Southern gentry and Eastern society, but in their obsession to acqu ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 22nd 2000 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics (first published 1941)
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Liza Martin
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Edna Ferber is a hidden literary gem. If you were born in the 70's or after, you'd probably never heard of her growing up. I happened upon her by chance: My mother and I were flipping through TV channels and she stopped on a scene from "Giant." I'm more of a reader than a watcher, so I went to the library, got the book, and have been eating up Ferber's words ever since.

Why is this author not more talked about?! This woman not only knows how to tell a gr
Julie Davis
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am rereading this for the umpteenth time, having begun when I was in high school and periodically revisiting it since.

I found myself craving something with rich descriptions, exotic locations, complex characters, and interesting plots. And my eye fell upon this on the bookshelf.

So here I go again, beginning in New Orleans with Clio Dulaine and her strange household.
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Apart from a few zingingly memorable phrases, this novel fell flat.
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
In the 1880's, Clio Dulaine moves to New Orleans to plot her future in seeking revenge for her Mom and Aunt. Her plans deviate when she meets and falls in love with Clint Maroon, a self-made Texan who lives by his own rules. Clio poses as a countess and hopes to marry a millionaire; Clint follows the shadows of the law and is far from a millionaire. Included in the plot is the emergence of the railroad. Clio's whining and bizarre comments can wear on the reader. The novel doesn't flow smoothly. ...more
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hoping to encounter a novel more along the lines of Ferber's Pulitzer Prize-winning So Big , I like Saratoga Trunk less. The contemporary criticism of this book seems well-founded, with its over-the-top nature and nod towards Hollywood musicals. While its story, which at first seems to be about a rich man at the end of his life, it's actually about a woman at the beginning of hers. This turn is refreshing, as are the characters, who protest against the roles and stereotypes and assumptions that ...more
Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
After seeing the movie with Gary cooper and Ingrid Bergman on AMC, I knew I wanted to read this book. I am a great Edna Ferber fan, so I was pretty sure that I would like it. It has a different feel than "Cimmaron" or "Giant", but it is a well-written novel. I don't think the blurb on the Goodreads site is quite accurate as Clint is only anxious to make enough money to have fun and afford to move on. Getting back at the people who cheated his father is another driving force for him. Clio wants t ...more
Dec 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Old-fashioned easy-reading fun. Delicious descriptions of eating in New Orleans, and the robber-baron era in the Northern U.S. It's funny now to think of Saratoga, NY as the home to money, scandal, and fashion, but before there was air-conditioning, things worked a lot differently. A basic romance, with a weird bit of historio-political moralizing tacked on at both ends. Oh, and a shoot-out, cowboys, and a train wreck.

Might have been 4 stars, but some of the scenes were weirdly talking, with th
Jun 14, 2011 rated it liked it
I love how Ms. Ferber always takes care to guild her stories with a little political commentary. Popular or populist fiction?

"Another quarter century of grabbers like us and there wouldn't have been a decent stretch of forest or soil or waterway that wasn't divided among us. Museums, painting, libraries - that was our way of making peace with our conscience."
"The time's coming when there'll be no such thing as a multi-millionaire in America, and no such thing as a pauper. You'll live to see
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As a teenager, I loved this book. Concurrently, I adored the movie version.

Now, looking back over 40 years, it is clear why.

Not only was Edna Ferber in complete control of her material in novel form, she was also a preeminent playwright of her day. She originally planned "Saratoga Trunk" as a play and when her co-writer, George S. Kaufman, was "luke warm" toward the story, Ferber wrote it as a novel.

One reviewer wrote, "'Saratoga Trunk' is so neatly made that the scenarists need only bracket th
Larry Hostetler
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I actually came across a first edition of this novel in a thrift store, and had not read Edna Ferber, so thought it was a good opportunity to do so. The book was a pleasant read, set primarily in both New Orleans and Saratoga, New York. It was interesting to read about the upper class lifestyle around the end of the 19th century. I can readily see where the book lends itself to the visual enjoyment of the movies, with the historic settings, the unique characters, and the picturesque fashions of ...more
May 28, 2009 rated it liked it
This book was very close to getting a "I really liked it" from me. Unfortuantely the mess of a beginning and end keep it short of the 4 stars. An elderly couple is telling their story. Now, their story is excellent. The combination of odd charaters is enchanting. Clio is the only child of a french royal and his cortesan mistress who was banished from New Orleans to France after the scandilous death of her father. When she grows up she keeps company with a black huge headed dwarf and a free black ...more
Donna Azure
Jul 12, 2016 rated it liked it
I wanted to read this book because my Mom was a big fan of Eda Ferber. I also loved her book "So Big". Ferber writes "large": rich, colorful characters, life in full bloom! The story spans Paris to New Orleans to Saratoga, New York, and emerges us in the culture & society of each of these cities.
Clio Dulaine is a girl with dubious upper crust connections. She desperately wants to be respected by society but struggles with her naturally flamboyant personality. She is a schemer & "gifted"
Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
Wow, this book has not aged well. I'm still convinced that Edna Ferber is a hidden treasure of American literature, but Saratoga Trunk read as horribly dated. Cringe-worthy highlights include most scenes with the African American maid and dwarf servant, and an appearance by Clio in blackface.

Still, Clio, Clint, and old New Orleans and Saratoga were fascinating to read about. It's not exactly Giant, but it is readable.
Feb 08, 2016 rated it liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book despite the clumsy beginning and abrupt ending. I have never read anything by Ferber but now having finished Saratoga Trunk, I am anxious to read more of her works. Although her writing style took a bit to get used to, once I got into the meat of the story I was hooked. If you can get past the uninteresting first 20 pages or so the rest of the book is worthwhile.
K.M. Weiland
Nov 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Interesting, engaging characters carry the story, but the plot limps along with little direction, split into two very different halves and culminating in something of an anticlimax. As always, Ferber enclosed the main story with a post-story frame that, in this case, seems to serve little purpose except to moralize about her characters' misdeeds.
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
I could barely finish this. I've loved other Ferber books (Giant and So Big) but this was so much weaker. The dialogue is beyond repetitive and the story is really slow. I did enjoy the atmosphere she evokes in her descriptions of New Orleans and Saratoga but not enough to tolerate the characters.
Mar 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
“Edna Ferber is becoming my favorite author. I couldn't put this book down! I wasn't familiar with this time period or plaçage and I found the story fascinating. The setting and characters described in 'Saratoga Trunk' are vivid and exciting. When I read this passage I melted: He was magnificent, he was vast, he was beautiful, he was crude, he was rough, he was untamed, he was Texas.
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I saw the movie 30 years ago. I loved the characters, the story and the actors of course, Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman and Flora Robson. And now that I finally had the occasion to read the book I can tell that I love it as much as the movie. Really entertaining. I know I will read it again someday as I hope to read the others novels written by Edna Ferber ... Giant, So Big, Show Boat ...
Oct 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book was not what I'd expected in terms of plot, but I enjoyed it a lot. This story, about a young woman of mixed heritage from New Orleans sets out to conquer/manipulate society and marry rich. Loved the scenes in the Saratoga racing season especially. Would definitely read more of her books. (Thanks, book club!)
Lee Anne
I love Edna Ferber like nobody's business, and this one had some colorful characters, but it was only okay for me. It never really felt like it got going.

I read a review that likened Clio to Scarlett O'Hara, and there really is no comparison.

I did like the Kaka and Cupide, though.
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have loved this book for years. I have read it about 4 times and it entertains me every time. Her descriptions of New Orleans make me feel like I am there. Edna writes a great story and I plan to read all of her books.
Feb 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Edna Ferber was a more popular author in the 1940s and 50s and I enjoy her writing style. This book was alot of fun. This book was also made into a movie with Ingrid Bergman and Gary Cooper. I plan to continue reading more of her novels.
Sloane Tanen
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Another great story from Edna Ferber. This is the first book of hers I read and then I had to read them all.

Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read for Saratoga neighborhood book group. We will also watch the movie with Ingrid Bergman and Gary Cooper.
L.  (My Woes, My Woes, They Continue To Grows)
Simply couldn't get into it. I finished it, but then I promptly forgot all about it.
Jan 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
If you love Edna as I do, you should read this one. It has some of the weirdest and most baroque scenes in all Ferber--New Orleans, Paris, etc. Made into an even weirder movie.
Aug 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
I love the pace of Ferber's storytelling - you feel like you just roll along with all that wealth.
Jun 27, 2008 rated it liked it
fun light read
Mina Soare
May 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, social, love
I really liked the book, for its uniqueness, humor and the short-tempered Clio, tough I think he realizes from the very beginning he cares for her.
Dec 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I'd forgotten what a good writer Edna Ferber is. Great historical novel, with wonderful descriptive settings and fascinating characters. I'm going to go on a Ferber binge now.
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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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