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Winesburg, Ohio

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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  28,301 ratings  ·  2,104 reviews
Library Journal praised this edition of Sherwood Anderson's famed short stories as "the finest edition of this seminal work available." Reconstructed to be as close to the original text as possible, Winesburg, Ohio depicts the strange, secret lives of the inhabitants of a small town. In "Hands," Wing Biddlebaum tries to hide the tale of his banishment from a Pennsylvania t ...more
Paperback, 247 pages
Published January 28th 1993 by Penguin Classics (first published May 8th 1919)
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3.84  · 
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 ·  28,301 ratings  ·  2,104 reviews


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karen
Jan 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
s.penkevich
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone and anyone
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Peter
Shelves: loneliness, americana
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
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small-Town Life, Sherwood Anderson
A cycle of short stories concerning life in a small town at the end of the nineteenth century. At the center is George Willard, a young reporter who becomes the confidant of the town's solitary figures. Anderson's stories influenced countless American writers including Hemingway, Faulkner, Updike, Oates and Carver. This new edition corrects errors made in earlier editions and takes into account major criticism and textu
...more
Michael
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful, melancholy song to small-town loneliness and despair--to the fragile bonds that tie neighbors together and the vivid lives and heartfelt personal dramas that pulse beneath the surface of ordinary affairs. This was once a book I carried with me everywhere, a book I tried (and failed) to emulate in my own writing, and a book whose sentences I'd whisper to myself to catch something of their hypnotic cadences. It's easy to see how influential this book was on so much American literature ...more
Fabian
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Holy Moley! Virginia Woolf finds the very caverns leading to hell. Sherwood 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 BE ...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
AKA: Goddamn you, George Willard

My apologies to you, goodreads bandwagon...you'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
...more
Ben
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 char
...more
David
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
Jacob
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
...more
Darwin8u
"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

description

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
...more
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Open hearts - closed doors: read this book along with Spoon River Anthology (Edgar Lee Masters) and Our Town: A Play in Three Acts (Thornton Wilder) to get the zeitgeist of dawning industrialization as it carves canyons of alienation through small towns - highest recommendation.
Kim


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
...more
Howard
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, fiction
Winesburg, Ohio, small town, late 19th century, filled with the kinds of characters that later populated Bedford Falls in It’s a Wonderful Life; a town populated with a good-hearted do-gooder cop and taxi driver, and even a generous savings and loan president (with, of course, a cold-hearted banker as his foil; there has to be some conflict) and other charmingly eccentric characters, who look out for each other.

Is that what one expects when picking up a copy of the book and looking at the depict
...more
David Schaafsma
“There is a time in the life of every boy when he for the first time takes the backward view of life. Perhaps that is the moment when he crosses the line into manhood. The boy is walking through the street of his town. He is thinking of the future and of the figure he will cut in the world. Ambitions and regrets awake within him. Suddenly something happens; he stops under a tree and waits as for a voice calling his name. . . With a little gasp he sees himself as merely a leaf blown by the wind t ...more
Emily May
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
4.5
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
...more
Esteban del Mal
Aug 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Esteban by: The GR Community
Shelves: americana, novel, fiction
THE BEST LAID PLANS

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
...more
Eh?Eh!
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
...more
AJ Griffin
Jul 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who still have hope
If you ever want to engage in a fun experiment I suggest you do the following, which I've arranged in a convenient, step-by-step format.

A) Fall in love with a girl
B) This might be hard to arrange by yourself, but the girl has to move away from you- but not because you split or anything
C) Stay away from her for a while
D) Save up your money devotedly (i.e. stop smoking for a week) so you can afford to go visit her.
E) Take a 7 hour bus ride to where she resides, which may or not be a hippy/freak/ar
...more
David
Aug 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
...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
...more
Chrissie
I cannot say I enjoyed the classic Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson. It is a a string of interrelated stories about people living in a fictitious town called Winesburg, modeled on the author's early years growing up in Clyde, Ohio. The time setting is the early 1900s. There are lots and lots of characters, but one returns to a handful over and over again; it is in this way we learn of their pasts. The central character is George Willard; we follow his growth toward manhood and his eventual d ...more
Kinga
Mar 03, 2011 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
Jason
Oct 26, 2012 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
...more
Rolls
Mar 06, 2007 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
Edward
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Introduction

--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
--Respectab
...more
Jen
Nov 15, 2008 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
...more
JSou
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
Matt
Jul 28, 2010 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
knig
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, classics
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
...more
Jason Pettus
Dec 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called literary "classics," then write essays on whether or not they deserve the label

Essay #34: Winesburg, Ohio (1919), by Sherwood Anderson

The story in a nutshell:
Sherwood Anderson's 1919 Winesburg, Ohio was the very first of what we no
...more
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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.

From PBS.org:
Sherwood Anderson, (1876-1941), was an American short-story writer a
...more
“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.” 126 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.” 113 likes
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