The Modern Library 100 Best Novels Challenge discussion

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100 Best Novels - Discussion > Winesburg, Ohio - Sherwood Anderson

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message 1: by Stephanie (last edited Aug 27, 2009 08:58AM) (new)

Stephanie Winesburg, Ohio (Oxford World's Classics) by Sherwood Anderson

September 2009 - Post comments here.


toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) Just ordered from Amazon. Will read and post as soon as it arrives.


message 3: by Garlan ✌ (new)

Garlan ✌ Another relatively small book. thanks again, Stephanie!


message 4: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments I need to go online at the library and check on this again. They didn't have it when I was there this week, and I can't remember now if it was checked out or I needed to get it on interlibrary loan.


message 5: by LynnB (new)

LynnB I got it from the library a couple days ago and will get going on it now! Reviews of it that I've read sound pretty interesting.


message 6: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie It makes me smile that everyone is commenting on my consideration when choosing two short books for the month of September. I DO think about length when selecting books, but remember, I do have my selfish reasons...I started teaching again this month, so my reading time is chopped short at the beginning of the school year. I already know what we're reading for October, and I have read both of them (although will be rereading one) - it will be another "light" month. With a theme. ;)


message 7: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments Ooh Stephanie, please share next month's reading. I'm attempting a 3 month seasonal book challenge, with LOTS of themed questions, and I'd like to work them into the challenge. I've already fit this month's books into my plan. So far, the tasks have us reading 53 books for the challenge, but more tasks will be added soon. I don't think I have a prayer to complete it, but it's been so much fun planning and finding spots for my 4 GR group reads and my F2F book club reads.

Please, please, please clue me in on the titles o great and fearless leader! :P


message 8: by LynnB (new)

LynnB So, I've started this book but I have a hard time sticking to reading it. It seems stilted and I'm having a hard time focusing on it. It seems to be a series of short stories about the residents of Winesburg and their relationships to each other. Perhaps part of the problem is that I've just finished Olive Kitteridge which does the same sort of thing, but in a much more readable fashion. I gave a 4-star (almost 5-star) to Olive, so we'll see how I feel about Winesburg when I get farther into the book. Let's see if it starts to get more interesting. It is still a chore at the moment, however.


message 9: by LynnB (new)

LynnB OK, after that slow start, I decided to look at the Goodreads reviews of it. To my surprise, it has overwhelmingly received 4 and 5 star reviews - yes, there are 1, 2, and 3 star reviews for it, but in much smaller numbers. I read a few reviews in each star category and am thinking perhaps I need to get a few more chapters read - perhaps it gets does get better after a while. I'll get back to reading it later this afternoon....


toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) Stephanie wrote: "It makes me smile that everyone is commenting on my consideration when choosing two short books for the month of September. I DO think about length when selecting books, but remember, I do have my ..."

Lol - now that's what I call good thinking


message 11: by LynnB (new)

LynnB I got back to reading it this afternoon, but ended up "reading" the backside of my eyelids.... will try again. With all those 4 and 5 stars, I gotta be reading it wrong or something! I swear I am gonna stick with it to the end!


message 12: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments hahaha!


message 13: by LynnB (new)

LynnB A fresh start this morning made me realize one of the things that has been bothering me about this book. The author refers to his characters with first and last names constantly. Occasionally you find just a first name, but I am now at page 156 and he's still saying "George Willard" (for example) each time he mentions him. Why doesn't he just say "George"? I think that adds to my perception of a stilted style. Any ideas why he did this? There must have been some reasoning behind it.

I have to add that I am enjoying the book more now.

...so back to page 157 and on!


message 14: by LynnB (new)

LynnB Just finished Winesburg, Ohio finally. Despite my whining, it got better as time went on, and I ended up thinking it was an okay book. There were some chapters that I really liked, but overall I thought it was just average. I do have to say his descriptions of the town, people's thoughts, the weather... were quite thorough and created an easily pictured story.


message 15: by ccqdesigns (new)

ccqdesigns | 1 comments Well, I am about 1/2 way through and there sure are some strange folks in this town. The language he uses is definitely indicative of when it was written. It is not holding my attention like some, but I see that each short story is really a chapter in a long story. So, I will keep on till the end.


message 16: by toria (vikz writes) (last edited Sep 04, 2009 05:16AM) (new)

toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) Just started reading. This book is surreal and it's not gripping me. But it's interesting in places and so I'll carry on with it.


message 17: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments I got my notification from the library that my reserved copy is now in. I'll start on it this weekend.


message 18: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments Lynn, I'm about half-way done the book and I'm wondering if the back of your eyelids are any more interesting than mine? {{{Yawn}}}


message 19: by LynnB (new)

LynnB Lisa wrote: "Lynn, I'm about half-way done the book and I'm wondering if the back of your eyelids are any more interesting than mine? {{{Yawn}}}"

LOL!


message 20: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments Anderson gave us a glimpse of small town life and it's inhabitants. Unfortunately, I never connected with the story. I thought the writing was dull and uninteresting. I didn't expect to be dazzled with plot, but I would've liked to feel something for the characters. It just didn't happen.

I gave it 2 stars.


toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) Lisa wrote: "Anderson gave us a glimpse of small town life and it's inhabitants. Unfortunately, I never connected with the story. I thought the writing was dull and uninteresting. I didn't expect to be dazzl..."



My feelings exactly.




toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) Lynn wrote: "Lisa wrote: "Lynn, I'm about half-way done the book and I'm wondering if the back of your eyelids are any more interesting than mine? {{{Yawn}}}"

LOL!"


I'm finished. That's a few hours that I won't get back.




message 23: by Erin (last edited Sep 13, 2009 12:46PM) (new)

Erin I guess for 1919 this book was innovative with realism. However, I didn't come close to attachment for George or any of the grotesques of the town. I saw little hope for them ever emerging from their loneliness.

I need to find a peppy, uplifting book to read before we get into the scary October stuff.


message 24: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie This is literary Nyquil. My husband and I are both reading this one and neither one of us can stay awake when we start reading. I am going to finish it because I want to see if the stories all tie together, but I am SO BORED in the process. I am finding that I just don't CARE about any of the characters I am meeting.


message 25: by Jenn (new)

Jenn I am so bored. I'm listening to this on audiobook during my commute and am in serious danger of falling asleep behind the wheel. I know I read this in junior high and didn't like it then, either. I almost don't even care if it all ties together at the end or not.


message 26: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Yes, I read more last night (about 20 pages) and I seriously cannot tell you about anything I have read. Have you ever read a book that did that to you? I don't really care anymore if the stories tie together or not, I just want to return this to the library and move on to the two good books for October. I have read both, but will be rereading Jackson b/c it has been awhile.


message 27: by Molly (new)

Molly Hart I'm getting through it slowly. It is ok. But it is not compelling. In fact, it is overdue to the library and I am payiing a dime a day...it better get interesting quick, or the cost will be greater than the payoff...


message 28: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I just realized I am only about 1/4 of the way through and I don't know if I can read this one right now. I am going to keep trying until I have to return it to the library, but I am not into it at all. I keep picking up other stuff to read, like I did with Dune. It feels like homework.


message 29: by Willis (new)

Willis | 27 comments Gave this one 3 stars. Appreciated the writing, thought it was excellent at points, but not overly impressed with the work as a whole; peaks and valleys, I guess. Thought a lot of the character traits and themes were repetitive. Enjoyed it overall. Would be inclined to reread certain chapters but probably not the entire book.


message 30: by Stacie (new)

Stacie | 1 comments Okay, I know you guys all read this a few years ago, but I just joined the group a few months ago. I a little over halfway through it, but I understand what you mean about the abruptness of the chapters.

I think that's in part to show how unconnected these town folk are from one another. Most small towns are touted as interconnected webs of support, but Winesburg isn't like that. Each character lives in his or her own chapter--most of the characters aren't in other chapters. A lot of post-modernism seems to be about loneliness in the urban world, but very few books I've read extend that to rural areas. Instead of a connected, love thy neighbor book, it shows how isolating rural communities can be--in a way that resonates through both time and to those who live in closer proximity to their neighbors.


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