Penrod Schofield is the epitome of a precocious twelve-year-old: crafty in his dealings developing a business and mischievous in his interactions at the local grammar school. He is neither a rascal nor a paragon of virtue, but rather an ordinary boy growing up in a rural early-nineteenth-century Indiana town. In these comic sketches by Booth Tarkington, it is up to Penrod, along with his dog, Duke, and friends Sam, Herman, and Verman, to rescue themselves from countless scrapes and humiliations—usually of the adults’ making.
Penrod is deliriously effective in its evocation both of an earlier era and of the unfettered joy of being a young man in a world of bikes, cap guns, and cranky authority figures. Tarkington’s heartwarming story highlights the naiveté of youth—and the hypocrisy of adulthood.
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One of the most popular American authors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Pulitzer Prize winner Booth Tarkington was acclaimed for his novels set in small Midwestern towns. Penrod tells of a boy growing up in Indianapolis at the turn of the twentieth century. His friends and his dog accompany him on his many jaunts, from the stage as “the Child Sir Lancelot,” to the playground, to school. They make names for themselves as “bad boys” who always have the most fun. Nearly a century after it was first published to incredible popularity and acclaim, Penrod remains wildly funny and entertaining to adults and children alike.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize when it was first published in 1918, The Magnificent Ambersons chronicles the changing fortunes of three generations of an American dynasty. The protagonist of Booth Tarkington's great historical drama is George Amberson Minafer, the spoiled and arrogant grandson of the founder of the family's magnificence. Eclipsed by a new breed of developers, financiers, and manufacturers, this pampered scion begins his gradual descent from the midwestern aristocracy to the working class.
Today The Magnificent Ambersons is best known through the 1942 Orson Welles movie, but as the critic Stanley Kauffmann noted, "It is high time that [the novel] appear again, to stand outside the force of Welles's genius, confident in its own right."
"The Magnificent Ambersons is perhaps Tarkington's best novel," judged Van Wyck Brooks. "[It is] a typical story of an American family and town--the great family that locally ruled the roost and vanished virtually in a day as the town spread and darkened into a city. This novel no doubt was a permanent page in the social history of the United States, so admirably conceived and written was the tale of the Ambersons, their house, their fate and the growth of the community in which they were submerged in the end."
At once an exciting chronicle of a family's rise to fortune and its tortured downfall, it is also a fascinating portrait of the forces that shaped American society.
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In a small Midwestern town in the wake of World War I, Alice Adams delightedly finds herself being pursued by Arthur Russell, a gentleman of a higher social class in life. Desperate to keep her family's lower-middle-class status a secret, she and her parents concoct various schemes to keep their family afloat. Though the realities of her situation eventually reveal themselves and her relationship with Arthur fizzles, Alice's acceptance of this leads her to seek out work to support her family with an admirable resiliency. An enchanting and authentic tale of a family's aspirations to seek more out of life, Alice Adams reveals the strength of the human spirit and its incredible ability to evolve.
Originally published in 1921, this bestselling Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was adapted into film twice, and its heroine, the sparkling Alice Adams, still resonates with readers today.
With a new foreword by Anne Edwards.
Vintage Movie Classics spotlights classic films that have stood the test of time, now rediscovered through the publication of the novels on which they were based.