Dave's Pulitzer Reviews 1917 - 1929
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His Family by Ernest Poole
Well, I actually read this one in 2006. I was going to do the whole Pulitzer list thing in 2006, but it never got off the ground. Anyway, this book is 90 years old, so it reads like typical early 20th century "Literature". I find a lot lit-er-a-choor pretentious, so I can't recommend this one.

The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
Again I read this one in 2006. I liked this one better, but it still was not an easy read. I think there are some books that are just better in their own time. Of course, some authors and works are timeless (Shakespeare, Twain, Dumas).

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Another period piece about New York high society in the late 1800's. A tragic story of unrequited love. Again, this loses some of its impact with distance. But if the book is at all faithful to the time, it should make one realize that our mores and values do drift with time. Our current American society is just a snapshot in a long history, and is no more inherently "right" or "wrong" than any other. Don't miss the sly joke she plays with the characters names.

Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington
After a while these books seem to run together. This is another moralizing story about the dangers of class and keeping up with the Jones. Although the style is a bit stiff, you can't help but keep reading, much like watching a car wreck.

One of Ours by Willa Cather
This is the first book set somewhere other than the East coast. It is the story of a Nebraska boy growing up during the Great War (WWI). This book had a more natural feel to it. I liked it.

The Able McLaughlins by Margaret Wilson
I can't find this book. Any ideas?

So Big by Edna Ferber
This was good. I kept waiting for something about the title character, but 90% of the books was about his mother. I like Ferber's style. I didn't know she had written so many popular books. She also wrote Giant, Showboat and Cimmaron. I will probably take a side trip to read Giant and see the Rock Hudson movie.

Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
Hot dang. A book about a scientist. But the book turned out to be so-so. The moralizing in this book was a little vague. Even the hero was a jerk.

Early Autumn by Louis Bromfield
Another novel about the tragic East Coast upper class. See Age of Innocence with the gender roles reversed. Not a book I will be reading again. Not recommended.

The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
What is it with the Lewis/Louis/Luis thing? The Pulitzer committee must have had a good chuckle over this. Anyway, if you like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, then you will likely like this. I didn't. But I have been to several places in Peru that are mentioned in the book, so that was of some interest. A very different book than any of the prize winners to date. I also read the last book Wilder wrote, The Eighth Day. I was lukewarm on it, but it would have won if written in the 20s or 30s.

Scarlet Sister Mary by Julia Peterkin
Another book I was unable to easily source.

  Dave's Pulitzer Reviews 1917 - 1929
Pulitzers Bookshelf Go Home