[ Download epub ] The Late George ApleyAuthor John P. Marquand – Biorganicenergy.co

A modern classic restored to print the Pulitzer Prize winning novel that charts the diminishing fortunes of a distinguished Boston family in the early years of the th century Sweeping us into the inner sanctum of Boston society, into the Beacon Hill town houses and exclusive private clubs where only the city s wealthiest and most powerful congregate, the novel gives us through the story of one family and its patriarch, the recently deceased George Apley the portrait of an entire society in transition Gently satirical and rich with drama, the novel moves from the Gilded Age to the Great Depression as it projects George Apley s world and subtly reveals a life in which success and accomplishment mask disappointment and regret, a life of extreme and enviable privilege that is nonetheless an imperfect life This was one of those flukes where I m glad I hung in there, because I sure hated the first 50 100 pages I definitely had it pegged as a waste of time Pulitzer Instead, I found it a touching and sad exploration of how we can find ourselves becoming what we did not want to be, and the gradual yield to conformity I still do not understand the reviews of 1937, which all rang with words like hilarious and wickedly funny , because the satire here struck me as infinitely sad, but I guess they This was one of those flukes where I m glad I hung in there, because I sure hated the first 50 100 pages I definitely had it pegged as a waste of time Pulitzer Instead, I found it a touching and sad exploration of how we can find ourselves becoming what we did not want to be, and the gradual yield to conformity I still do not understand the reviews of 1937, which all rang with words like hilarious and wickedly funny , because the satire here struck me as infinitely sad, but I guess they must be the product of their era John P Marquand s writing captured me right from the first page His writing style read like a biography with the narrator being a close friend of the main character The book is made up of letters by George Apley himself which are witty, humorous and sad I really enjoyed the story John P Marquand s writing captured me right from the first page His writing style read like a biography with the narrator being a close friend of the main character The book is made up of letters by George Apley himself which are witty, humorous and sad I really enjoyed the story Boy, did this book deserve the Pulitzer Prize late 1930s It is a picture of Boston society in the early 1900s George Apley is the patriarch of an old family The book is a social satire and written to picture society in transition but I was very sympathetic to George, liking him very much His sense of duty was greater than his love of life, but I see that as rather noble I saw a wealthy class, very exclusive and ingrown, but they looked out for each other and also provided for the re Boy, did this book deserve the Pulitzer Prize late 1930s It is a picture of Boston society in the early 1900s George Apley is the patriarch of an old family The book is a social satire and written to picture society in transition but I was very sympathetic to George, liking him very much His sense of duty was greater than his love of life, but I see that as rather noble I saw a wealthy class, very exclusive and ingrown, but they looked out for each other and also provided for the rejects of society They took great pride in their city and looked out for the people in ways we expect the government to do today The book was largely letters George writes to his son,observing social changes and giving advise Plese try to think carefully exactly what you want, before you spend it, because there is no satisfaction as great as spending wisely, and few annoyances as great as feeling that money has been wasted Distrust the book which reads too easily because such writing appealsto the senses than to the intellect Hard reading exercises the mind I believe that a large part of life consists of learning how to be unhappy without worrying too much about it Learn to accept what you are as soon as possible, not arrogantly but philosophiclly The subtitle for THE LATE GEORGE APLEY is A NOVEL IN THE FORM OF A MEMOIR, and so, rather than a traditional, and likely less effective, approach, author John Marquand makes use of supposed correspondence between the main character and his family and of public records to tell the biography of George Apley, a member of Boston aristocracy and Beacon Hill resident The unnamed narrator, a professed friend of George s, gives a eulogy at one of the many clubs that George had been a member of afterwa The subtitle for THE LATE GEORGE APLEY is A NOVEL IN THE FORM OF A MEMOIR, and so, rather than a traditional, and likely less effective, approach, author John Marquand makes use of supposed correspondence between the main character and his family and of public records to tell the biography of George Apley, a member of Boston aristocracy and Beacon Hill resident The unnamed narrator, a professed friend of George s, gives a eulogy at one of the many clubs that George had been a member of afterwards, George s son thanks him for the send off, but with a simultaneous request that he collect George s correspondence together and give the family a picture of the man as he really was.The result is a gem Sly and subtle, Marquand gives us not only a picture of Apley, but of an entire culture and generation, one that was fighting to stay relevant in the changing world, but one that was so stratified and petrified as to be unable to meet any of those changes with much success But what is especially delightful about the novel is that Marquand is not ripping and destroying that culture his barbs are rounded and it is the sort of gentle teasing and prodding one might give to one s grandparents Marquand LIKED this society, although he was not blind to its foibles and idiosyncrasies And as a representative of this group, George Apley is a good man, albeit frustrated and a bit na ve aspects which Marquand imparts to the entire culture of the time, to the generation who came into their own prior to the first World War.Yet even over and above the cultural satire, Marquand gives us a moving account of Apley it s probably no coincidence that on the cover of the most recent edition, we see a man presumably Apley surrounded by a picture frame Marquand does, to use that worn out phrase, paint a picture of his character, one that is amazing in its depth, considering the technique used to bring it out.GEORGE APLEY was written in 1937, and was the first serious novel that Marquand wrote, having been known before primarily as the author of the Mr Moto series of mystery novels Despite the date, the book while firmly rooted in the conventions of its day is not musty or stale at all, and I suspect most modern readers, were they to be made aware of it, would enjoy its clever and oh so subtle satire, as well as its depiction of a society that, I m sure, in some ways still exists.Many thanks toreviewer Allen Smalling for mentioning Marquand to me that and a chance sighting of THE LATE GEORGE APLEY at a second hand store were the only reasons I picked this one up It s a shame that Marquand s name is so little known nowadays based on GEORGE APLEY, I look forward to reading the rest of his output Highly recommended Why doesn t the Library of America have a volume of John P Marquand novels I remembered The Late George Apley as a very good book and this re reading 50 years later confirms that First rate and not included in the definitive collection of American authors That should be fixed. This book is meant to have us question our values, confront our traditions, and reexamine conventional views in an effort to sort out that which is still good and challenge that which is, classist, racist, elitist, or simply ignorant It does this by revealing the life of the late George Apley, a Bostonian at the turn of the 19th 20th century George believed himself to be a good and responsible man, a leading citizen, a philanthropist, a dutiful husband, and father Within this fiction both th This book is meant to have us question our values, confront our traditions, and reexamine conventional views in an effort to sort out that which is still good and challenge that which is, classist, racist, elitist, or simply ignorant It does this by revealing the life of the late George Apley, a Bostonian at the turn of the 19th 20th century George believed himself to be a good and responsible man, a leading citizen, a philanthropist, a dutiful husband, and father Within this fiction both the book, and the George s aloof view of his life , the author reveals the hypocrisy in our behaviors when we fool ourselves into believing we are trying to help others, when we are privately attempting to perpetuate our sense of self suggest that we are working for the good of society, when we are posturing in order to distinguish ourselves from others and lastly, when we seek to preserve tradition, when we are merely trying to insulate ourselves in a life that is comforting to us because we control, or at least are attempting to control it Unlike other distinguished and prize winning authors of social commentaries, this book doesn t replay as well in 2012 as do authors such as Twain, Wharton, Steinbeck, Cheever, Morrison, etc Perhaps this is because the John Marquand writes with veiled fondness of his subject and its timeframe, or perhaps it is because Marquand never fully illuminates the effects of privilege on those less fortunate Now THIS is an old paperback rescued of course 1944 and in pretty good shape Pocket Books 258th selection and first printed in the same year I ll start today tonight.Read the intro last night This book is a novel masquerading as a biography memoir.Got into it a bit last night and I have to say that I like this book a lot The overall tone is a bit detached and Bostonian, but there are plenty of chuckles and also a bit of abrupt sadness as well It seems to be a spot on accounting Now THIS is an old paperback rescued of course 1944 and in pretty good shape Pocket Books 258th selection and first printed in the same year I ll start today tonight.Read the intro last night This book is a novel masquerading as a biography memoir.Got into it a bit last night and I have to say that I like this book a lot The overall tone is a bit detached and Bostonian, but there are plenty of chuckles and also a bit of abrupt sadness as well It seems to be a spot on accounting of Boston blue blood ism in the late 19th and early 20th century As for my own background, I spent the 10 1 2 years of my life as a middle classer my parents aspired to UPPER middle class dom around Worcester We went to Boston regularly but not often our dentist was in Boston and I remember well driving through towns like Newton and Wellesley with their BIG houses However, my own family had no claim to bluish blood Those folks were a significant step higher up the ladder We had a family friend family that lived out in the countryside closer to Boston Southboro Grafton on an old farm I remember riding in their big old Bentley or was it a Rolls Phil Beals was the patriarch and I think he WAS of that Boston upper class stock Groton and Harvard, patrician accent etc Very nice fella His family might have been mortified that he chose to work in provincial Worcester The real life location of the Apley Mills on the Merrimack would have likely been Lawrence or Lowell A misprint are instead of and I m thinking of George as a kid showing up as a kid in a Prendergast painting of Nahant.George s childhood is over with one life threatening event PHEW that reminded me of Ordinary People with a better outcome Now it s on to Harvard Or as he and his might say Hahvud And now the Harvard years are done and George is being bullied by his family into giving up his unsuitable Irish true love I gotta say it again this is a really good book Mr Willing s narration is so detached and conservative, and yet we really GET it that George s whole life is captive to his being a member of that very limited in so many ways bunch of Boston blue bloods The edge of nastiness and despair is there Poor George Those folks are a bunch of narrow minded bigots and babies George s Mom treats George like a baby controlling his life for him Can we begin to ask if George s own character is positive or negative We know he s going to give up the girl a coward whom the narrator will call courageous for doing his duty The author makes certain apt assumptions about the attitudes of his readers Law school Harvard of course and marriage Poor George is deep into the soup now His in laws make it clear that he also belongs to them now On top of all that his uncle thinks him to be a lightweight business wise He should ve headed for California as soon as he got whiff of his intended by his family future But he doesn t have enough guts to step out on his own.George s live continues have the air squeezed out of it by idiotic family business, expectations and squabbles He gets the reputation for being a pushover because he tries to make everyone happy His former childhood pal of a sister turns into a grasping thing a holic and his father s life winds down Hard not to fell sorry for the guy Funny to read about how Cape Ann became degraded by an influx of summer people from away New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, etc The stuff battles reminded me of The Spoils of Poynton the BBC mini series The are some similarities between this book and Angle of Repose the looking back and trying to illuminate the life of an individual.Past halfway now and George s life gets easier in a way after his father dies and leaves a HUGE estate Something for everybody the old man was a true patrician George can t really live up to that and doesn t want to What he wants is to be able to get AWAY from Boston, society, in laws, obligations etc at least for a while so he creates a beautiful wilderness camp in Maine And it soon gets over run by everything he s trying to escape, especially the family women, who don t take kindly to being abandoned in Boston by their menfolk Everyone has a good time, but as for George he prefers the wilderness paradise he d though he d created Oh well Anyway, I continue to appreciate the understated points that the skillful Mr Marquand makes His style is textbook urbanity With the Pequod story he very nicely brings ahuman dimension to his characters Gotta wrap this episodic book up soon I suppose George s life goes on smoothly enough but he is not all that happy about it who is In addition to the history of Mr A., the author is giving us a history of Boston and the role of the Brahmins as the 19th century closes and the 20th begins with such groups as the Irish taking onpolitical power and promoting a lot of graft and corrupt government That s Boston for ya In the middle of this book the pages are all screwed up and switched around Never seen that before.Now WWI approaches and George Apley sounds like a paranoid Tea Partier He s getting worsenarrow minded as he gets older witness his repulsive advice to his son about avoiding being different and having different friends.Slowly drawing to a close as George s life is seen to be increasingly limited and his concerns trivial We feel sorry for the guy I suppose The Stock Market crash and the Great Depression will be coming along We ll see how George responds to that Perhaps the author is stacking the deck a bit against George and his narrow mindedness in order to make his points It s working In any case, George s middle age is proving to be a bit less interesting than his youth And his youth wasn t all that fascinating to begin with.Heading for the barn after last night with the aging of George and estrangement with his son yet to come George lives in the past now, for all the present day activity in his life His son will prove to beinterested in the present and future and the changes he s undergone Remember the saying How re you gonna keep em down on the farm after they ve seen Paree George s bafflement and resentment vis a vis social change is basically his own choice His character was not strong enough for him to break away from a stultifying yet deceptively purposeful life in Boston I hope John s will be Still not quite finished after last night This book s easy to read a bit at a time as there really is no plot to speak of Next up the Roaring 20 s The son thing and George s disappointment in John My father John Jack had great expectations he was a Republican bigot of both my brother and me and was bitterly disappointed by my older brother another John and a liberal progressive bleeding heart etc and me also left wing, but also a troubled failure Then again, he was low bottom drinker smoker who nearly died in a gutter He wanted us to make HIM proud as his own life was an insoluble to him disaster Ah family George doesn t get the war thing with John For dad it s about glory, while John s the one who saw the horror and is grateful only to have survived he was wounded The social change thing and its effect on the family muchmobility Eleanor will be going far away soon sad for George George speak of his admiration and love for Thoreau another indication of his discontent.Finished last night with this quiet, satiric look at the lost life of a Boston Brahmin George s open mindedness vis vis Lady Chatterley s Lover and his affinity for Thoreau and Emerson strongly hint of a livelier life not lived Near the end we get a scene reminiscent of Brando s demises in the garden in The Godfather This is a very fine book, though it s hard to see many people reading it these days If they do it s likely because it won the Pulitzer George is busy til the end arranging all the details of his own funeral One might say that he gave away WAY too much of his energy to that sort of thing At the end George knew plenty of regret for what he may have missed in life by hiding out in his money and position s and marriage in Boston, but he did have a life We all have out regrets I think there s a hint that one of George s problems was that too much of his life was circumscribed by women Ken Kesey get s at thisdirectly in One Flew what re gonna do Maybe society is a creation primarily of women for the protection of women and children and maybe society is maintained by female control but, biologically speaking, the weaker and defenseless needed to be protected and nurtured Men have to pay the price or had to anyway Modern cultures provide forfreedom and that s not always necessarily a good thing I tried to read this when I was in my twenties, thought it was the most boring thing I d ever read Now, in my eighties, I give it five stars Should be four and a half, but Goodreads doesn t seem to do things in halves Does this book venerate the upper classes esp Bostonian , or does it mock them A little of each I d have to readMarquand before I could check in on that I laughed Almost every page, I laughed Surely this is an exercise in reading between the lines And yet, the pass I tried to read this when I was in my twenties, thought it was the most boring thing I d ever read Now, in my eighties, I give it five stars Should be four and a half, but Goodreads doesn t seem to do things in halves Does this book venerate the upper classes esp Bostonian , or does it mock them A little of each I d have to readMarquand before I could check in on that I laughed Almost every page, I laughed Surely this is an exercise in reading between the lines And yet, the passages when Apley is old and mellowing out not 100 percent are almost moving I remember my father talking about this book Now I know why I am reading The Late George Apley for a book club Alas, this book club is somewhat dysfunctional We don t meet very often, and when we do manage to meet, it is a frustrating exercise We can t seem to get around to discussing the books because one member of the club blathers on about inane stuff Blah blah blah By the time we get around to meeting, I will probably have forgotten my impressions of this book and we won t talk about it much even when we do meet, so I m going to record some thou I am reading The Late George Apley for a book club Alas, this book club is somewhat dysfunctional We don t meet very often, and when we do manage to meet, it is a frustrating exercise We can t seem to get around to discussing the books because one member of the club blathers on about inane stuff Blah blah blah By the time we get around to meeting, I will probably have forgotten my impressions of this book and we won t talk about it much even when we do meet, so I m going to record some thoughts here.First off, I like epistolary novels A lot Years ago I read Clarissa all 1500 pages of it and Pamela So this writing style suits me I was not, however, initially enthusiastic about reading George Apley It won a Pulitzer in 1938 and my husband read it in his quest to read all the Pulitzer prize winning novels His review of it did not whet my appetite Also the book club member who chose George Apley generally picks bad books.I have been pleasantly surprised though I find myself chuckling, laughing or snorting in amusement about something on just about every page The narrator, Mr Willing, is insufferable He is a tragic combination of the Rev Mr Eager in a Room with a View and Mr Collins in Pride and Prejudice Sometime it seems like the letter he is commenting on, and the letter I just read, are two completely different documents Like Mr Eager, he is a terrible snob and seems completely clueless about his friend George Here s a fun tidbit from Mr Eager How wonderfully people rise in these days sighed Miss Bartlett, fingering a model of the leaning Tower of Pisa Generally, replied Mr Eager, one has only sympathy for their success The desire for education and for social advance in these things there is something not wholly vile Mr Collins is a master of the insincere compliment He explains how he creates his compliments They arise chiefly from what is passing at the time, and though I sometimes amuse myself with suggesting and arranging such little elegant compliments as may be adapted to ordinary occasions, I always wish to give them as unstudied an air as possible Most of these compliments are paid to Lady Catherine George Apley is Willing s Lady Catherine He manages to put a positive spin on Apley s every action and breath I think he would have rolled his eyes at most of the comments Willing makes about him.George Apley himself is muchlikeable If he weren t pushed and bullied and squeezed into the box that his family seems to want to put him in, he would have become a kind and interesting person He is totally and completely stifled While in Europe he wrote.I wished the I might be walking up that road entirely alone, away from everything I knew I wished that I might be walking up it to see something by myself and for myself without guidance and without advice I wonder, will I ever walk up an road alone He seems to have been endowed with a good sense of humor, sensitivity, kindness and individuality, but those qualities are getting slowly beaten out of him As to his family, they are as bad as Willing The letters from his parents are somehow all about them, rather than about George Any triumph he makes, they attribute to themselves Something happens to his sister Jane and she seems to have been put away but it s not clear what exactly transpired Maybe she spoke to a person of the opposite sex who was not a member of their elevated sphere Oh the horror.The big question for me is if Apley manages to hold on to a bit of the qualities that are the most admirable to me, or does he become just another Boston robot Based on the few letters Willing printed at the beginning of the memoir, the latter seemslikely Sad I can only hope the second half of the book will be as amusing as the first half Update I just finished George Apley and the second half definitely lived up to the promise of the first half Apley continued to struggle with his desire to strike out, try new things, to appreciate all the new things popping up in the early 20th century He had a very strong sense of duty and tradition, the need for continuity But he also had a sort of innocent spirit Not sure how else to describe it I found the second halfpoignant than funny It occurs to me that I am a bit like Apley, appreciative of and open to new ideas, but also clinging a bit to the past We both lived during times of great change When George looked back at his youth he saw a very different world, as do I I understand his inner conflict In the end it seemed like he came to terms with it I was glad that he reconciled with his son I wish the novel includedletters written by John All in all, a surprisingly good read