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Extended Audio Sample The Magnificent Ambersons, by Booth Tarkington Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,386 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Booth Tarkington Narrator: Geoffrey Blaisdell Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Winner of the 1919 Pulitzer Prize when it was first published, The Magnificent Ambersons chronicles the changing fortunes of three generations of an American dynasty. The family serves as a metaphor for the old society that crumbled after the Industrial Revolution while a middle-western town spread and darkened into a city.

George Amberson Minafer is the spoiled and arrogant grandson of the founder of the family’s magnificence. Eclipsed by a new breed of industrial tycoons and land developers whose power comes not through family connections but through financial dealings and modern manufacturing, George descends from the Midwestern aristocracy to the working class. But George refuses to accept his diminishing status, clinging to all the superficiality he has always known. As the wheels of industry transform the social landscape, the definitions of ambition, success, and loyalty also change.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “It all seems absolutely real...The Magnificent Ambersons is a small-town story and who among American writers can reproduce the small-town atmosphere better than Booth Tarkington?...It is scarcely necessary to say that the book is well written.”

    New Yok Times

  • The Magnificent Ambersons is perhaps Tarkington’s best novel...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.”

    Van Wyck Brooks, literary critic, biographer, and, historian

  • “Booth Tarkington’s The Magnificent Ambersons is a delightful novel. In addition, it is a view of Indianapolis’ evolution from a major marketing center to a great industrial city. It adds a new dimension to one’s understanding of the coming of the Industrial Age to the State of Indiana.”

    Herman B Wells, Indiana University

  • “All fiction collections should own a copy.”

    Library Journal

  • “Tarkington’s story…still resonates and has many parallels in today’s world. Geoffrey Blaisdell gives proper blue-blood intonation to the Amberson clan and their contemporaries. He also gives appropriate tones to the servants and the townspeople.”


  • Pulitzer Prize • Fiction1919

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Emily | 2/19/2014

    " A classic and one of the most interesting books I've ever read. It's a story that has stuck with me for years. I'd highly recommend this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Britt | 2/11/2014

    " Interesting and thoughtful protrayal of aristocrats coming to terms with mediocrity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Judy | 2/9/2014

    " I enjoyed this story. Parts about urban sprawl made me think of my own Some of the insults used in the book certainly wouldn't have been known to be insults since they are certainly period related. A worthwhile read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Cayley | 2/8/2014

    " Reminiscent of Great Gatsby; fall from prosperity of a heartbreaking-ly spoiled child and subsequent rise into decency. "

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