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Paperback Ethan Frome Book

ISBN: 1945644389

ISBN13: 9781945644382

Ethan Frome

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New


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Book Overview

The first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize, Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome is considered her masterpiece. Based on the memories of her time in Massachusetts, the 1911 fictional novel of difficult interpersonal relations still affects readers today.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Cold and bleak but haunting

This is a short, intense novel that absolutely gripped me when I read it. The cold, bleak setting seems so appropriate to Ethan Frome's existence. A life full of obligation and duty, with no hint of joy or spontaneity. Mattie Silver, a cousin of Ethan's wife Zenobia (Zeena) brings a small amount of light and life into Ethan's life. Ethan pays a heavy price for this, as do both Mattie and to a lesser extent Zeena. This is a sad novel about duty, tragedy and mutual obligation. It is not a light read, but it is a wonderful piece of prose that demonstrates that there is a form of beauty in brevity. Highly recommended. Jennifer Cameron-Smith

When the gods want to punish us...

Edith Wharton was sort of an American Jane Austen, in that she wrote almost exclusively about the society of her time. However, I have found Wharton to be better than Austen, if for no other reason than Wharton's characters have more depth--Wharton's characters are immediately recognizable as people. Ethan Frome was one of her most famous novels, and it is actually a departure for her, since it occurs in a rural Massachussetts town rather than turn of the century New York, but the stifling society presence is still here, and the story is very much a tragedy, just like her other works. However, I found this book to be even more devastating than The House of Mirth. The book is about the titular character, a man who lives with his cold, unlovable wife and his young and lovely cousin. Clearly he is stuck, and much of the book revolves around his attempts to sort out his feelings and deciding what to do. It's not an exceptionally complex story, but it is a powerful one, with an ending which I found extraordinarily sad. In a way, Ethan gets what he wants, but it can only bring him endless sorrow. I don't want to give it away if you haven't read it, but it is quite well-done. This book, if it isn't already, should be considered the very definition of American tragedy. The beautifully-drawn imagery and setting, the sublimated love and hate, the inevitable course and its tragic conclusion make this one of the finest novels I have ever read, and, I hope, one of the finest you will have ever read, too.


This review refers to the New Millennium Audio Tape of "Ethan Frome" by Edith Wharton..... Edith Whaton's "Ethan Frome" read by Richard Thomas is absolutely mesmerizing. Thomas reads all the parts, including the women and gives an excellent performance. His voice is lulling and familiar. He puts just the right amount of inflection into each character, so we know exactly who is talking.His supberb acting ability translates the emotions beautifully from character to character. Ethan Frome is the story of a man living in a loveless marriage. He is downtroden and melancholy until the day he meets his wife's young and beautiful cousin Mattie Silver. Mattie will be staying at the Frome's New England Farm, and in the passing year, Ethan becomes a new man as Mattie brings out a passionate side in him. When Mattie is forced to leave, Ethan is desperate to make a change in his life as well. The results are tragic. Edith Wharton's descriptions of the time, the place and the people are perfect. It's easy to imagine, the snowy farmland, the dimal existance and the faces and features of the characters involved. And Thomas is wonderful at bringing them all to life. The taped set is an excellent quality. It runs a total of about 6 hours. There are four cassettes(8 sides). It is unabridged and digitally Mastered in the Dolby System. It comes in a nicley boxed set. Great to listen to in waiting rooms, where other distractions may prevent you from reading(and this one will really take you away to another time and place), on long car drives (you can block out the kids' music), or to keep you company while working around the house. I loved the story and the experience of the audio reading. Enjoy.....Laurie also recommended for audio book lovers: Les Miserables (Focus on the Family Radio Theatre) The Shipping News Echoes (Danielle Steel)

Don't let it happen to you!

I decided to write a review of this book because even though the last time I read it was over 20 years ago for a High School English class, I still remember the story so vividly. Obviously it had an impact on me. Other reviews here say, "Boring, nothing happened, the man was stupid and made stupid choices." That was exactly the point! At the age of 14 it was brought home to me that it is easy to get into a situation where one small bad decision after another leads you to a life that is just plain awful. It encouraged me to consider the concequences of my actions 5, 10, even 20 years down the road. The concepts in this book are relevant to so many modern situations (How will your later life be affected if you get pregnant/do drugs/flunk school now?) A smart English teacher will incorporate these discussions into any class requiring this book for reading.

Not what it seems

I thought that this book was a great book. Instead of just telling the plot, Edith Wharton used a lot of symbolism to tell the story and show the characters emotions, because the point of view is that of an objective bystander. It isn't a very good book if you just want to read for plot, but if you want to read something a little deeper, it's a very interesting book.
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