Review: "The Fascinating Stranger" is an exceptionally good short story, a bit of real writing vividly and whimsically presented. Very different, but no less entertaining, is "Jeannette," an extravaganza of the Jazz Age as seen through the eyes of a man who had involuntarily retired from the world at a time when well-bred girls of nineteen or did not carry pocket-flasks or disport themselves in dances the kind that "tourists used to see in Paris at the Bal Bullier". All things considered, it is scarcely possible to be surprised at the effect the sight -- and sounds! -- of a modern dancing party held upon Uncle Charles.

"Of the thirteen stories in the book five are about children, and: two of these, "The Party" and "Willamilla," are among the best in the volume. There are few grown people who have not suffered from a sudden, apparently inexplicable outburst of rioting at a children's party, and all who have will read with sympathy this account of the doings of Laurence Coy and Daisy Mears. Daisy had always seemed such a nice, quiet little girl but nice, quiet little girls seldom attract much attention, and Daisy was used to standing in the background. This afternoon however, she took sudden and violent possession of the center of the stage -- and found it a highly agreeable position. No wonder that "she went out of the house with a character that had changed permanently during the brief course of a children party." Laurence, Daisy, and pretty Elsie Threamer appear again ("Willamilla") assisted this time by a colored baby with "a voice like the tinnier tones of a light saxophone" and a dog of determined nature and indeterminate breed, named Hossifer. Laurence found himself quite unable to cope with Willamilla and Hossifer, though he tried hard, with results extremely unpleasant to him, though highly amusing to the reader... Most of the tales are amusing, and the author's style is always delight." - (Literary Digest International Book Review, Volume 1, 1923)

About the Author: "Newton Booth Tarkington (1869-1946) was an American novelist and dramatist best known for his novels The Magnificent Ambersons and Alice Adams. He is one of only three novelists to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once, along with William Faulkner and John Updike. Although he is little read now, in the 1910s and 1920s he was considered America's greatest living author. His The Two Vanrevels and Mary's Neck appeared on the annual best-seller lists a total of nine times.

Tarkington was an unabashed Midwestern regionalist and set much of his fiction in his native Indiana. In 1902, he served one term in the Indiana House of Representatives as a Republican. Tarkington saw such public service as a responsibility of gentlemen in his socio-economic class, and consistent with his family's extensive record of public service. This experience provided the foundation for his book In the Arena: Stories of Political Life. While his service as an Indiana legislator was his only official public service position, he remained politically conservative his entire life. He supported Prohibition, opposed FDR, and worked against FDR's New Deal."

This book has the following stories: The Fascinating Stranger; The Party; The One-Hundred-Dollar Bill; Jeannette; The Spring Concert; Willamilla; The Only Child; Ladies' Ways; Maytime in Marlow; "You"; "Us"; The Tiger; Mary Smith

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  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Disabled
  • Print Length: 275 Pages
  • File Size: 3,910 KB

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