Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

( 4 )

Overview

Here is the story of Tom and Betsy Rath, a young couple with everthing going for them: three healthy children, a nice home, a steady income. They have every reason to be happy, but for some reason they are not. Like so many young men of the day, Tom finds himself caught up in the corporate rat race - what he encounters there propels him on a voyage of self-discovery that will turn his world inside out. At once a searing indictment of coporate culture, a story of a young man confronting his past and future with ...
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Overview

Here is the story of Tom and Betsy Rath, a young couple with everthing going for them: three healthy children, a nice home, a steady income. They have every reason to be happy, but for some reason they are not. Like so many young men of the day, Tom finds himself caught up in the corporate rat race - what he encounters there propels him on a voyage of self-discovery that will turn his world inside out. At once a searing indictment of coporate culture, a story of a young man confronting his past and future with honesty, and a testament to the enduring power of family, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit is a deeply rewarding novel about the importance of taking responsibility for one's own life.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Though it's cited in nearly every book and article about the culture of the 1950s, few readers under 65 know Sloan Wilson's The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit firsthand. The 1955 bestseller is being reissued with a new introduction by Jonathan Franzen-and, indeed, the story of disappointed Westport, Conn., strivers Tom and Betsy Rath anticipates the novels of suburban anomie by Franzen and his contemporaries. Dreaming of a bigger house for his wife and three kids, WWII veteran Tom leaves his job with an arts foundation to be a well-paid public relations executive at the United Broadcasting Corporation. But corporate ladder climbing and consumer rewards leave him miserable. Though his sentimental conclusion now seems dated, Wilson's portrait of the martini-soaked malcontents is sharp, memorable and still resonant today.
Publishers Weekly
Patrick Lawlor evokes the mood of post-WWII America in this audio version of Wilson's classic novel. After returning from the war, Tom Rath attempts to reenter civilian life, while struggling financially and personally and working a dreary desk job at a television network. Lawlor's narration is well-paced, steady, and captures both the blunted emotion and plodding pace of bourgeois life in 1950s Southport, Conn. Lawlor produces a range of memorable voices for Wilson's characters--his version of the strident Mrs. Manter is particularly entertaining, while his energetic portrayal of network executive Ralph Hopkins and spot-on rendering of the devious family caretaker and the sagacious Judge Bernstein will delight listeners as the tension mounts and Rath's well-ordered life threatens to spiral out of control. A Da Capo paperback. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"Lawlor's narration is well-paced, steady, and captures both the blunted emotion and plodding pace of bourgeois life in 1950s Southport, Connecticut." —-Publishers Weekly Audio Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568582467
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 140,634
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author


Sloan Wilson (1920–2003) was an American author whose best known works include the bestsellers The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit and A Summer Place.

An AudioFile Earphones Award winner and Audie Award finalist, Patrick Lawlor is also an accomplished stage actor.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2004

    don't deprive yourself, just buy the book

    While I don't know much about Sloan Wilson as an author, I know a good book when I see one. For some reason this is considered a book of interest for those who like the highs and lows of pop culture literature and has been described as 'middlebrow'...whatever that means. Where I can tell you the critics are off the mark, is that Tom Rath is arguably one of the greatest literary characters to ever be commited to print. The tale of the all-American straight, white family is the core of the book. What perhaps isn't always stated is that Tom Rath is a World War II veteran, whose ennui of going from wearing combat gear in the jungles to a flannel suit in a unfullfiling corporate job, is the real heart and soul of the tale, and effectively captures what must have been a strage and surreal existence for those who lived it back in the day. It's hard to say who you would reccomend this book to, or even what genre of fiction you would classify it as. It's suburban life and city life, satiric and real, almost painful in it's wartime flashbacks and deeply moving from start to finish. It's a story of people finding themselves, though I'm even embarrassed to make such a corny statement. It's just that aside from how this book 'defined' a generation, what with it's flannel suits, martinis and wartime memories, the book seems just as relevant today (perhaps because of our current political climate) as it was upon it's publication. I just can't give a higher reccomendation for a book. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll sigh with a smile on your face when you finally finish it. It's about people finding themselves. It's that and so much more I swear to you though.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2003

    Wilson shines in Gray Flannel

    Sloan Wilson captures the essence of a suburban commuter's life-dilemma in this poignant 1950s portrait of a WWII vet who cannot balance his past with his present. It's a story that could easily be transferred to the early 20th century in its gripping realism and compelling dramatic arc as protagonist Tom Rath learns that building a rewarding future demands that he recognize the foundation of his past.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2013

    classic

    I'm sorry, but I don't read my books right away - I order ones that I have heard of, look interesting, like other books of the same author or are classics I haven't read. I put them on my bookshelf and contemplate (think) about when and if I am going to read them - some I know I will like so much, that I am saving them for my deathbed....I CANNOT DIE until I've read them....I have quite a few. I know I will really like this one and I have the movie on my Netflix queue...I read the book before my movie comes - the book is usually better..ANONYMOUS

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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