Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

4.6 5
by Sloan Wilson, Jonathan Franzen
     
 

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Universally acclaimed when first published in 1955, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit captured the mood of a generation. Its title — like Catch-22 and Fahrenheit 451 — has become a part of America's cultural vocabulary. Tom Rath doesn't want anything extraordinary out of life: just a decent home, enough money to support his family, and a career that

Overview

Universally acclaimed when first published in 1955, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit captured the mood of a generation. Its title — like Catch-22 and Fahrenheit 451 — has become a part of America's cultural vocabulary. Tom Rath doesn't want anything extraordinary out of life: just a decent home, enough money to support his family, and a career that won't crush his spirit. After returning from World War II, he takes a PR job at a television network. It is inane, dehumanizing work. But when a series of personal crises force him to reexamine his priorities — and take responsibility for his past — he is finally moved to carve out an identity for himself. This is Sloan Wilson's searing indictment of a society that had just begun to lose touch with its citizens. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit is a classic of American literature and the basis of the award-winning film starring Gregory Peck. "A consequential novel." — Saturday Review

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.
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781568582467
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
10/28/2002
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
223,091
Product dimensions:
5.56(w) x 8.24(h) x 0.85(d)

What People are saying about this

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

Meet the Author

Patrick Lawlor has recorded over three hundred audiobooks in just about every genre. He has been an Audie Award finalist several times and has received several AudioFile Earphones Awards. He has won a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award, numerous Library Journal and Kirkus starred audio reviews, and multiple Editors' Picks, Top 10, and Year's Best lists.

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Man in the Gray Flannel Suit 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
TheAgencyReview More than 1 year ago
As advertising people, we spend much of our time trying to create images that become icons of the era and language that becomes the argot of the age. (Or at least, some of us do). We mine the culture for indicators, trends, signposts, we dig into mounds of research to uncover insights no one else has discovered – insights that will yield some seed that will blossom tomorrow and bloom everlastingly. A “Think Small” a “Just Do It”, even a “Leggo my Eggo”. Anyone who’s been doing this a while knows that to be consistently successful takes inordinate skill, and probably a substantial measure of pure dumb luck. One would imagine that Sloan Wilson, author of The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit would agree. Published in 1955, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit was, after poor initial reviews, a huge success and made into a highly popular movie the following year starring Hollywood A-Listers Gregory Peck, Jennifer Jones and Frederic March. The phrase itself became a part of the vernacular almost immediately. Wilson mentions [to read the rest of this review, please visit http://the-agency-review.com/gray-flannel-suit ]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago