The Late George Apley

The Late George Apley

by John P. Marquand


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Sweeping us into the inner sanctum of Boston society, into the Beacon Hill town houses and exclusive private clubs where only the city's wealthiest and most powerful congregate, this novel gives us—through the story of one family and its patriarch, the recently deceased George Apley—the portrait of an entire society in transition. Gently satirical and rich with drama, the novel moves from the Gilded Age to the Great Depression as it projects George Apley's world—and subtly reveals a life in which success and accomplishment mask disappointment and regret, a life of extreme and enviable privilege that is nonetheless an imperfect life.

Author Biography: John P. Marquand (18931960) wrote several widely admired and bestselling novels, among them the Pulitzer Prizewinning The Late George Apley (1937), Wickford Point (1939), and H. M. Pullham, Esquire (1941). He was the author also of the highly successful series of Mr. Moto detective novels.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780896215900
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 01/28/1985
Pages: 513
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

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Late George Apley 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
agnesmack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've never been a huge fan of biographies. So it was to my extreme dismay (!) that I discovered The Late George Apley, winner of the 1938 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, was a fictionalized biography. Not to worry though, I ended up loving it! The 'writer' (i.e. narrator) of this book is a man who was close friends with the late George Apley. When George dies, his children realize that they have never known him well, beyond the way they have known him as a father. They asked the writer to prepare a biography, which was based on his own knowledge of Mr. Apley as well as interviews with his friends and family, and correspondence to and from Mr. Apley.The resulting story was actually pretty interesting. Apley grew up as the son of a powerful New England family who were very concerned with convention and maintaining their place in society. In his teens and throughout the first few years of his 20s, Apley rebelled against his family's desires for him. However, in the end, he married the woman he was supposed to, and not the one he loved.As time went on, Apley had children of his own and attempted to raise them the same way he was raised, apparently forgetting that he'd realized the class system was bullshit. Only in his later years did he begin to question his actions, and inactions, and to remember that he'd once felt the rules of his class to be dull, pointless, and no way to live your life.Of course, his children also rebelled against his archaic ways and thought him to be a bit silly. And of course, his own son eventually embraced his responsibilities to his family and gave up on his own dreams.I enjoyed the use of letters and news clippings and found this story to be told in a fairly unique and compelling way. I would have liked to know something more about the narrator though. There were hints throughout that made me think there would be some great unveiling at the end and we'd discover that it was actually his worst enemy writing it, or something equally interesting. In the end though, all we know is that a close friend to his family narrated the story of George Apley.
Kelberts on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A story told with no dialog but with narratives and letters instead which I found unique and effective. George Apley is a victim of his own "goodness" - some may see his world and what he represents as the stuffy, pretentious and meaningless culture of at the end of the Victorian era; however, he represents a quainter and gentler bygone era that emphasized conviction, duty, community and charity - themes that struck a chord at least with me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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