The Magnificent Ambersons

The Magnificent Ambersons
Booth Tarkington

OK, the ending is a total fudge. The naturalists had a tighter grip on stories with this trajectory. (Welles had a brilliant finesse in mind, but it was never filmed.) In any event, until then this is a surprisingly fresh and even raw domestic tragedy that plays well against its genteel backdrop. And though it can be obvious at times (as with George’s unfortunate accident), there are subtle moments as well. As for our hero, the thick-as-a-brick, spoiled Georgie, can we forgive him? The new nouveau riche don’t seem to be any better than the Ambersons were in the days of their utmost magnificence. And a mother’s love is a terrible thing.