Winesburg, Ohio has always seemed to one of those mainstays of American Literature and after over 2 years of reading American novels, it finally popped up on the old radar. First, it's not a novel, but a collection of portraits of various townspeople loosely connected to one young man named George Willard. I've read several novels based on young people leaving a small town (Sister Carrie, portions of USA) and Sinclair Lewis's Main Street is a portrait of how woman from the big city tries to adapt to life in a small town. This is something different and somewhere along the way I got a sense of how this small town represents each of our lives. We walk along our individual paths and we encounter some folks along the way, but there are far more people with whom our paths never cross. There are those we sit next to on airplanes who have their own stories and secrets and pasts, but we don't get to know them, but someone else might know them quite well. It's the one interesting thing I took away from the book. I grew up in a small town in Ohio about 50 years after this book was written and some ways I found it reminiscent, but not particularly nostalgic. Anderson's writing style is nothing special and seems consistent with other newspaper men who turned their hand to novel writing -- simplistic without much in the way of artistry.
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