Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Peyton Place (1956)

Well, I hardly even know what to say about this book ...

I included "Peyton Place" on my list of books to read because I've been aware of the title since early childhood and research tells me the novel was a huge scandalous success with 60,000 copies sold during the first 10 days of publication. What, I asked myself, could cause such a stir in 1956?

Well, the book deals with everything: puberty, sex, menopause, infidelity, spousal abuse, murder, jealousy, incest, rape, mental illness, suicide, and even, surprisingly for the 1950s, alcoholism. The general conclusion I reach is that Grace Metalious believes most people are motivated by their base desires and character defects. Unfortunately, there's very little happiness lurking in the small miserable lives of Peyton Place. I'll take away Selena's strength to survive, her love for Joey, Matt Swain's honor and sacrifice, but will try my best to forget all of the rest, especially Norman's creepy mother.

To find on amazon: Peyton Place

1 comment:

Hariklia said...

No wonder they made it into a soap opera! (I think)