When Grace Metalious's debut novel about the dark underside of a small, respectable New England town was published in 1956, it quickly soared to the top of the bestseller lists. A landmark in twentieth-century American popular culture, Peyton Place spawned a successful feature film and a long-running television series-the first prime-time soap opera.
Contemporary readers of Peyton Place will be captivated by its vivid characters, earthy prose, and shocking incidents. Through her riveting, uninhibited narrative, Metalious skillfully exposes the intricate social anatomy of a small community, examining the lives of its people -- their passions and vices, their ambitions and defeats, their passivity or violence, their secret hopes and kindnesses, their cohesiveness and rigidity, their struggles, and often their courage.
This new paperback edition of Peyton Place features an insightful introduction by Ardis Cameron that thoroughly examines the novel's treatment of class, gender, race, ethnicity, and power, and considers the book's influential place in American and New England literary history.
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Comments about Peyton Place:
This book was incredible. Even though it was written a lifetime ago and I have no connection whatsoever to that time or place, I found it absolutely mesmerising and relatable. It was the book that shocked the nation during its time and I still found it thrilling by today's standards. The characters are incredibly real, I felt like I know these people. Absoultely stunning, Grace Metalious instantly became one of my favourite authors.
First published in 1956, Grace Metalious's story of scandal and prejudice in small-town New England was greeted at the time of its publication with gasping moral outrage, and recordbreaking sales. It's much less shocking now, but it's still easy to see why it caused such a reaction - illegitimate pregnancies, abortion, sexually aggressive women, incest and drunkenness were not exactly staples of the post-war novel. However, Peyton Place is far from being just a lurid tale of moral infamy. Metalious's sharp pen draws a harsh but believable picture of the town, gradually highlighting the dark areas behind the respectable surface. Women's sexuality and male reactions to it are at the heart of many family dysfunctions. Allison MacKenzie is beginning to discover her sexuality, while her repressed mother is terrified that her long-ago adulterous affair will come to light. On the other side of the tracks Selena Cross is being brutally abused by her stepfather, until she finally decides to take the law into her own hands. But it's not all misery - Metalious has an eye for the lighter side of community life as well, and the scene in which the town drunks are hauled out of the cellar where they've been on a six-week binge brilliantly combines humour and pathos. Altogether, then, this is a novel that is still well worth reading, not only - or even mainly - for the elements that made it famous, but for the author's piercing but always sensitive insights into the tangled personalities and emotions that make up human existence. (Kirkus UK)
Series: Hardscrabble Bks.
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 4th March 1999
Publisher: University Press of New England
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0 x 3.2
Weight (kg): 0.48
Edition Type: New edition