Ordinary People

Ordinary People

Book - 1982
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One of the great bestseller of our time: the novel that inspired Robert Redford's Oscar-winning film starring Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore

In Ordinary People , Judith Guest's remarkable first novel, the Jarrets are a typical American family. Calvin is a determined, successful provider and Beth an organized, efficient wife. They had two sons, Conrad and Buck, but now they have one. In this memorable, moving novel, Judith Guest takes the reader into their lives to share their misunderstandings, pain, and ultimate healing. Ordinary People is an extraordinary novel about an "ordinary" family divided by pain, yet bound by their struggle to heal.

"Admirable...touching...full of the anxiety, despair, and joy that is common to every human experience of suffering and growth." - The New York Times

"Rejoice! A novel for all ages and all seasons." - The Washington Post Book World

Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 1982, c1976
ISBN: 9780140065176
Characteristics: 263 p. ; 20 cm


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Aug 03, 2015

Yes, these are ordinary people; regrettably, the sort of people we've all met. Self-absorbed, image conscious, intent on "doing their thing". Beth, the beautiful, idle, bitter, directionless wife is resentful that her son's behavior interferes with her vacation plans and embarrasses her in front of her neighbors. Cal, clever enough to have become a lawyer but feckless in dealing with his troubled son, mesmerized by his wife's beauty, is unable to see what a selfish, petulant little tyrant she is. But then, Cal has an inspiration on how to fix their relationship with their son: He'll buy the kid a car; that is sure to make him feel better! As a tax lawyer, he understands that any problem can be fixed with money. That's how his relationship with his clients works: charge them enough and we'll all feel it was worthwhile putting up with their whining and silly questions. Yes, money fixes everything, including secretaries who don't play by the rules and end up messing up our comfortable marriages.
Yes, I've met "ordinary people" alright. But don't ask me to spoil my day by reading about them. I'd much rather read about EXTRAORDINARY people!

JCLBeckyC Jun 15, 2013

Worth reading, but this is one of the few cases where I prefer the movie to the book. The film, directed by Robert Redford, starring Timothy Hutton, Donald Sutherland, and Mary Tyler Moore is a masterpiece. If you like this book, try Laura Moriarty's "The Rest of Her Life".

Jun 09, 2008

An old favourite from my youth.

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