Poor White: a Novel


Read by Bob R

(3.6 stars; 5 reviews)

This is a story of the effect of industrialization on a small town and its people, around the beginning of the 20th Century. The lead character is Hugh McVey—a shy, lazy, fairly ignorant, dreamy young man. Most of the story takes place in the little town of Bidwell, Ohio, where Hugh gets a job as a telegraph operator. He does discover he has a talent with calculations and drawings that enable him to become an inventor. In time he will become a millionaire. The story has many characters, and shows the negative effects on each of them, as the factories come to their town. The pioneering, agrarian spirit of each is slowly transformed; greed is the primary driver. Hugh sees this transformation but does not understand it. Several of the townspeople take advantage of him; his inventions of farm machinery are stolen. Only Clara Butterworth seems to bring some sanity; she marries Hugh, and they are happy for a time. As the novel approaches an end, however, there seem to be no bright spots. Labor fights, terrible graft, terrible crime, even murder come to Bidwell. The author paints a negative picture of a loss of innocence, as the nation becomes industrialized. Written in 1920, Sherwood Anderson could have seen only a small fraction of the changes to come. The magnitude, good and bad, would no doubt astound him. (Note: The novel is divided into “books”; however, there is no Book 5 between Book 4 and 6; hence I have so narrated it.) (Summary by Bob Rollins) (12 hr 7 min)

Chapters

Chapter 01 40:59 Read by Bob R
Chapter 02 35:35 Read by Bob R
Chapter 03 26:36 Read by Bob R
Chapter 04 31:44 Read by Bob R
Chapter 05 26:00 Read by Bob R
Chapter 06 57:21 Read by Bob R
Chapter 07 51:02 Read by Bob R
Chapter 08 42:21 Read by Bob R
Chapter 09 31:30 Read by Bob R
Chapter 10 49:52 Read by Bob R
Chapter 11 45:24 Read by Bob R
Chapter 12 34:46 Read by Bob R
Chapter 13 23:25 Read by Bob R
Chapter 14 32:29 Read by Bob R
Chapter 15 22:29 Read by Bob R
Chapter 16 24:48 Read by Bob R
Chapter 17 24:14 Read by Bob R
Chapter 18 11:11 Read by Bob R
Chapter 19 4:38 Read by Bob R
Chapter 20 21:25 Read by Bob R
Chapter 21 38:09 Read by Bob R
Chapter 22 21:31 Read by Bob R
Chapter 23 29:43 Read by Bob R