The Rise of Silas Lapham


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(4.4 stars; 9 reviews)

The Rise of Silas Lapham is the most widely read of W.D. Howells’ novels. An example of literary realism, the story is about a farmer (Silas Lapham) who launches a very successful paint business, and moves his family up the social ladder of Boston. Lapham, however, is not one of the new types of American businessman, the ruthless plutocrat, rather he is the old-fashioned trustworthy Yankee trader, and the story deals with how he fares in the industrial capitalist environment. It is also a novel of manners, telling the story of the courtship of a daughter, and the difficulties the family deals with in attempting to move from one social class to another. (Summary by Margaret Espaillat) (12 hr 35 min)

Chapters

Chapter 1 42:52 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 2 30:32 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 3 19:32 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 4 27:19 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 5 21:17 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 6 24:18 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 7 18:04 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 8 30:22 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 9 36:56 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 10 23:08 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 11 36:49 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 12 34:08 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 13 31:17 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 14 43:59 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 15 9:28 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 16 18:27 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 17 19:35 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 18 19:05 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 19 29:59 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 20 25:40 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 21 17:52 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 22 10:17 Read by BumbleVee
Chapter 23 31:12 Read by Margaret Espaillat
Chapter 24 34:50 Read by Margaret Espaillat
Chapter 25 41:19 Read by Margaret Espaillat
Chapter 26 32:43 Read by Margaret Espaillat
Chapter 27 44:38 Read by Margaret Espaillat

Reviews

An American Story


(5 stars)

Silas epitomizes the rags to riches story with some interesting moral dilemmas that can make or break oneself and/or the people involved. Silas wants to move his family "up" on the social ladder in Boston to show how successful he is in business but will it be his crowning glory? He is a tough, unpolished man who depends on his devoted wife's advice but can he take her advice on the moral issues of the day. As a Howell fan, I found this book one of his best and could not put it down. Fascinating story and with only two narrators who were excellent!