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Edna Ferber was an American novelist, author and playwright. She worked she worked in newspapers -- specifically at the Appleton Daily Crescent and the Milwaukee Journal -- before publishing her first novel. She covered the 1920 Republican and Democratic national conventions for the United Press Association, in fact. Her works Show Boat, Giant, Saratoga Trunk, and Cimarron Edna Ferber was an American novelist, author and playwright. She worked she worked in newspapers -- specifically at the Appleton Daily Crescent and the Milwaukee Journal -- before publishing her first novel. She covered the 1920 Republican and Democratic national conventions for the United Press Association, in fact. Her works Show Boat, Giant, Saratoga Trunk, and Cimarron were made into films, and Show Boat and Saratoga Trunk also became musicals. In 1925, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her book So Big. The Gigolo is the title story of a collection that demonstrates her abilities. Gideon Gore is the scion of a wealthy family who has fallen on hard times. His father has died, his mother has taken him to Europe, and war has broken out. Enlisting as a pilot in the Lafayette Escadrille, he is shot down, wounded, and captured. Released after the war he discovers his mother dead and the money all gone. He is reduced to making a living as a gigolo in Paris. His downfall appears complete when his services are engaged by a visiting family he knew as a boy back home.


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Edna Ferber was an American novelist, author and playwright. She worked she worked in newspapers -- specifically at the Appleton Daily Crescent and the Milwaukee Journal -- before publishing her first novel. She covered the 1920 Republican and Democratic national conventions for the United Press Association, in fact. Her works Show Boat, Giant, Saratoga Trunk, and Cimarron Edna Ferber was an American novelist, author and playwright. She worked she worked in newspapers -- specifically at the Appleton Daily Crescent and the Milwaukee Journal -- before publishing her first novel. She covered the 1920 Republican and Democratic national conventions for the United Press Association, in fact. Her works Show Boat, Giant, Saratoga Trunk, and Cimarron were made into films, and Show Boat and Saratoga Trunk also became musicals. In 1925, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her book So Big. The Gigolo is the title story of a collection that demonstrates her abilities. Gideon Gore is the scion of a wealthy family who has fallen on hard times. His father has died, his mother has taken him to Europe, and war has broken out. Enlisting as a pilot in the Lafayette Escadrille, he is shot down, wounded, and captured. Released after the war he discovers his mother dead and the money all gone. He is reduced to making a living as a gigolo in Paris. His downfall appears complete when his services are engaged by a visiting family he knew as a boy back home.

30 review for Gigolo

  1. 4 out of 5

    Pascale

    There's always something wise and warm-hearted about the way Ferber tells a story, often gently mocking her characters but only ever censorious of the mean-spirited and the hypocrites. This collection is comprised of 8 stories dealing with 1/ a handsome mechanic who hates being pursued by adoring females, but falls for an educated girl who seems hard to please, until she starts behaving just like all his other flirts; 2/ a widower who moves out of his son's apartment when he realizes that his da There's always something wise and warm-hearted about the way Ferber tells a story, often gently mocking her characters but only ever censorious of the mean-spirited and the hypocrites. This collection is comprised of 8 stories dealing with 1/ a handsome mechanic who hates being pursued by adoring females, but falls for an educated girl who seems hard to please, until she starts behaving just like all his other flirts; 2/ a widower who moves out of his son's apartment when he realizes that his daughter-in-law uses his presence to justify not wanting to have a child; 3/ a young man from Wisconsin who finds himself penniless on the Riviera after losing his fortune and fighting in WWI. Reduced to being a partner for hire in dance halls, he is saved by a former neighbor who had given him up for lost; 4/ a 37-year old stage actress who tries her luck in Hollywood, only to realize that in the film industry her age is even more of a handicap than in the New York theatre world; 5/ a selfish and snobbish woman who forces her naive husband to live in ever more expensive and smaller apartments instead of giving him the family life he craves; 6/ a New York salesman who fancies himself a rugged outdoors man just because he works in a sports emporium. A trip to the Rockies with his boss's daughter disabuses him and he proposes to a sweet colleague with no tendency to self-deception; 7/ a 60-year old widow who's worked hard all her life to provide for her 2 children, and would dearly love to take it easy in retirement, but answers the call of duty every time her spoilt daughter calls on her; 8/ a girl from Oklahoma who longs to see the world but realizes when finally free to do so that there are as many interesting people in her small town as there are on cruise ships. Story #7, "The Sudden Sixties" is my favorite but all these miniature tales are beautifully crafted.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    As with all of Ferber's short stories you never want them to end. I find that her short stories are very different than many in that they read as though they could easily be made into full-length novels. Ferber is a lost gem! As with all of Ferber's short stories you never want them to end. I find that her short stories are very different than many in that they read as though they could easily be made into full-length novels. Ferber is a lost gem!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    I suspect Ferber is an author you either love or hate. If you buy in to her way of seeing the world, and can lose yourself in the little lives of her characters, then this collection of short stories is quintessential Ferber. I loved it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This was a collection of Ferber’s short stories—all great.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    A reader unfamiliar with Edna Ferber's literary output might finish this book with the impression that her tone was always downbeat. (It wasn't: some stories in other collections and portions of her novels are joyous; others are laugh-out-loud funny.) The tales in Gigolo delve deep into the minds of a widower whose son and daughter-in-law consider him a burden, a handsome young brute to whom women are irresistibly drawn, a Broadway comedienne considering her career options after forty, a would-b A reader unfamiliar with Edna Ferber's literary output might finish this book with the impression that her tone was always downbeat. (It wasn't: some stories in other collections and portions of her novels are joyous; others are laugh-out-loud funny.) The tales in Gigolo delve deep into the minds of a widower whose son and daughter-in-law consider him a burden, a handsome young brute to whom women are irresistibly drawn, a Broadway comedienne considering her career options after forty, a would-be inventor held down by his wife's social pretensions, a wounded aviator who takes on a new identity as a paid dance partner, a camping supply clerk who has never set foot beyond Manhattan, and mother-and-daughter restaurateurs in an Oklahoma town where seemingly every other resident has benefited from an oil boom. Are the stories downbeat? Some of them, yes, though all are satisfying and a number end on a satirical or hopeful note. Does their tone matter? Not at all. Edna Ferber created some of the most believable character portraits of her generation. The novels that would make her famous—Cimarron, Show Boat, So Big, Giant—were still years in the future, but the potential she displays in Gigolo is so obvious that there is no way she could not have become a success.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    My actual rating for this collection is 3.5 stars. There are some moments where the judgmental outlook of the author comes across, a couple plot constructions I disagree with, and a few incidents of unanticipated 4th wall breaking, otherwise I could give it 4. For short stories, these have a remarkable amount of character development, and the settings (mostly in Wisconsin's paper valley, Chicago and New York) are integral. I wish there were more story writers who paid attention to those elements My actual rating for this collection is 3.5 stars. There are some moments where the judgmental outlook of the author comes across, a couple plot constructions I disagree with, and a few incidents of unanticipated 4th wall breaking, otherwise I could give it 4. For short stories, these have a remarkable amount of character development, and the settings (mostly in Wisconsin's paper valley, Chicago and New York) are integral. I wish there were more story writers who paid attention to those elements. In fact, these stories are really all about character. Some of the themes get quite repetitive, but if you want to read about the joys and challenges of aging and hard-won self-knowledge, this is your book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tocotin

    How to say it?... Good technique, pedestrian conclusions. Lots of obscure brand names too. The stories are interestingly told, the people in them are good, honest, everyday people, but you know, they sometimes get ideas above their station in life and sometimes even above the author's powers of insight. It goes like this: theatre is better than cinema, women should be compassionate, there is no place like home. Oh, and races don't mingle, and foreigners are evil. Didn't you know? No?... Then you How to say it?... Good technique, pedestrian conclusions. Lots of obscure brand names too. The stories are interestingly told, the people in them are good, honest, everyday people, but you know, they sometimes get ideas above their station in life and sometimes even above the author's powers of insight. It goes like this: theatre is better than cinema, women should be compassionate, there is no place like home. Oh, and races don't mingle, and foreigners are evil. Didn't you know? No?... Then you won't feel good about this collection, and it shouldn't find itself in your hands. (I had it on my Stanza. Ohai Amazon.)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This was my first taste of Edna Ferber, and it was a completely enjoyable one. The title appropriately sets the tone for this collection of funny stories that in one way or another touch on the themes of illusions & delusions, carapace, obligation, belonging and being "kept." Even 90 years after it's publication, the characters ring true, and Ferber's winking take on love & romance, domesticity and the value of creature comforts remains relevant. I would have been happy to have each story stretc This was my first taste of Edna Ferber, and it was a completely enjoyable one. The title appropriately sets the tone for this collection of funny stories that in one way or another touch on the themes of illusions & delusions, carapace, obligation, belonging and being "kept." Even 90 years after it's publication, the characters ring true, and Ferber's winking take on love & romance, domesticity and the value of creature comforts remains relevant. I would have been happy to have each story stretch into a full-blown novel, but better left wanting more, I suppose.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Rather dark, about the awful hopelessness of ordinary lives (in 1910s Chicago) - actually there's much more to Ferber than just misery-with-a-side-of-amusement but this bunch of stories is particularly painful, despite the obfuscation of heel heights, skirt lengths and which colour fur is modish this season. The title story is very strong but most of them seem very pertinent... nothing has changed, other than the hemlines and headlines. Rather dark, about the awful hopelessness of ordinary lives (in 1910s Chicago) - actually there's much more to Ferber than just misery-with-a-side-of-amusement but this bunch of stories is particularly painful, despite the obfuscation of heel heights, skirt lengths and which colour fur is modish this season. The title story is very strong but most of them seem very pertinent... nothing has changed, other than the hemlines and headlines.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aimee

    What Edna Ferber's characters have in common is that they dream of lives or loves with illusions and expectations and it doesn't always happen the way that they fantasize about. Either that, or they seem to want things when they already have enough. Overall, this was a comical and at times sentimental portrayal of rich characters that seemed realistic. I could relate some of them to people from my past or present. What Edna Ferber's characters have in common is that they dream of lives or loves with illusions and expectations and it doesn't always happen the way that they fantasize about. Either that, or they seem to want things when they already have enough. Overall, this was a comical and at times sentimental portrayal of rich characters that seemed realistic. I could relate some of them to people from my past or present.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    Edna Ferber is one of the great, undersung writers of the 20th century. Her finely wrought stories concentrate on the lives of working people, especially women, amid urban landscapes, notably Chicago, drawn with lyrical detail. Every one of the stories in this collection is worthwhile.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    3-3.5 A little uneven, but I really enjoyed AIN'T NATURE WONDERFUL!, OLD MAN MINICK and If I Should Ever Travel! 3-3.5 A little uneven, but I really enjoyed AIN'T NATURE WONDERFUL!, OLD MAN MINICK and If I Should Ever Travel!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Zapata

    These stories are wonderful....I am so glad that I discovered Ferber at last.....she is witty, funny, and always has a punch of an ending.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Madzia Zalewa

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mandy Kinor

  16. 4 out of 5

    Deborah f Tweten

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Santamaria

  18. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Hubley

  19. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Foote

  20. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

  21. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anne Slowinski

  23. 4 out of 5

    Angel Willett

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chandu

  25. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bob Cat

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gina Fristoe

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

  29. 4 out of 5

    S. Dillinger Cobb

  30. 5 out of 5

    Karen Lowe

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