81-year-old Bill Barnes is so enthused about having read Booth Tarkington’s Penrod that he wants everyone to hear about it. It’s a publicity stunt 70 years in the making. Here’s the news item out of Weatherford, Texas, as reported at Seattle’s KING5.com.
The Turmoil was one of the first novels I read when I started plowing my way through Tarkington’s full library many years ago. It intrigued me because its pre-War sympathies sided so strongly with workers’ rights and the victims of speculation. Tarkington would later become a staunch anti-industrialist, but in The Turmoil he comes off as a distinct anti-capitalist as well… and a weepy sentimentalist. I enjoyed the bathos of the novel immensely.