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The Autobiography Of Mrs. Tom Thumb (2011)

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb (2011)

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3.64 of 5 Votes: 1
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0385344155 (ISBN13: 9780385344159)
Delacorte Press

About book The Autobiography Of Mrs. Tom Thumb (2011)

I liked the Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb but didn't love it. I found the beginning of the book really compelling and hard to put down. But after Vinnie's marriage to General Tom Thumb her character's voice loses so much of her bravado and enthusiasm, and instead becomes naggingly materialistic and petty. My reading slowed down considerably. I fell asleep while reading it a few times. The author is also extremely heavy handed with her use of foreshadowing, which eliminates any surprises in the plot (that kinda takes a little of the fun away.) So it's an entertaining read, but it has some flaws. What an awkward, vapid little book. Everything about it was uncomfortable. The romanticization of the P.T. Barnum character and subsequently his penchant for putting "novelties" on display, the too-literal style of writing, and the unlikeable and one-dimensional characters felt like a waste of a story that could have potentially been meaningful and more critically illustrate the psychological adjustments people with physical differences must make in a world that wants to point and mock.The sentimentalization of the circus culture was perhaps the most disturbing part of this book. The writer describes Barnum's American Museum, where all manner of people are on display and the animals are kept in confined spaces "barely alive" or sacrificed for the sake of a good show. Barnum makes contracts with people's lives and manipulates them to get his way and realize greater profits. And yet Vinnie Warren, Mrs. Tom Thumb, seems to have feelings towards him. The author also committed one of the cardinal sins of writing: showing rather than telling. This book was a clumsy trample through the life of Lavinia Warren, a crude narration of events that did little to carry the story forward. The situation with Minnie, her sister, was a main plot twist foreshadowed early in the book, and yet when we get to this scene, Vinnie's excuses and actions seem unbelievable and detract from the tension the scene was meant to illicit.Vinnie herself begins as a likeable person who could have developed into a multi-faceted force. However, though her determination to exude poise and dignity makes her admirable, she seems never to evolve beyond that point. Her emotions are black and white, her view self-centered, her dialogue too scripted. In short, we see the recital of a performer throughout; the author doesn't take us much deeper into the character. Rather than utilizing the potential of this character to develop a substantial message, the writer followed Barnum's footsteps in superficially exploiting Lavinia Warren's life without fully revealing the human being underneath.

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Loved the actress who read this audiobook. Nice history lesson about mid-1800s in USA.

I can't count the times I stared out the window instead Of reading this book

This was a great book we listened to on our road trip, kept us riveted.

Absolutely loved!! One of my favorites!!

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