Old Pybus Is Guilt-Free Romance

If Old Pybus had been written by someone other than Warwick Deeping, the story could have dissolved into sentimental claptrap.

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My pics for the best bestsellers of 1928

The Strange Case of Miss Annie Sprague is my top pick. . . . Second place on my list is a tie between Clarie Ambler by Booth Tarkington and All Kneeling by Anne Parish.

The Strange Case of Miss Annie Spragg Is Understated Gem

If you can imagine a novel written by Alfred Hitchcock, you’ll understand the fascination of Louis Bromfield’s 1928 bestseller The Strange Case of Miss Annie Spragg.Bromfield increases the fascination of the story by his squeaky-clean presentation. Readers grasping for clues can’t be sure whether the sordid story they infer is in the material or in their own dirty minds.

Claire Ambler Is Seriously Funny

Booth Tarkington makes Claire both a typical adolescent and a district person. Readers can — and will — laugh at Claire’s self-absorption. But they will realize long before she does that it’s not funny. . . . An inability to see other people as people, “not just something . . . to use,” is the root of most human misery.