Alice Adams
Booth Tarkington

Book cover image

Narrated By: Traci Svendsgaard

Duration: 8 hours and 11 minutes

What to expect

Plucky and romantic Alice tries to rise above the crudities of her hopelessly shabby background in this Pulitzer Prize–winning classic about ambition and self-delusion.

The lower-middle class Adams family faces a slow disintegration in a small Midwestern town. Alice, a social climber, is ashamed of her unsuccessful family and determined to distinguish herself. Lacking the social props she needs to shine in society, Alice attends a dance and lies about her background, hoping to attract a wealthy husband. But in the end, her high aspirations must be tempered by the reality of her situation.

Alice Adams’ resiliency of spirit makes her one of Tarkington’s most compelling female characters.


Classic fiction, Fiction: general and literary

Listen to a sample

“Tarkington’s story of ambition and delusion…still packs a punch.”


“In Alice Adams Booth Tarkington momentarily ceased his detached contemplation of the foibles of youth and wrote a highly subjective story of an American family. Without abandoning his great gift for exposing the comic details of adolescent behavior, he was able to regard Alice’s difficulties with interior sympathy and understanding.”