God, another book where the main character, also from Indiana no less, is an ass. This one infinitely worse than the one in The House of a Thousand Candles
. The Thousand Candles guy was merely an ass, the Amberson guy is a total, 100% asshole. Oh well, it won a Pulitzer Prize, right, so I'm bound to get something out of this one.
In the end it turned out to be a rather interesting book. It's basically about change and how it goes on whether or not you approve. The main character, a total asshole named George Amberson Minafer, believes by dint of his money and his birth that he is above everyone else, riffraff in his world view. His indulgent mother and grandfather pretty much let him get away with it. But things change, the basis of the family fortune dissipates, people take up industrialization, the town expands and changes, stately mansions are replaced by cottages and tenements, and what was once the town pretty much owned and run by the Ambersons has forgotten them and left them behind. The riffraff can be said to have won.
Although written a hundred years ago, this deals with the recurring problem with which we all have to cope. We grow up with assumptions as to the "right" way for things to be, but in some things, what is obviously "right" for one generation changes for the next.