Helping Himself, or Grant Thornton's Ambition

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.6 stars; 50 reviews)

Helping Himself, or Grant Thornton's Ambition deals with the grit and determination of Grant, a 15 year old farmer's boy whose father is dead and in order to pay his minister father's debts, and to help his mother deal with their abject poverty young Grant postpones his college education to take a job as a Wall Street broker's clerk. The first step is to deal with the avaricious and greedy man who is keeping them from obtaining the meager amount due them and which will at least allow them to eat. Grant's wits, pluck and sheer determination are tested time and time again and each time he rises to the occasion. Read of his struggle to feed his mother and himself and then to rise in the world despite great odds. I can say with great confidence that in the end, he might succeed! (Summary by phil chenevert) (5 hr 34 min)


01 - THE MINISTER'S SON 8:05 Read by Richard Kilmer
02 - GRANT MAKES TWO BUSINESS CALLS 8:51 Read by Richard Kilmer
03 - GRANT WALKS TO SOMERSET 9:17 Read by Richard Kilmer
04 - A TIMELY RESCUE 8:54 Read by Richard Kilmer
05 - MRS. THORNTON'S PEARLS 9:43 Read by Richard Kilmer
06 - GRANT GETS INTO UNEXPECTED TROUBLE 9:48 Read by Sharon Kilmer
07 - MRS. SIMPSON COMES TO GRIEF 8:36 Read by Richard Kilmer
08 - GRANT TAKES A DECISIVE STEP 9:35 Read by Sharon Kilmer
09 - UNCLE GODFREY PARTS FROM GRANT 8:42 Read by Richard Kilmer
10 - A DAY IN WALL STREET 9:04 Read by Sharon Kilmer
11 -GRANT MAKES A FRIEND 8:29 Read by Richard Kilmer
12 - MRS. ESTABROOK'S PLANS 9:27 Read by Sharon Kilmer
13 - TWO VIEWS OF TOM CALDER 8:23 Read by Richard Kilmer
14 - WILLIS FORD'S NEW FRIENDS 10:16 Read by Sharon Kilmer
15 - AN ARTFUL TRAP 8:17 Read by Richard Kilmer
16 - GRANT FALLS UNDER SUSPICION 8:25 Read by Sharon Kilmer
17 - THE TELLTALE KEY 9:58 Read by Richard Kilmer
18 - GRANT'S ENEMIES TRIUMPH 9:32 Read by Sharon Kilmer
19 - IMPORTANT EVIDENCE 9:04 Read by Richard Kilmer
20 - AT THE FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL 8:33 Read by Sharon Kilmer
21 - THE THIEF IS DISCOVERED 9:27 Read by Richard Kilmer
22 - WILLIS FORD AT BAY 9:03 Read by Sharon Kilmer
23 - JUSTICE TRIUMPHS 9:18 Read by Richard Kilmer
24 - STARTLING NEWS 9:14 Read by Sharon Kilmer
25 - ANXIOUS INQUIRIES 6:34 Read by Richard Kilmer
26 - A WESTERN CABIN 5:43 Read by Sharon Kilmer
27 - THE RIDE TO BARTON'S 6:12 Read by Richard Kilmer
28 - HERBERT IS PROVIDED WITH A NEW HOME 9:12 Read by Sharon Kilmer
29 - INTRODUCES MR. BARTON 8:32 Read by Richard Kilmer
30 - A MODEL HOUSEHOLD 8:36 Read by Sharon Kilmer
31 - THE HOUSEKEEPER'S CRIME 9:29 Read by Richard Kilmer
32 - HOPE DEFERRED 5:05 Read by Sharon Kilmer
32 - THE JOURNEY BEGINS 5:04 Read by Richard Kilmer
34 - MRS. BARTON'S SURPRISE 9:26 Read by Sharon Kilmer
35 - HERBERT BREAKS DOWN 9:29 Read by Richard Kilmer
36 - GRANT RECEIVES A LETTER 4:56 Read by Sharon Kilmer
37 - WILLIS FORD FINDS THE RUNAWAYS 5:11 Read by Richard Kilmer
38 - FORD TAKES A BOLD STEP, BUT FAILS 9:36 Read by Sharon Kilmer
39 - THE HOUSEKEEPER'S RETRIBUTION 6:43 Read by Richard Kilmer
40 - CONCLUSION 6:52 Read by Sharon Kilmer


Horatio Alger's plots seem to be more or less the same...

(4 stars)

...but I like them anyway! They're simple minded and have happy endings. I wish real life was like that. And I always appreciate Alger's glimpses of a long ago New York City. I enjoyed this one but don't think it was one of his best. I was sort of let down by the ending. Why was the arch villain only sentenced for forgery and not hung for kidnapping? His no good mama should have also been arrested as an accomplice. I want to reopen this case! Most excellently read by what I suppose is the Killmer husband and wife team taking turns on the chapters.

Don't make this your introduction to Alger

(4 stars)

Helping Himself (1886) is another rags to riches Alger tale. Just when you think it's over though, a related lengthy story is tacked onto the end. I agree with lanternland. The conclusion is not as satisfying as typical Alger stories. The readers alternate chapters and do a nice job, warming up to the material as the story goes along. I'd check out other Horatio Alger books first and save this one for true fans.

great story

(5 stars)

The book is great and i love it, but it is not really based in reality; no one in real life gets that many breaks! The description of it is incorrect, though. His father is not dead; he is just a poor minister who struggles along on the small amount of money given him by the stingy deacon of his congregation.

Enjoyable Read!

(5 stars)

Very well read by the Kilmers! A typical Horatio Alger story! I enjoy them immensely even though I of course realize that they bear very little semblance to real life!

Excellent Story

(5 stars)

Very good moral story.