The story of George is one of a young man seeking transcendence from the sickened atmosphere around him - namely his hometown, Winesburg. It is a tiny, backward town, where the ideals of personal liberty and identity, of truth and understanding, have been squashed and malformed. Though greatly exaggerated, Winesburg bears elements that we should all recognize in our own homes, and this is, I think, more a criticism of post-agrarian American society than the "celebration of urban life" that this book has been purported to be.
Anderson's writing is consummately elegant, even when it dips into a sexuality ill explored at the time. His characters, too, are most believable, whether you are intended to love them or despise them, and are always quite capable of evoking those emotions, regardless. George, most of all, is wonderfully human, and we rise up with him during his triumphs, and down during his failures. It is a wonderful book.