Item description for Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, Dodsworth (Library of America #133) by Sinclair Lewis & Richard R. Lingeman...
Overview The author's three great novels--Arrowsmith, Dodsworth, and Elmer Gantry, the saga of a hypocritical preacher in pursuit of power and worldly pleasure--are collected for the first time.
Publishers Description Written at the height of his powers in the 1920s, the three novels in this volume continue the vigorous unmasking of American middle-class life begun by Sinclair Lewis in Main Street and Babbitt. In Arrowsmith (1925) Lewis portrays the medical career of Martin Arrowsmith, a physician who finds his commitment to the ideals of his profession tested by the cynicism and opportunism he encounters in private practice, public health work, and scientific research. The novel reaches its climax as its hero faces his greatest challenges amid a deadly outbreak of plague on a Caribbean island.
Elmer Gantry (1927) aroused intense controversy with its brutal depiction of a hypocritical preacher in relentless pursuit of worldly pleasure and power. Through his satiric exposAc of American religion, Lewis captured the growing cultural and political tension in the 1920s between the forces of secularism and fundamentalism.
Dodsworth (1929) follows Sam Dodsworth, a wealthy, retired Midwestern automobile manufacturer, as he travels through Europe with his increasingly restless wife, Fran. The novel intimately explores the unraveling of their marriage, while pitting the proud heritage of European culture against the rude vigor of American commercialism.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.5" Width: 5.25" Height: 8" Weight: 1.85 lbs.
Release Date Aug 26, 2002
Publisher Library of America
ISBN 1931082081 ISBN13 9781931082082
Availability 0 units.
More About Sinclair Lewis & Richard R. Lingeman
Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1930, the first American novelist to be so honored. He was born in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, the son of a doctor. After an extremely unhappy childhood, he went to Yale but left before graduation to work in Upton Sinclair's socialist colony at Helicon Hall in Englewood, New Jersey. Unable to make a living as a freelance writer, he returned to Yale and graduated in 1908. In 1914 he published his first novel, Our Mr. Wrenn: The Romantic Adventures of a Gentle Man. But it was not until his sixth novel, Main Street (1920), that he won recognition as an important American novelist, the first to challenge the myth of the happy quintessentially American small town. His major works are Babbitt (1922), Arrowsmith (1925), which won a Pulitzer Prize that Lewis refused to accept, Elmer Gantry (1927), Dodsworth (1929), and It Can't Happen Here (1935), which he also wrote as a play in 1936. Married and divorced twice, the second time to pioneering newspaperwoman Dorothy Thompson, Lewis was a prolific writer, publishing dozens of books and innumerable articles throughout his career. He died alone in Rome on January 10, 1951, and his ashes were returned to Sauk Centre, the -Main Street- he'd rejected so many decades before but which in death took him back as its own.
Reviews - What do customers think about Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, Dodsworth (Library of America #133)?
First-rate fiction Jul 6, 2008
As a biomedical researcher, I identify with Martin Arrowsmith so my review may be a bit biased. As a writer, Lewis is first-rate. Most of the novel (up until the climax; you'll know it when you get to it) is very tightly plotted and quite gripping. I first read it over 30 years ago and I re-read it yesterday; it speaks to me now as then and is one of my favorite novels containing one of my favorite lines: Professor Gottlieb's description of organic vs physical chemistry, which I agree with. Why Lewis refused to accept the Pulitzer for it astounds me to this day. Should be required reading for grad students.
Arrowsmith hits the mark Jan 27, 2008
I picked up this book by chance in an airport bookstore. After reading the first section about Arrowsmith's great-grandmother and her determination to go west, I was hooked. The writing is crisp, the satire is sharp, and the characters are as alive as any on paper. Martin Arrowsmith has his weaknesses and waverings, but his resolute pursuit of his goals is inspiring; like his wife Leora, you're willing to follow him anywhere. This novel will be particularly interesting to those in the fields of science and medicine. But, to quote Martin, if you have ever wanted to be "anything but a machine for digestion and propagation and obedience," you will find something in his character and adventures that will push you to live with greater purpose.
Must read for anyone who aspires to become something in life! Dec 31, 2007
Great story of young idealism and enthusiasm in struggle with bigotry, backwardness. Despite being set in its time and social circumstances, remains timeless. Highly recommended for those who aspire to become doctors, especially for those choosing academic and scientific careers. For others it is lasting reminder that to achieve something great in life one has to pay the price, that there are not only rewards.
worth reading Dec 13, 2007
I'm surprised to see so many less than stellar reviews of this book, because I really enjoyed it. Those who like tales of the early discoveries in classical microbiology, told with excitement as in Paul de Kruif's Microbe Hunters, will find plenty to love in these albeit fictional chapters. While the story can really get you excited about science, it also shows that, no matter how well-intentioned and important one's work may be, there can be exorbitant costs associated with too much passion for it. Good lessons for anyone contemplating in a career in science, which can easily consume too much of one's life, in my opinion. Beyond this, I throroghly enjoyed the characters, humor and description of the places and times. This is a book that is well worth reading.
An endless zigzag Mar 22, 2007
Sinclair Lewis defines Martin Arrowsmith as `a young man who was in no degree a hero, who regarded himself as a seeker of truth, yet who stumbled and slid back all his life and bogged in every obvious morass.' He is `a snuffing beagle', who in his lifespan covered in this book never was in control of his destiny.
This book touches all kind of important themes: - Commercialism and the religion of a scientist: `Knowledge is the greatest thing in the medical world, but it's no good whatever if you can't sell it.' - Commercialism and profession: `Explain to a patient, also his stricken and anxious family, the hard work and thought you are giving to his case, and so make him feel that the good you have done to him, is even greater than the fee you plan to charge.' - Public v. private health system: `to get rid of avoidable diseases and produce a healthy population is killing commercialization, making money. Therefore doctors must become public health officers.' - Psycho-analysts as guess-scientists. - General human problems: `the cruelty of nature kicking human beings by every gay device of moonlight and white limbs into heaving babies. - Influence of the Church on the irrationality of the masses. Its battle against free-thinking. - Personal problems: alcoholism, marriage. None of these themes is properly developed.
The scientific basis of this book is very poor: fighting the plague with bacteriophages. Into the bargain, there is virtually no plot: the human relations with friends, colleagues, professors or women are more or less accidental. Also, after a far too long itinerary, the story ends abruptly.
This book is a big disappointment and can only be recommended to Sinclair Lewis fans.