This portrait of a golden-tongued evangelist-who lives a life of hypocrisy, sensuality, and self-indulgence-is also the chronicle of a reign of vulgarity, which but for Lewis would have left no record of itself.
My dear fellow Goodreaders! We have come together to celebrate this book, the revelation of eternal truth, showing the sins of man in his most hideous shape! Read! Recant! Redeem yourselves! Listen to the words of universal wisdom, and confess! Have you ever committed the sin of vanity? Is hypocrisy foreign to you? Do you feel secret joy when you succeed in manipulating people to act in your favour?
I can't do it. I find myself recoiling in disgust even as I try co ...more
Rating: 4.25* of five
The Publisher Says: Today universally recognized as a landmark in American literature, Elmer Gantry scandalized readers when it was first published, causing Sinclair Lewis to be "invited" to a jail cell in New Hampshire and to his own lynching in Virginia. His portrait of a golden-tongued evangelist who rises to power within his church - a saver of souls who lives a life of hypocrisy, sensuality, and ruthless self-indulgence - is also the record of a period, a reign of ...more
Famous Gassy Preacher Sounds Call for Contributions
A timeless, albeit rather tame, tale of a bigoted bully (who seems close to insanity at times) abuses his power in the name of religion, serially succumbing to temptations of the flesh and the pitfalls of arrogant pride. I frankly expected a more powerful condemnation, but then recalled this novel is set in the early 1900s.
It's shameful that the charlatans have only worsened in this country. And yet, it ...more
Of these Elmer Gantry, the title character of Lewis' 11th novel, still rings the most true, if for no other reason than that t ...more
Elmer Gantry is a hypocrite but he doesn't even seem to realize it (or only dimly)! So many aspects of Elmer reminded me of Donald Trump that at times it was hard to continue (and made me hate the ending (view spoiler)[ when despite having his hypocrisy reveale ...more
This is really a fantastic book and one that, although it was written 80 years ago, is still quite fresh and thought-provoking. It explores religion and the lives of those who deliver it to us in a way few authors would dare.
The pure strength of Lewis's prose is refreshing after reading more recent authors. His control and understanding of syntax, grammar, and words maintains a strength and clarity of voice throughout the work. However, he does not sacrific ...more
Lewis is a great observer and super witty. I would’ve loved to have him over for dinner. I cherish this book.
Moving on to “It Can’t Happen Here.” Well….
As for Elmer Gantry, I am a Christian and this book does arguably, take a pretty dim view of some or possibly ...more
Elmer Gantry will rise up and give you that old time religion, even if he doesn't have it himself.
Elmer Gantry will be at the head of the pack to find and condemn vice, and when he's not with the pack he'll still be out finding vice.
Elmer Gantry will be a Baptist, an evangelical, a New Thoughter, a Methodist, and is wondering about those Episcopalians. Because he's heard their congr ...more
This book exposes the lust for power behind the evangelical ...more
Lewis is condemning not only ministers (the people that are the vessels of God), but religion itself. He paints Gantry as a man that is uncertain of his belief in God, but confident of his ability as a charismatic speaker and so Gantry becomes an ordained Baptist minister. When that religion doesn't work out for him, he finds a hom ...more
I read Babbitt a couple of weeks ago and I enjoyed it. My mistake was returning to Lewis too soon. Rather than a new novel this felt like the sequel. Like watching Woody Allen films, enter ...more
I actually listened to part of this audiobook while mistakenly thinking the author was Upton Sinclair. Duoh! How emb ...more
A little synopsis of the story: Elmer Gantry is a handsome rogue, a sports hero, son of a religious woman whose dreams for him consist totally of his becoming a man of the cloth. He delights in whiskey and women even as he attends theology classes. Unfortunately for everyone, especially ...more
and forth between seeming to be sincere and being blatantly hypocriti ...more
What struck me while reading this book was how absolutely static the world of religious fundamentalism is. Lewis wrote this book in 1926, yet the world of Evangelical Fundamentalism that he satirizes in it was essentially unchanged fifty years later when I was growing up within that culture. The language was unchanged; all the stock, pious phrases of the uniquely churchy language that I grew up with ...more
|Should Elmer Gantry be Considered an Icon in American Literature?||14||32||Jun 30, 2014 08:31AM|