This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We be...more
I was dimly aware of Sinclair Lewis but completely unfamiliar with his work when I read John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley: In Search of America a couple of years ago. Steinbeck, who admired Lewis, wanted to find his way from St Paul to Sauk Centre, Lewis' Minnesota hometown and the town on which the fictional location of this novel, Gopher Prairie, is based. He recounts his conversation with a waitress in a diner who gave him directions to the town: "They got a sign up. I guess quite a few f...more
But what is this? Something amiss in one of these romanticized burgs? Something dark and sinister?
"I never imagined something like this would happen in our town," says the half-toothless talking head on the six o'clock news about the murder, even though you've seen this very thing happen in small towns 10,000 times in your life on the six o'clock news.
Small-town America is supposed to be different somehow; supp...more
To me, Lewis didn't try to build deep, interesting characters, he built representations about everything that reeks in society. This is a book that says, "You think you can change the way people think? Well, follow me to Main Street, and we will see about that." He treated the protagonists and antagonists with the same...more
Main Street ruffled more than a few feathers in small town America when it was first published in 1920, and I expect it has the same effect on some readers today, nearly a century later. Sinclair Lew...more
I want to be Anne Elliot (or Elizabeth or Emma for that matter), or Menolly, or Hermione or Katniss (Erm, maybe not), heroines that are strong and without major flaws. Instead I am Carol Kennicott the most maddening main character I have ever met... and she is me to a tee...more
Looking back, however, I'm pretty sure I missed something when I first read it, some joke that everyone got but me. I think I may have to revisit this one day and see how my more literate and well-read (and snobbish) self rates it.
Main Street has been described as "one of the most merciless novels ever written". It is an apt description of this depiction of small town midwestern America in the early years of this century, but there is an important element in Lewis' writing which it does not convey.Lewis understands his subject through and through, and that makes what he has to say not just merciless but believable. He also doesn't just restrict his attack to provincial...more
Lewis' knives are also out fo...more
I felt sympathetic to Carol, even though she is a cold person. Not a bad person, not a mean person, but not someone who can truly connect to others. Even her son falls short because she believes he thinks like his father.
From what I have read ab...more
The main character Carol is not really missing so much the glitz and glamour of a big city, but of intellectual discourse and discussions of the arts, etc. that she can find in a more urban e...more
I grew up in Gopher Prairie; well not exactly but when I was just starti...more
At the same time there are many issues that women deal with...more
I have written a little on this, but realised it was sounding like Ceridwen's - I even put that the heroine was like Emma Woodhouse: (me) a bit Jane Austen-ish in that it's about a woman of 'culture' or so she thinks, lively and loveable (and sometimes irritating), a reader - some of the Emma Woodhouse traits, who is brought 'down' by a snipey little township).....
but re-reading Ceridwen's she's said this and much more and much better than I could. S...more
What I enjoyed about this book was the cynical humor that is still funny and strangely current more than 90 years after th...more
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"Where does she get all them the'ries?" marveled Uncle Whittier Smail; while Aunt Bessie inquired, "Do you suppose there's many folks got notions like hers? My! If there are," and her tone settled the fact that there were not, "I just don't know what the world's coming to!”