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3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  5,677 Ratings  ·  305 Reviews
A Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a physician and researcher who dedicates himself to the pursuit of scientific truth even in the face of personal tragedy, corruption and greed. Voted "Exceptional Recording" by Talking Books magazine.
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published April 30th 2008 by Audio Book Contractors, Inc. (first published January 1st 1925)
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Hari Brandl Apparently, the people on the Nobel Prize committee did not feel this is an awful book, which is to say: taste in literature, as in everything, is an…moreApparently, the people on the Nobel Prize committee did not feel this is an awful book, which is to say: taste in literature, as in everything, is an individual matter.(less)
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Oct 12, 2013 Lobstergirl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fiction

I feel like I should be given a reward for making it through this, one of the most boring novels I've ever read. Maybe a coupon for a free pair of shoes, or a fruit basket. Every page was sheer torture. No plot point, no character, no line of dialogue, was interesting. Not one sentence glimmered or sparkled with the suggestion: this writer is prizeworthy.

When you consider two other American works published this same year that could have won the Pulitzer - The Great Gatsby and An American Tragedy
Nov 13, 2013 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sinclair Lewis refused to accept the Pulitzer Prize for this extraordinary novel, but don't refuse the opportunity to read it. Lewis writes with devastating precision, creativity, and wicked humor, while skewering the abundant egotism, vanity, greed and self-aggrandizement he finds in his fellow human beings.

This novel follows Dr. Martin Arrowsmith from small Midwest town (the setting of most of Lewis' works) in "medic" school through his career, during which he is constantly challenged to bala
Jul 24, 2008 Tyler rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: _anyone
Recommended to Tyler by: _Pulitzer Prize award
What a premise for a book: A young man falls in love, not just with a young woman, but with a quest. This is the passion that infuses Arrowsmith. How the author was able to put blood into such an idea explains in part the Pulitzer prize.

The other part that explains the award is that the book is a good read. Covering the nearly 20 years during which a student (and later researcher) learns to embrace his life's calling, the plot never stalls. The constant motion guides us along with Martin Arrowsm
First of all let me state, I preferred Main Street. This was a disappointment even if it started out good.

I do like the clever lines filled with sardonic humor, but they wore thin after a while. You must listen carefully or you may not catch the implied criticism.

The book is too long, and it is repetitive. A message is delivered, but that message is said over and over again. The central focus is upon those in the medical profession. The author is stating that many are (view spoiler)
Apr 19, 2011 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this novel earlier today. I was blown away. In her book, The Art of Fiction, Ayn Rand refers to this work by Sinclair Lewis often. She compares it to The Fountainhead a number of times, and rightly so. Martin Arrowsmith is much like Howard Roark in many ways, though Roark had more integrity. Martin seemed so much more human than Roark though. There are times that all idealists fall short from their way of life. Martin sells out a few time in this story, but it makes his character ...more
Dec 29, 2007 Lyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in social commentary/science
When I read this book, it started my love for Sinclair Lewis. He is, as far as I'm concerned, the Charles Dickens of the US. This book is about a young man who experiences disappointments and disillusionment in his life on his way to a career that he believes he wants.
Elizabeth (Alaska)
I can't quite put my finger on why I was so lukewarm on this. Nothing was awful, but, frankly, I can't find anything to praise either.

I don't know how long Sinclair Lewis took to write it. Martin Arrowsmith has several stages in his life, and the writing itself seems to change with it. I don't think that was intentional, just, perhaps, that Lewis improved as he went along. The prose never does get excellent, just that it improves.

I have a couple of other quibbles. In the earlier stages mid-west
Blaine DeSantis
For me, this book was a major disappointment. Love Sinclair Lewis, heck I named my dog Babbitt in honor of his book by the same name. But Arrowsmith left me cold. It won the Pulitzer Prize and for what reason I cannot tell. I, personally, think it as for his body of work instead of this individual book.
To me the book should have been titled, Arrowsmith: A Good Life Wasted. The book has one redeeming character, Arrowsmith's wife, Leora, who sticks with him through good and bad, and always is at h
Oct 05, 2013 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1920s, usa
This author, in this novel, is to me a clear inheritor of Mark Twain's satirical bite and sheer funniness. The prose is not an aesthetic rival for Gatsby or Absalom but it's not trying for arresting style: it's trying for snappy directness and it glides along like Twain at his best, or Dickens in Pickwick. I'm stunned by some of the reviews here. Lewis was clearly a sharp comedian and a relentless critic of American society as it was (and basically still is), and in this novel is a rival for Bab ...more
Kane Faucher
Aug 09, 2011 Kane Faucher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arrowsmith poses the perennial problem (perhaps that reaches back as far as the Greeks in terms of the sophists): do we follow the noble path of our profession and engage it purely without chasing after fame and comfort, or do we compromise and embrace the commercialist perspective? For love or money? Unlike Lewis' other books, with the exception of 'It Can't Happen Here', we have a heroic (albeit stumbling, oscillating) character. Not endowed with the wisdom and certainty of position like Dorem ...more
D.H. Jonathan
It took me forever to finish this book, but of course, I experienced some of life's upheavals since starting it. It was a fascinating study of a man struggling to devote his life to science, with his failures and his successes. It was more intellectually stimulating rather than emotionally engaging, although one event did cause me a great deal of sympathy for Dr. Arrowsmith. But I won't spoil it for anyone...
Jul 09, 2014 Shane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can understand why this novel was so important at the time, for it brought out the conflicts between public and private healthcare, between discovery and commercial exploitation, and between researcher and healer.

Arrowsmith, a product of rural mid-west America, is the quintessential scientist, content to shun the pleasures and riches of the world and be sequestered in his laboratory unravelling the secrets of major epidemics. Only the love of his life, Leora, who faithfully and tragically foll
In an interview recently, Abraham Verghese (a prominent doctor/writer) cited Arrowsmith as one of the books that people often say inspired them to be physicians. (His personal inspiration was the novel "Of Human Bondage.") When I first started Arrowsmith, it was hard to see how its satirical tone and waffling main character could possibly "inspire" anyone. And in fact, Martin Arrowsmith doesn't end up being a physician, per se, at all. His real passion is research science, and the overarching co ...more
Jan 03, 2012 Ted rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit-american
It will be removed from my shelves today to make room for others. Still hoping to read other S. Lewis works. Still an attachment to him from where I grew up

I am sorry to admit that this is one of the two books I have read by Lewis, especially so since I grew up about 30 miles from Sauk Centre Minnesota, where he was born and raised. (The other book by him that I've read is It Can't Happen Here, which unfortunately seems more plausibly prophetic as time goes on.)

Perhaps I will have the opportunit
May 09, 2016 Dorie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, because I just adore the main character, Martin Arrowsmith. I was skeptical because of the length of this novel, but after reading this, I would not edit one word. The life of this would be biochemist is tough, yet touching. I enjoy Sinclair Lewis style and prose. Great story. Recommend!
Dec 26, 2013 Bet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a broad, I mean really broad, satire of America. Lewis must have been a disillusioned, even bitter, man, but the humor is priceless. I read it for my Classics Book Group and am glad I did. There are many issues worth discussing.
Aug 02, 2010 Hadrian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, medicine
The fictional life and growth of a doctor. A lot of the details still apply, and I know many doctors with similar anecdotes. A fine portrait of medical live in service to others.
Jun 28, 2008 WK rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No wonder this is considered "Great Literature". Truly moving, well worth the time it takes to read.
May 21, 2012 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Exhausting, and not in a good way.
Feb 05, 2014 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sinclair Lewis was a great observer of human nature. Although Arrowsmith is less satirical than I remember Babbitt being, his two dimensional characterizations are penetrating: they pull out the essential features of recognizable types. Under his critical eye, the honest fare best, whether they are lazy, or obtusely passionate, or otherwise not entirely commendable. And he doesn't collapse his protagonists into two-dimensionality. Martin Arrowsmith loves his wife Leora and neglects her to his wo ...more
Apr 17, 2017 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-clubs, fiction
I understand the awarding of the Pulitzer for this novel, and I also understand the difficulty the modern reader faces in reading it. Language and literature from a hundred years ago are different from that of today. Sinclair Lewis' targets, however, are just as prevalent now as then. It just requires more concentration on the reader's part to stick with Martin Arrowsmith since Lewis had a co-writer for the scientific sections. I read it for a series of discussions about science in literature.
Sarah Boyle
I went into this novel optimistically, as Sinclair Lewis was the very first writer to ever win a Nobel Prize in literature, but I found it to be a bit disappointing. I did have to read this 450-page book in less than a week for a seminar on the history of doctoring in the United States, which may have contributed to my lack of enthusiasm for it. This is a dense book that outlines Martin Arrowsmith's work as a medical practitioner in the early 20th century in excruciating detail (although I wasn' ...more
Rajesh CNB
Jan 31, 2017 Rajesh CNB rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sinclair Lewis has created Arrowsmith as a Journey from imperfection to perfection. And he ends the story as though he has left the trail, parted with dear Dr. Martin Arrowsmith and the rest of the community, but their journey would go on. There is no glorious victory of the good over evil. There is no hero who wins over the nin existent villain. There's just Arrowsmith and Terry working on their quinine and perfecting their technique. There's just all the others whose life simply moves forward ...more
Aslan Qiyaslı
Sep 25, 2016 Aslan Qiyaslı rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Əsər Erousmitin universitet illərindən başlayır. O, tibb universitenin tələbəsidi. Tələbəlik vaxtlarında həm ixtisasca, həm xaraktercə hələ tam formalaşmamağına baxmayaraq əsərin davamında Erousmitin boş və satirik personaj olmayacağına dair məndə inam var idi. Amerika cəmiyyətinin facisəində şöhrətpərəstlik insanların məhv edən əsas "bakteriya" olsa da, Erousmit kimi dahi bakterioloq elmin və insanlığın təəssübkeşinə çevrilir. Erousmitin istər cəmiyyətlə mübarizəsində özünəqapanıqlığı, şöhrətpə ...more
Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
I have so many books by Sinclair Lewis. The first book of his that I read was Elmer Gantry. I liked it. Mr. Lewis has a very different style of writing. In his first novel he dwelled on the hypocrisy of the so called christian. In this book, he looks at the medical profession and what motivates people. Martin Arrowsmith, who starts of as a medical student symbolizes the opposite of commercial medicine. He develops his views earlier on in his university days.

Most of his views are, however, in co
Apr 07, 2012 Ensiform rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The titular main character, Martin Arrowsmith, attends medical school and becomes a doctor, then struggles to plot the correct course for his career: dedication to slow pure scientific research in the name of progress, or the quest for the money and rewards that hasty mock trials and early publication bring? The life of the dedicated scientist, or the society man? Arrowsmith’s heroes are Gottlieb, a scientist who disdains the “Men of Measured Merriment,” as he calls those who pursue knowledge fo ...more
Martin Arrowsmith enters med school in the early nineteen hundreds in the American midwest.

The reader sees the difficulty in dealing with medical and social issues. Martin goes through school with the ardor of a man pursuing his lifelong dream. When he takes a class in bacteriology, he can't imagine anything better than becoming a researcher.

Working hard, he needed a change of pace and goes to a city called Zenith where he meets Madeline Fox who is working on her grad school courses and seems to
Feb 21, 2009 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulitzer-prize
Arrowsmith is primarily a novel of social commentary on the state of and prospects for medicine in the United States in the 1920s. The protagonist, Martin Arrowsmith, is something of a rebel, and often challenges the existing state of things when he finds it wanting.
However he engages in much agonizing along the way concerning his career and life decisions. While detailing Martin's pursuit of the noble ideals of medical research for the benefit of mankind and of selfless devotion to the care of
Sep 30, 2008 Shauna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I'm conflicted about this book. The social commentary about the profession of medicine, the quest for scientific knowledge, public health officials and politicians was surprisingly relevant, though the book was written in the 1920s.

The book is well-written, and the characters thoroughly explored, though archetypal.

However, I found myself willing myself through the book. Mainly because I did not like Dr. Arrowsmith. I didn't really care about what happened to him, and his inner conflicts seemed
Jan 11, 2014 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I do enjoy the writing of Sinclair Lewis. He writes well-rounded characters who have strengths and weaknesses. You can't say that there are true villains or true heroes.

The main character is Martin Arrowsmith. We follow Martin as he goes to medical school. There he discovers that he has a love of research and dreams of being a scientist. Instead he meets Leora and after quite the courtship (Martin ends up engaged to two women), he marries her. In order to provide for his wife, he becomes a smal
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Tackling the Puli...: Arrowsmith (Sinclair Lewis, 1926) 18 35 May 26, 2014 01:59PM  
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Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1930 "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters." His works are known for their insightful and critical views of American capitalism and materialism between the wars. He is also respected for his strong characterizations of modern working women. H.L. Mencken wrote of him, "[If] the ...more
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