Possibly the best student of hypocrisy since Voltaire
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
It has always impressed me that Donald Trump’s political rallies are little more than evangelical tent meetings. These gatherings are a uniquely American institution dating to before the Revolution. They seem to run in cycles of popularity of approximately fifty years from the middle of the 18th century. What Trump has accomplished quite apart from any political disruption is the latest revival of the Revival. Elmer Gantry is a how-to manual for this kind of work and ha ...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
Flatulistic televangelist farming for funds
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 could be even wor ...more
As for Elmer Gantry, I am a Christian and this book does arguably, take a pretty dim view of some or po ...more
After listening to a new recording of an opera, "Elmer Gantry" by Robert Aldridge with a libretto by Herschel Garfein, I wanted to read the famous 1927 novel by Sinclair Lewis on which the opera was based. Composed in 2007, the opera receives an excellent performance from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Florentine Opera Company and a cast of distinguished singers.
The outlines of the Elmer Gantry story are familiar from the novel and from its well-known movie ...more
This book exposes the lust for power behind the evangelical ...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 revealed to ...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.
I actually listened to part of this audiobook while mistakenly thinking the author was Upton Sinclair. Duoh! How emb ...more
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
In the first half Gantry finds his way in life, in the early years of the 20th century of middle America, from the stereotypical college dumb ...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
Elmer Gantry was made into a lively and impressive film in 1960 starring Burt Lancaster (in a hell-raising performance), and it was one of my dad's all-time favorite movies. As Lewis ...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….
I suppose the critiques that Lewis levels against the church were more original and scandalous at the time, but they have since become so commonplace as tropes and cliches that they have lost their emotional or satirical impact, if not their relevance. Elmer is a truly reprehensible character, a hypocriti ...more
Elmer Gant ...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
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