Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Main Street

Author: Sinclair Lewis
Originally Published: 1920
Length: 436 pages
Personal Enjoyment Factor: 4/5 Rating: 4/5 (4 Customer Reviews)

I delight in satire, and this was delightfully satirical through and through. Carol is a city girl who marries Dr. Kennicott from the small town of Gopher Prairie around 1910. She is determined to reform the town, filled with narrow-minded, gossipy citizens who are stubbornly resistant to change. Carol is equally intolerant of complacency. Her attempts to beautify the town or introduce culture through parties and intellectual groups are pitifully unsuccessful.
No one is safe from criticism in this novel. Darkly humorous and written with sharp description, Main Street kept my attention despite its lack of a strong plot. I reread and underlined many passages, but now I can't find the book to quote a few. I'm looking forward to reading Arrowsmith to experience more of Lewis' writing.


  1. sounds good....must read it someday...

  2. Sounds fun! I'm not sure if I've ever read any Lewis before.

  3. I read this years ago -- I wish I could remember it better!

    Anyway: Come by and pick up an award here.

  4. I thought Main Street was brilliant. Lewis sometimes gets a bad rap for his books not aging well -- not reamining relevant to modern audiences. I disagree. I think the conflict in Main Street between small towners and their provincial boosterism and cultural elites with their know-it-all airs hits home as much today as it did when he wrote it.

    I prefered Main Street to Babbitt, which does feel a little dated. For a real kick in the pants, try Kingsblood Royal, Lewis's 1947 novel about the repercussions when a WASPy couple in the suburbs learn that the husband is part black.

  5. This sounds intriguing...great review! I'll have to check this one out :)

  6. Rose City,
    I kept thinking throughout the book how relevant it was--marriage, politics, society. We're still having the same arguments about the same issues. I've never even heard of Kingsblood Royal. It sounds intriguing.

  7. Great review. Sinclair Lewis is one of those authors I keep telling myself I need to read more of. He is one of my sister's favorite authors.

  8. This book sounds like a lot of fun. I haven't read any Lewis yet so maybe this one will be my first try.

    BTW, I love the new prudometer. Clever title and useful information.