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Thread: Sinclair Lewis

  1. #1

    Sinclair Lewis

    Greetings. I'm new here, but I suspect I'll be back quite often.

    If anyone has read Babbitt and Main Street, can you recommend which I should read first?

  2. #2
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    Oct 2008
    I am currently reading Babbitt and the first 100 pages are spent developing the character; that should not scare you off though as it is very interesting for a light read. Don't know about the other book.

  3. #3
    Watcher by Night mtpspur's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Fairborn OH, USA
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    I only read Babbitt and did NOT regret the experience. But I have to state that when I first tried it I was reading it waaay to seriously and crashed and burned. This would be about 10th grade. I believe my English teacher encouraged me totry reading it as a satire and with that view in mind the book came alive. Babbitt has layers to him undreamt of--to me he's a man who wanted but never quite lived to his full potential and his ups and downs are fascinating to read about. Plus I like 'people' books. Hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2007
    Never read Babbitt, but I have read Main Street. So I guess that would be my choice for obvious reasons. I really liked it, but it was somewhat of a downer for me. I have my reasons for that. If I told you what they were, then I would give away that story and I don't want to do that. I know you didn't mention this book, but another one of Lewis' that I would recommend is Dodsworth. I enjoyed that one, also.

  5. #5
    Lost in the Fog PabloQ's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Wake Forest, NC, USA
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    I recently read both of these books in the order that they were written - Main Street and then Babbitt. I recommend reading them in that order. In Main Street, you see the conflicts between a small town set in its ways and the persuasion and influence of the outside world upon it. The outside world is viewed as the big city. The townsfolk are caricatures and sometimes are just plain funny and other times just plain scary. They still manage to find someone less fortunate to look down upon. Lewis lampoons the small town mentality quite well.
    Babbitt, on the other hand, is a multi-tiered look at one man's life in a medium size city, Zenith. It is the story of a white man. He is middle class and he has a mid-life crisis. The satire is a little more subtle, but there nonetheless. It's an interesting contrast to Main Street . Lewis won the Pulitzer prize for Babbitt, but declined it.
    Although I've never heard of them as a trilogy, Dodsworth is a story of Zenith's elite. In the 3 books, Lewis works his way up the social food chain. I haven't read it, but I have added it to my list because overall I found Sinclair Lewis fascinating.
    No damn cat, no damn cradle - Newt Honniker

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