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Main Street by Sinclair Lewis

Main Street (edition 1989)

by Sinclair Lewis

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Title:Main Street
Authors:Sinclair Lewis
Info:San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, [1989], c1948. v, 486 p. ; 22 cm.
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Main Street by Sinclair Lewis


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Carol, from St. Paul, meets Dr. Will Kennicott who is a physician in Gopher Prairie. She goes to the town expecting to "reform it" and change it. She struggles with adapting to the life there. While aspects of the novel have applicability today, others do not. I seriously doubt that if Lewis had lived a century later that the outcome would have been the same. The book was a bit longish and tended to bog down in places. Carol and I would not have been kindred souls. Her story never resonated with me. ( )
  thornton37814 | May 7, 2015 |
This was a very interesting reading. I love Lewis' strong spelling style, his fierceness and his foresight because a lot of things he had written came true. He wrote about philistinism and hypocrisy of a small town life. But to be frank, was this only 100 years ago the case or isn't it still so?

It's the story of a Carol Kennicott who grew up in a 'city' and after her marriage with the local doctor is ambitious to turn upside down the life of a provincial town. She has a lot of plans how this little town could improve but is always turned down by the local prominence. She turns her back to Gropher Prairie to go back to a city. After two years she comes back and sees the little town much calmer because she learned that there are Gropher Prairie everywhere.

There was only a minor point I struggled with. Sometimes I had the feeling Something similar I've already read. and that made the story too long, but luckily every time I had that feeling a new subject turned up. ( )
  Ameise1 | May 4, 2015 |
I read Babbitt in college and reread it recently which enticed me to look at more of Sinclair Lewis' novels. Main Street is a terrific read but felt a little puerile to me. Carol was the protagonist, a young girl from the Cities, meaning Minneapolis-St Paul, who met a doctor, married him and went to Gopher Prairie, a town of 3,000 people. When Carol saw how provincial the town was she set out to change it, but that was not well received by the locals. We follow her trials and tribulations in Gopher Prairie until she seeks independence and moves with her young child to Washington and takes a job. She needed a job. She had wanted to work but that was unacceptable for the wife of a doctor in this small town. Like most novels of the period, all ends well. The doc comes to visit her in DC, they make up and she moves back to Gopher Prairie to live happily ever after. A rather conventional story but I rather enjoyed its simplicity. ( )
  SigmundFraud | Apr 5, 2015 |
Kindle Book
  hawki | Mar 5, 2015 |
This being a classic, & also being a satire, I expected it to be funny. It wasn't. It was painfully slow in places, & I could have done without it deviating from the story every so often. Other than that, it wasn't a bad story. I didn't know whether to like Carol, feel sorry for her, or to be annoyed by her overall, but I was all of these in turn. The way I see it, she probably never should have married Will at all, & he was the character I felt the most sympathy for. He was an honest country doc, hard working, with simple pleasures, his car, hunting, fishing, & his family.

The rest of the cast of characters are a bunch of small town stereotypes brought to life, & anyone who reads this & lives in or grew up in a small town will probably recognize the characters in their own towns. ( )
1 vote Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 11, 2014 |
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Ninety years after publication, Sinclair Lewis’s Main Street still resonates with readers ... The book became an immediate sensation. Biographer Mark Schorer called its publication “the most sensational event in twentieth-century American publishing history.” ... Lewis found a way to appeal to both those who were nostalgic for small town America and those who were dissatisfied with it.
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ToJames Branch CabellandJoseph Hergesheimer
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Chapter 1: On a hill by the Mississippi where Chippewas camped two generations ago, a girl stood in relief against the cornflower blue of Northern sky.
She had her freedom, and it was empty.
Not a matter of heroism. Matter of endurance...There's one attack you can make on it, perhaps the only kind that accomplishes anything anywhere; you can keep on looking at one thing after another in your home and church and bank, and ask why it is, and who first laid down the law that it had to be that way. If enough of us do this impolitely enough, then we'll become civilized in merely twenty thousand years or so, instead of having to wait the two hundred thousand years that my cynical anthropologist friends allow...easy, pleasant, lucrative home-work for wives: asking people to define their jobs. That's the most dangerous doctrine I know!
The tragedy of old age, which is not that it is less vigorous than youth, but that it is not needed by youth; that its love and prosy sageness, so important a few years ago, so gladly offered now, are rejected with laughter.
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Main Street was written by Sinclair Lewis, not Upton Sinclair, so you might want to correct the author on your book page.  Thank you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451526821, Mass Market Paperback)

"Main Street" tells the tale of a big-city girl who marries a physician and settles in a small town in the Midwest, only to fall victim to the narrow-mindedness and unimaginative natures of the town's residents. Introduction by Thomas Mallon.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:25 -0400)

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A young woman has difficulty adjusting to life in a small town in Minnesota.

(summary from another edition)

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