“MAIN STREET,” BY SINCLAIR LEWIS

I figured it was about time, after sixty years on planet earth, that I read a book by Sinclair Lewis. Probably one of the reasons I never did, was because after all the literature classes I took none of his work was ever discussed.

In 1930, Mr. Lewis won the Nobel Prize for literature, and “Main Street,” was mentioned as one of his great accomplishment.

Mr. Lewis is the type of writer I am usually attracted to. His writing is very descriptive like many of my favorite writers like Conrad, Proust, and Fitzgerald, yet the first 100 pages of “Main Street,” were like looking at a one minute sequence of a car passing down the same street 100 times. I was seriously thinking of putting it down when it seriously exploded off the pages and the main character, Carol Kennicott, starts to really come to life…almost having an affair with a young tailor whose ambition is to be some type of artist.

She originally moved to the town of ‘Gopher Prairie,’ when she married her husband Will Kennicott, a wonderful and dedicated doctor and a lifelong resident of the town. He’s smart but in none of the ways that Carol is interested in. He’s interested in medicine, making money, and taking care of cars. Carol loves to read the poetry of Keats and Shelley, and many of the famous authors of her era which is the early 1900’s and before.

What Will sees as wonderful, she sees as dull. She wants to change the character and substance of the town, but all the residence are like Will and see little wrong with their lovely town that Carol finds dull and backwards.

Mr Lewis’ ability to create a small town in Minnesota is almost picture perfect, and after the first one hundred pages when the characters become energized, with conscious feelings about sex, lost of youth, and complacence, and the real evil that can be caused by gossip and false beliefs come to a boiling head I was hoping the book would go on for another one hundred pages.

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