Friday, January 12, 2007

4. "Main Street" ~ Sinclair Lewis


For the first of the "classic American novels," this book hit me hard between the ribs with its depiction of a small Minnesotan town. It was all so familiar - the gossip, the peeking behind curtains, the church as school. But also the sledding and ice fishing and the Sioux (which earned a footnote).

Meant to frighten people into seeing all of these "Main Street" towns across the plains, prairies, and mountains, a much more relatable topic than all of the New York City stories at the time.

Carol, the protagonist (I can't call her a heroine since she drives me crazy), tries repeatedly to do something to "improve" the town, whether it is a tennis tournament or a play. She fails to win over the townspeople and becomes the subject of much gossip.

It is a long book, and if you are not from a small town, you may get bored by the bickering. If not for the Minnesota references, I would have skimmed much more.

3.75 out of 5.0 Tootsie Pop Shots.

1 comment:

bubblesuponbubbles said...

I understand the tension in this book very well; I worked on the border of city and country in the Minneapolis metro area for a long time and saw the clash daily. It's still there! I know that you posted this nearly two years ago, but I've recently synthesized some information about Main Street and Sinclair Lewis in general. If you're interested in reading it, here is the link: http://williewlizlo.wordpress.com/2008/12/22/the-tragic-midwest/

I would love to hear your comments. I've only recently started my blog, but I plan to post about what I'm reading, as well as many other topics (perhaps even booze!) Also, after finding and very much enjoying your blog, I'm going to add you to my Blogroll and my Bloglines.

Enjoy,
Willie Wlizlo