Monday, August 15, 2016

Getting to know some Americans

Lynn suggested "Main Street" by Sinclair Lewis to her book club for this month.  The book was published in 1920, nearly 100 years ago.  It is a famous book by the first American Nobel laureate in literature.  We began with my reading the book aloud and it was fun but we ran out of time.  So, we are finishing the book individually with silent reading.

It is available in Kindle form from Amazon for free.  It is a marvelous read and worth careful and concentrated reading.  Lewis slips in barbs subtly and with no warning and I think it would be easy to miss them.  His depiction of the way people are, their wiles, honestly, dishonesty, search for significance and status is gripping.  I am reading along and suddenly he ups and socks me across the face with a wet fish!

I have made several Tweets from the book, an easy thing to do with a Kindle reader.  The first one was:

Main Street is the climax of civilization. That this Ford car might stand in front of the Bon Ton Store, Hannibal invaded Rome and Erasmus wrote in Oxford cloisters. What Ole Jenson the grocer says to Ezra Stowbody the banker is the new law for London, Prague, and the unprofitable isles of the sea; whatsoever Ezra does not know and sanction, that thing is heresy, worthless for knowing and wicked to consider.

If you are not in the mood for more Olympics or more politics, you may enjoy getting to know some of the residents of Gopher Prairie, Minnesota.  I am confident that living in an apartment in Edinburgh at 44 Scotland Street or in Hong Kong or Geneva or Vancouver would be to be among similar personalities and comments and outlooks.

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