Saturday, October 18, 2008

2008 Book 92: Arrowsmith

Book #:92

Book Title:Arrowsmith

Author:Sinclair Lewis

Publisher:Signet Classics

Pub. Date:1925 (original); 1998 (this version)


Started:October 13, 2008

Finished:October 17, 2008

Time to Read:5 Days

Back Cover / Inside Flap:"Arrowsmith, the most widely read of Sinclair Lewis's novels, is the dramatic portrayal of a man passionately devoted to science. As a bright, lonely boy in a small Midwestern town, Martin Arrowsmith spends his free time in old Doc Vickerson's office avidly devouring medical texts. Destined to become a physician and a researcher, he discovers that societal forces of ignorance, corruption, and greed can be life-threatening obstacles. But he perseveres in his pursuit of scientific truth - even in the face of personal tragedy.

Based on a spiritual ideal, Arrowsmith is the story of a visionary, a man of great energy and purpose, courage and dedication, who never loses hope. Lewis's Pulitzer prize-winning novel illuminates the mystery and power of the medical profession while giving enduring dramatic life to a singular American hero's impassioned struggle for integrity and intellectual freedom."


Review:Arrowsmith was my first read as I started my mini-Pulitzer reading challenge. Reading this novel required an adjustment in attitude - deconnecting from modern novels, full of sex, violence, cursing and technology, and reconnecting with a far simpler time where anything outside of the accepted was referred to by nuance instead of name.

Martin Arrowsmith is a bumbling hero. From proposing marriage to two separate women at nearly the same time (and asking them to work it out with each other what should be done) to bouncing between medical and research jobs while running into some challenging people and situations again and again and again, he always seems poised on the edge of greatness with the last step insurmountable.

Reading Arrowsmith required some amount of patience on my part - my favorite reads are action-packed suspense and mystery novels - but I'm quite glad to have encountered this story and the insights that the characters and portrayals of medicine and research a century ago provided.

If you have read or are planning to read this book, please make sure to stop back by and leave me a comment to let me know your own thoughts!

From my library to yours,


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