Sunday, September 17, 2017

Main Street - Sinclair Lewis

Oh my, what a wicked satire this is. To tell the truth, I have known people, more than I like to admit, that are EXACTLY like the people described in this book. EXACTLY. The strange insistence that their town is the BEST.TOWN.EVER!!!1!!!11!!!!, the constant comparisons of the town to the nearest big city (with the town always coming out on top, of course), the automatic assumption that if you are from said big city you're some kind of silly know-nothing full of dumb/useless ideas force fed to you from eggheads in ivory towers, the lack of interest in anything beyond a few safe topics (cars, sports, town gossip) - and of course, an insistence that anyone who isn't as prosperous as the town's people think they should be is just lazy - or, of course, a foreigner.

The best and yet scariest part is when the characters talk politics. This book was originally published in 1920, but in all honesty it's the same nonsense being spewed today. Help the poor?!?! Why, that would be SOSHULIZM!!!!!!!!!!!1!!11!!! Unions?!?!?! SOSHULIZM!!1!!!11 Sound familiar?

To get more specific about the book itself, I liked the main character and felt a lot of sympathy for her. It's hard to start over anywhere, but it's infinitely harder to come from a larger place and start over in a smaller place, in my opinion and in my experience. The book did seem to run a bit long for my taste; I felt like the author made his point and the story could have been a bit shorter. But all in all this was illuminating and I would like to read his other books.

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