See the Best Books of the Month Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors’ picks for the best books of the month in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries. Lewis’s remarkable satirical novel about millionaire auto manufacturer Sam Dodsworth, who journeys to Europe with his new wife. This web edition published by [email protected] Last updated Wednesday, December 17, at To the best of our knowledge, the text of this.
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If you’re in the mood for a detailed, somewhat emotional trip into the past with stylized characters that still ring true in the present really, who doesn’t know a Fran? Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Sinclaur Read.
Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Dodsworth by Sinclair Lewis. Dodsworth by Sinclair Lewis. First published inDodsworth tells the story of a young American couple who moves to Europe.
Paperbackpages. Published April 1st by Signet Classics first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Dodsworthplease sign up. This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [The book closes with Sam being so happy with Edith that he doesn’t lewiz for Fran for two days”.
This has always made me wonder if Sam did indeed go back to Fran, if he was doing so much “yearning”. While the movie insinuates that Sam books it right back to Edith, the book really made me wonder Any opinions on the last sentence of the book for me, please? Tabitha True This answer contains spoilers… view spoiler [ Hi!
You know, I got the feeling that Sam’s “yearning” for Fran was more of a habit than anything else–when he stayed with Edith in Italy before his …more Hi! You know, I got the feeling that Sam’s “yearning” for Fran was more of a habit than anything else–when he stayed with Edith in Italy before his brief reunion with Fran on the ship, there’s a short mention of him calling out for Fran, and Edith politely ignoring lewia. My gut feeling is that the last sentence implies that his happiness with Edith is slowly beginning to crowd out any residual yearning for Fran.
See 2 questions about Dodsworth…. Lists with This Book. May 02, Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing Shelves: I suppose America terrifies me.
I feel insecure there. Sam Dodsworth made a small fortune building up an automobile company and then selling it to one of his rivals. At the age of 50, thinking it would please his wife, he decides that they need to take advantage of this point of idleness to take a grand tour of Europe.
Fran is 41, but looks and usually acts much younger. He fell in love with her sinclar first sight.
Dodsworth, by Sinclair Lewis
By contrast Samuel Dodsworth: He was the president of the Revelation Simclair Company; he was a millionaire, though decidedly not a multimillionaire; his large house was on Ridge Crest, the most lewls street in Zenith; he had some taste in etchings; he did not split many infinitives; and he sometimes enjoyed Beethoven. As you have probably read in other novels from the s the upper set of society drank as much if not more during prohibition as they did before prohibition.
We are seeing the Baby Boomer generation starting to retire and also seeing divorce rates of people over 55 skyrocketing.
Opposites do attract, but only if both parties focus on what they agree on more than what they disagree on. In the case of Sam and Fran his bumbling, overanxious, Americanism rubs up against her suave, cultured, faux-Europeanism making for many points of friction which for the first half of the book I found to be more amusing than provoking. The Traveling American’s faithful companion.
Oh, if you want to go and yearn over your dear American fellow tourists, by all means go, my dear Samuel! I am going to the Crillon and have a decent tea. They have to leave Paris in even more of a hurry because of yet another scandal with a young man. The fighting is no longer two strong willed people having an argument that creates the proper chemistry for a relationship, but two people who are really starting to not like each other.
Sam continues to give in to Fran, tries not to be jealous, and tries to keep his mouth in bounds, but we all know there is only so much grinding any human being can take before it evolves from being a teasing conflict to outright war. For the first time in his life he began to learn that he need not be ashamed of the body which God had presumably given him but which Fran had considered rather an error.
Sinclair Lewis, looking so thoughtful. How about a smile? Ok bad idea you are looking creepy and insane His breakthrough book was Main Street in followed by Babbitt inArrowsmith in and Elmer Gantry in These five books were what earned him the Nobel Prize in with most of the emphasis given to the influence of Babbitt on literature. He wrote in what I feel is golden age of American Literature with Fitzgerald, Wolfe, Hemingway, Wharton, Cather, Dos Passos, and Faulkner all churning out literature that is admired and emulated today; and yet, Sinclair Lewis would not make most of those lists.
In his day he was wildly popular, his biting satire of American culture was lapped up by a generation in love with America, but looking to Europe for inspiration in their writing, their artistry, their vision.
They had to stand on a foreign shore to really see America and in many cases make peace with it. Are our shoulders not as broad?
Are our minds not as open to what the world can teach us? Criticism now stings instead of producing reflective laughter. For one thing my work that creates so much stress and strain on my life over there represents a piece of sand, something I can easily hold in my hand, rather than a mountain filled with boulders and treacherous overhangs.
The world, when you travel, seems too big to be worried about something so small. The late-afternoon glow over the piled hill of Naples faded to misty blue. View all 66 comments. I should begin by saying I love, ardently, William Wyler’s film adaptation of Dodsworth. Now having read the book, I just marvel at the film more, and can’t say that I’m aware of any more efficient and elegant translation of novel to screenplay, nor of a cast who has more successfully captured the spirit of their literary alter egos, without being a bit restrained by the text—very few lines straight from Lewis appear in the film.
Which isn’t a pity since they couldn’t play conversationally, I should begin by saying I love, ardently, William Wyler’s film adaptation of Dodsworth.
Which isn’t a pity since they couldn’t play conversationally, but Lewis’ command of words, words, words is often staggering. He irks, in attempting to capture dialect and slang, in insisting that people speak parenthetically parenthetically, I’m convinced people speak exclusively in dashesin asserting that people think in elaborate and well-constructed theses. But over and over his ability to just get it so astonishingly right has a way to cut through all manner of frills to simple, accurate, truthful human nakedness.
Strange that I should be so much more a partisan of Fran in reading the novel than watching the film I’d expect it in the film, that is, always being a partisan of Ruth Chatterton. In the film, Sam’s final choice seems both inevitable and right. Fran seems so certainly wrong. But in the novel, set beside her increasingly obvious ghastliness, there is so purely and faithfully Sam’s love for her to contend with. It is not banal shorthand but cuts a little deeper every time.
He loves her; what else for the reader to feel but love? The ending doesn’t feel so right. In fact it feels horrifyingly wrong—nothing inevitable in it but that no matter what Sam does for himself now he has lost. But the film is fairer to Fran, or Chatterton makes her more human than Lewis cares to.
I’m disappointed that her selfishness and pretentiousness and haughtiness is carried to inhuman extreme by the end—it goes beyond slowly revealing her for what she is as Sam slowly discovers it and turns her into a really unrecognizable monster, only redeemed by his baffling adoration for her—making the ending all the more troubling perhaps, but seriously damaging her credibility as a character.
Besides I like Fran. I like the Fran of the first three hundred pages who acted reprehensibly but still turned and said “Have I remembered to tell you I adore you?
It is a brilliant book—oh, I’m uninterested in the travelogues and endless debates about what it means to be European and American—but at core it is a terribly sad story about opening one’s eyes to life, love, and self for the first time at fifty.
It is a love tragedy about two people who love ardently without knowing one another—for I will insist upon viewing Fran that humanly, and crediting her with that much. I will be haunted, as Sam always will be, by the thought of her, a desolate wraith, flitting off to another adventure, head high, and terrified.
Finding oneself feels like no great gain at all. Sep 20, Jason Pettus rated it really liked it Shelves: Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter. I am the original author of this review, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally. CCLaP’s rare-book service [ cclapcenter.
Below is the write-up I did for the book’s description. Once one of the most celebrated writers on the planet, for an unprecedented str Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter. Once one of the most celebrated writers on the planet, for an unprecedented string of commercial hits in the s making vicious fun of the bored, corrupt, empty-headed middle class of the American Midwest, all of them turned into bestsellers precisely by the self-hating middle-classers he was making fun of, Lewis’ career went quickly sour upon the start of the Great Depression, when these suddenly broke middle-classers found themselves being punished enough by life in general, and no longer needed his finger-wagging to produce the painless punishment that was assuaging their guilt throughout the “Roaring Twenties.
And note, by the way, that this would be the last period in history that this would be true, one of the many elements that makes this almost more important now as a historical document than as a piece of popular fiction; after the destruction of Europe and the ascendency of America at the end of World War Two, the global headquarters of culture quickly shifted to the US and specifically New York, and it suddenly became passe among rich Americans to take European grand tours anymore.
The simple plot, then, follows the same structure as so many of Lewis’ novels from the ’20s; our narrator starts as the living embodiment of whatever Lewis is trying to criticize in this case, the business-focused, proudly ignorant American, forced on an unending parade of interchangeable cathedral visits and appalled by the lack of modern creature comforts now taken for granted in nearly every large American citybut after being exposed to the good things from that new environment including, as always, the potential love of an enticingly independent modern woman he slowly becomes a convert, just to be shunned by his former peers as pressure to “return to the fold.
That’s the treasure of this book in general, that it’s a snapshot of a moment in history right before an unexpected period of tremendous upheaval, with none of the characters nor even the author even remotely aware that such upheaval is about to take place; note for example Sam’s ho-hum attitude towards the pre-power Fascists he meets in Europe, or how one of the biggest sources of conflict is whether Sam is going to accept the high-powered VP position of the new conglomerate at home next year, or blow another million on staying at five-star hotels across the Continent for yet another year, a much more historically naked treat than any revisionist “winds of change” novel written after the fact.
Lewis’ fans in his own lifetime turned on him for this, but it’s time that we restore the respect and fame he deserves for being such an astute prognosticator; and with this copy of Dodsworth being auctioned at a deliberately low starting bid to encourage an actual sale, this is a fine choice for a collector who wishes to “beat the odds” before this re-lionization of Lewis takes place next decade. Louis was the industrial powerhouse of Zenith, where so many of his stories specifically take place.
In fact, in Dodsworth Lewis makes almost a science-fiction author’s amount of insider references to his now expansive alt-reality, name-dropping in casual conversations such former characters as George Babbitt and Elmer Gantry.
Sam Dodsworth is a middle-aged retired automobile tycoon. He sold his medium-sized auto factory in Midwestern Zenith, State of Winnemac, USA, and is now in possession of a medium-sized fortune and little more than a vague idea of what to do with it. Sam and his wife venture to Europe in an attempt to acquire culture and save their foundering marriage. If M Sam Dodsworth is a middle-aged retired automobile tycoon.