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Sinclair Lewis

Book Overview: 

This road trip novel is set in the early twentieth century and follows the experiences of an aristocratic New Englander and her father as they travel by automobile from Minneapolis to Seattle. She is wooed and won by a noble but simple commoner she meets along the way. Lewis is at his usual wryly humorous self, poking fun at the upper class and treating the common people only slightly better.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Page_76" id="Page_76">[76] people, but imprison this cook for life. Really! I mean it!"

"Well, he probably does the best he——"

"He does not! These eggs and this bread were perfectly good, before he did black magic over them. And did you see the contemptuous look he gave me when I was so eccentric as to order toast? Oh, Reaper, Reaper, you desire a modern town, yet I wonder if you know how many thousands of tourists go from coast to coast, cursing you? If I could only hang that restaurant man—and the others like him—in a rope of his own hempen griddle cakes! The Great American Frying Pan! I don't expect men building a new town to have time to read Hugh Walpole and James Branch Cabell, but I do expect them to afford a cook who can fry eggs!"

As she paid the check, Claire tried to think of some protest which would have any effect on the obese wits of the restaurant man. In face of his pink puffiness she gave it up. . . . Read More

Community Reviews

It's 1919 and Miss Claire Boltwood of Brooklyn and her father are on a road trip. They are driving west from Minneapolis to Seattle.

Think about it. Most of the roads are not paved. You have to buy gas in cans from a hardware store. The only mechanic in a small Montana town might be the blacksmit...more

Written in 1919, this is the story of Claire Boltwood - NY socialite on a road trip with her wealthy businessman father from Minnesota to Seattle. They get a true taste of the wide open spaces as they motor their car through the small towns of the plains and mountains of the west. Perhaps their b...more

It's fascinating to read novels written in their time especially when literary commentary is included. These works are now 'historical' novels, no affectation, no interpretation, just clean recording of what was happening then and what society's response was, meaning Lewis's.

In this novel, publi...more

I really enjoy reading Sinclair Lewis. His books are written for a contemporaneous audience so he uses the commonly used slang for the period and expects his reader to understand his references because they were commonly used at the time. To me this is much better than historical fiction and puts...more

If you have never heard of Sinclair Lewis before, you can think of him as F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s counterpart. He also published during the ‘roaring twenties,’ but wrote of many different classes of people. It seems he especially liked yoking together characters from high society and low society, t...more

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