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The Romantic

May Sinclair

Book Overview: 

As a simple story told, "The Romantic" is one of Sinclair’s tightest and most compelling. Charlotte Redhead, a young British secretary, finds herself in a degrading extra-marital affair with her boss. In reaction, she renounces Sex and links herself platonically to a handsome young Bohemian (John Conway) she meets by chance, tramping in the fields. Together, under a powerful romantic excitement, the two rush off to Belgium in the early weeks of World War I, having organized their own little volunteer ambulance corps. The romance of the adventure begins to break down when the various ambulance corps start to back-stab each other, each selfishly seeking to one-up the others for glory. The real crisis comes when the central characters begin to reveal the true human characters behind their romantic delusions, in the end turning the attention back to the genuine human suffering that was the real story of the hideous Great War

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .No. No, I didn't. I shouldn't have believed it was in you."

"It isn't in me now. It's gone clean out of me. I shall never want that sort of thing again."

"I know that." He said it almost irritably. "I mean I shouldn't have thought you could have cared for a brute like that…. But the brutes women do care for …"

"I suppose I did care. But I don't feel as if I'd cared. I don't feel as if it had ever really happened. I can't believe it did. You see, I've forgotten such a lot of it. I couldn't have believed that once, that you could go and do a thing like that and forget about it. You'd have thought you'd remember it as long as you lived."

"You couldn't live if you remembered…."

"Oh, John, do you think it was as horrible as all that?"

His face moved, flashed into sudden passion.

"I think he was as horribl. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Oh gee gosh!

This is the first novel I've read from the 1930 American winner of Nobel Prize Literature. I've enjoyed reading it. Mr. Wrenn has been living in the same boarding house during many year and has been working in the same an office clerk position for as many years in a company in NY. One day he receive

The story of a very meek accounting clerk who hates his job and lonely life and dreams of adventure and travel until he receives a modest inheritance. So he quits his job and decides to travel. He hires on to work on a ship that is carrying cattle to get passage to England. Here he discovers that li

One of Lewis's earlier works. Not as good as some of his later, more famous novels, still a nice, light-hearted story. What I love about Lewis's books, most of them anyway, is the period in which they take place.

This book is more than a window intro the minds of the prewar people from 1910's New York and a debut made by Sinclair Lewis, a future Nobel laureate, is also a coming of age story, where the simplicity of the narration cannot hide moments where the description of words unsaid are more revealing tha

I've read and loved all of Lewis' greatest achievement, which is why I sought out this lesser known early novel. Unfortunately, this one just didn't do it for me. While it had some shining moments that foreshadow Lewis' ear for dialogue and social interaction, it's often boring at times. What I like

I gave this book a 5 star because it kept my attention and entertained throughout when I didn't think that was possible. Mr. Wrenn is a Thurber type of character; he dreams of traveling when he has a secure job at an Art Novelty and Souvenir company in New York. Sinclair Lewis is hilarious. Being fr

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