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They Call Me Carpenter

Upton Sinclair

Book Overview: 

The story takes place in the fictional city of Western City circa 1920. It begins with a man named Billy who is attacked by a mob of ex-servicemen outside a theater after watching a German film. Billy stumbles into a church to escape the mob and is visited by Carpenter, that is Jesus, who walks out of the stained glass window of the church. Carpenter is shocked and appalled by his observations of greed, selfishness, lust, sorrow, and the ultimate division between rich and poor. The story then follows the ministry of Jesus.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .If you knew what I know about the police of Western City and their manners, you wouldn't want to monkey with them."

Mary backed me up earnestly. "They'd have mashed your face, Mr.

"My face?" he repeated. "Is not a man more than his face?"

You should have heard the shout of T-S! "Vot? Ain't I shoost offered you five hunded dollars a veek fer dat face, and you vant to go git it smashed? And fer a lot o' lousy bums dat vont vork for honest vages, and vont let nobody else vork! Honest to Gawd, Mr. Carpenter, I tell you some stories about strikes vot we had on our own lot—you vouldn't spoil your face for such lousy sons-o'-guns—"

"Ssh, Abey, don't use such langwich, you should to be shamed of yourself!" It was Maw, guardian of the proprieties, who had been extracted from the car by the footman, and helped to the table.

"Vell, Mr. Carp. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This was an awesome book. The next time I speak in church, I plan to use the updated version of the Beattitudes. I love that the IWW is used to epitomize Christian teachings, we really are 'One Big Union'. At the time this was written, the IWW and its members were being harassed, they lost jobs and

An interesting book by Upton Sinclair in that he imagines what would happen if Jesus Christ came back to Western City (Los Angeles) around 1920. Sinclair references the different aspects of the Gospels in the New Testament, even providing references in the Appendix to page numbers in the book and wh

Set in Hollywood as it all gets going, it's abundant in stock characters. We have a cynical film critic who is full of self-conscious bad jokes, a French beauty parlour owner who applies torturous hair perm treatments to her clients, and a mouthy movie magnate who flashes wads of money wherever he g

They Call Me Carpenter is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek Second Coming story narrated by rich young socialite Billy, who retreats into a church after receiving a head wound during a protest outside of a movie theater, only to have "Mr. Carpenter" descend out of the stained-glass window behind the alter

I confess that I never knew much about Upton Sinclair beyond the fact that he wrote the meat-packing industry exposé The Jungle. It seems like a pretty big oversight on my part, considering that he wrote nearly 100 novels and also won a Pulitzer Prize—though not for The Jungle, as you'd think, but f

I may not be a true socialist or have any anarchistic tendencies, but I still really liked this book! I enjoyed following the story of Jesus encountering modern-day parallels of the same people, places, needs, and struggles of his time. Although I'll admit the book did not and the way I anticipated,

This book is already too much fun.
It's vaguely religious about a clash between Hollywood and past morals or something like that. I'll know more as I go through it.
For the time being it is a lot of fun and has some aspects that are very visual and parodies modern life.
This book is available in the P

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