Babbitt [NOOK Book]

Overview

Sinclair Lewis originally published Babbitt in 1922. Largely a satire of American culture, society, and behavior, it critiques the vacuity of middle-class American life and its pressure on individuals toward conformity. An immediate and controversial bestseller, Babbitt is one of Lewis’s best-known novels and was influential in the decision to award him the Nobel Prize in literature in 1930.
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Babbitt

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Overview

Sinclair Lewis originally published Babbitt in 1922. Largely a satire of American culture, society, and behavior, it critiques the vacuity of middle-class American life and its pressure on individuals toward conformity. An immediate and controversial bestseller, Babbitt is one of Lewis’s best-known novels and was influential in the decision to award him the Nobel Prize in literature in 1930.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940015116823
  • Publisher: Smashbooks
  • Publication date: 12/26/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 619,531
  • File size: 875 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 160 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(47)

4 Star

(43)

3 Star

(34)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(19)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 160 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2007

    Woes of the Elite Life

    Babbitt is a story satirizing the fanciful, ridiculously materialistic lifestyle of an affluent middle-class American, George F. Babbitt, in the 1920s. Babbitt is a haughty businessman who gradually becomes so bored with social parties and an elite lifestyle that he hypocritically partakes in activities and principles he vilifies, such as drinking rampages, liberalism, and blatant infidelity. As the story progresses, Babbitt becomes less and less glued to his conventional and materialistic ideals and through spontaneous realizations and epiphanies, learns to develop treasured family ties and friendships. Lewis focuses on Babbitt¿s life, which is filled with the latest technological inventions, a surplus of money, and a handful of elite friends, yet devoid of meaning. Lewis utilizes Babbitt¿s character and unhappiness with life to portray when humans become obsessed with their social status, they will surrender their own comfort and happiness to advance their place in society. Babbitt is a beautiful masterpiece, honed to sharp precision and programmed to disclose the flagrant hypocrisy and immorality of the esteemed middle-class. When one weaves through Lewis¿s brilliant rhetoric, one will discover the ludicrousness of respected and orthodox American ideals in the early twentieth century. A small problem with Babbitt is that despite its magnificent oratory, it slowly and monotonously drags in certain parts of the novel. At times the language can become cloudy and difficult to comprehend. However, Lewis¿s strong rhetoric shines through these dull moments and successfully leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2011

    a must read!!

    This is truly a story I feel everyone shouldshould read once in their lives. It shows the importance of going out and living your days the way you want them to be lived.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    Art

    I was concerned that it was going to be too much of a "period book" but the way that Sinclair Lewis shows how "in tune" he was with the male psyche was almost dumbfounding. The book is timeless and enjoyable at almost every page.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An interesting depection of American life...

    This was my first Sinclair Lewis read. This book does doesn't fall into the category of 'page turner'. Rather, Babbit chronicles the struggles of a typical American father. In this book, there is something that most men could relate to. It was interesting to me to see how timeless some of the principles outlined in this book are. Although the setting is much earlier, the struggles Babbit deals with in his professional and personal life are in one way or the other played out today.

    Because of the steady even pace of this book, it did take me a while to get through, but I'm glad I did.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Favorite Book

    Babbitt is one book which I reread yearly. I adore Sinclair Lewis as one of America's best authors who captures the essence of American life at the turn of the century.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2006

    Babbitt and the danger of conformity

    Babbitt may be a fictional account, but Sinclair Lewis¿s satire contains a humbling effect for anyone in the American middle-class majority. The story centers on George F. Babbitt, a resident of Zenith City and the epitome of middle-aged businessman, Republican and capitalist in judgment. Throughout the course of the novel, Lewis portrays his message about the dangers of both conformity and trying to break from it through the development of Babbitt as a character. He begins as a highly opinionated and hypercritical real-estate salesman, unable to formulate original biases. As the story progresses, Babbitt realizes his dissatisfaction with the monotony of constant dinner parties, Booster Club meetings, and golf games. As a result, he resorts to such indecencies as drinking (the book is set during the Prohibition era), infidelity, and the most deadly of all sins a socially liberal ideology. From associating himself with the self-titled ¿Bohemian¿ lifestyle of his mistress and the leftist views of strikers in the streets, Babbitt not only incurs the ostracism of his companions, but discovers the Bohemian¿s hypocritical nature through their tedious routine and continuous parallels with the middle-class routine it tries to escape. Lewis¿s critical tale has continued to hold the same relevancy in American culture because of its timeless observations of a universal human tendency. Through the weaving of almost comedic satire into a description of a dull life, the book provides a haunting analysis of the displeasure almost all people feel with where they sit in society.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2001

    As True Today As When It Was Written

    A wonderful book. One of my favorites. Sinclair Lewis writes in beautiful vivid language about issues that we tend to think of as unique to our own time, not the least of which is the standardization and homogenization of american culture. Bully!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2000

    Sinclair Lewis's Writing Style Is Very Good

    Author, Sinclair Lewis subtly takes us into George F. Babbitt's mind inclusive of his environment. I cannot remember the last time I read such a well written novel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2012

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    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Sinclair Lewis's best book

    I like Lewis's writing, and have read a couple of his books. In this one his opinions come through loud and clear and with the least amount of distraction. Babbit is a wonderful character - worthy of pity and revulsion but also able to be identified with at the same time. You actually kind of cheer for him to change and are sad when he can't quite do that... although the and does show that maybe he has learned a little something at least. And in the end, that is the essence of a great literary character - the fact that he goes through a lot and maybe doesn't change completely but makes a believable step forward.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2008

    Hilarious, but realistic

    This book is a superbly written satire on American materialism. Though the technology and language is outdated, George Babbitt's behaviors and actions are much like the members of today's middle-class society.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2001

    Highly Recommended

    In 'Babbitt', Lewis introduces us to George Babbitt, a materialistic, proud man. When tragedy strikes, Babbitt finds himself questioning his very middle-class lifestyle and looking for meaning. An extremely well written book, Lewis mocks the emptiness of middle-class society. Although it takes place in the 1920's it is still true today.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2014

    Poor format many per page

    Get another issue

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2013

    Too many typos

    Free books have too many typos so annoying.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A storyline that never goes out of style

    Feeling like a drone? a lemming? Just trying to get through the rat-race? Planning the big escape?
    It is the same story from nineteen-twenty to twenty o-nine,

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2005

    And His Middle Name Was (hurrah!)' Follansbee'

    As American men go, George F. Babbitt, realtor of Zenith, is not particularly good, not notably bad. But he is restless and he grows worse, particularly after his best friend shoots his nagging wife and is sentenced to three years in prison. Babbitt then falls apart, chases women, drinks too much Prohibition era liquor and shows dangerous sympathy for labor unions and a radical local lawyer named Seneca Doane. Babbitt determines to break free and become accountable to no one. But his friends in the Boosters' Club, the Presbyterian Church, the Republican Party and other organizations make it clear that he must either return to being the old predictable, conformist George F. or he will find his business fading to nothing. *** Babbitt then sees the light, hauls himself up and is welcomed back to normalcy as husband, father, businessman, Republican and Booster. In token of atonement offered and accepted, one of his fraternal admirers, while on a trip to Catawba, George's birthplace, discovered the truth about Babbitt's middle initial. The 'F' stood for FOLLANSBEE (the name of the Babbitt family doctor). The once lapsed Babbitt was rebaptized on the spot back where he belonged. *** What fun the broad-minded Boosters had with that revelation of inner weakness before they forgave their Georgie! What name might they have otherwise guessed? *** 'Flivver, they suggested, and Frog-face and Flathead and Farinaceous and Freezone and Flapdoodle and Foghorn. By the joviality of their insults, Babbitt knew that he had been taken back to their hearts ... ' (Ch. 34). 'He knew that he would no more endanger his security and popularity by straying from the Clan of Good Fellows.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 160 Customer Reviews

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