Elmer Gantry

Elmer Gantry

3.4 11
by Sinclair Lewis, Anthony Heald
     
 

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Today universally recognized as a landmark in American literature, Elmer Gantry scandalized readers when it was first published, causing Sinclair Lewis to be "invited" to a jail cell in New Hampshire and to his own lynching in Virginia. His portrait of a golden-tongued evangelist who rises to power within his church - a saver of souls who lives a life of

Overview

Today universally recognized as a landmark in American literature, Elmer Gantry scandalized readers when it was first published, causing Sinclair Lewis to be "invited" to a jail cell in New Hampshire and to his own lynching in Virginia. His portrait of a golden-tongued evangelist who rises to power within his church - a saver of souls who lives a life of hypocrisy, sensuality, and ruthless self-indulgence - is also the record of a period, a reign of grotesque vulgarity, which but for Lewis would have left no record of itself. Elmber Gantry has been called the greatest, most vital, and most penetrating study of hyposcriy that has been written since Voltaire.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Lewis fut un auteur prophetique autant qu'un chroniqueur exact de son temps. L'organisation des Protestants evangelistesqu'il avait predit prit reellement forme par la suite.(...) Elmer Gantry a ete interdit a Boston au moment de sa publication, etsans aucun doute de multiples ecoles et bibliotheques sont encore en train d'essayer de le bannir de leurs rayons. Autant qu'unproduit de son propre moment historique, ce livre s'avere de notre temps egalement, et probablement de tous les temps.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781433222146
Publisher:
Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
02/28/2008
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
12
Product dimensions:
6.03(w) x 7.01(h) x 2.04(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

HARRY SINCLAIR LEWIS (1885-1951), the son of a country doctor, was born in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. He attended Yale University, where he was editor of the literary magazine, and graduated in 1907. After a few of his stories had appeared in magazines and his first novel, Our Mr. Wrenn (1914), had been published, he was able to write full time. He was awarded the 1926 Pulitzer Prize for Arrowsmith (1925) but refused to accept this honor. However, in 1930 he accepted the Nobel Prize for literature, the first American to win that honor.

ANTHONY HEALD has earned Tony nominations and an Obie Award for his theater work, had guest appearances in television’s Law & Order, The X-Files, Miami Vice, and Boston Public, and starred as Dr. Frederick Chilton in the 1991 Oscar®-winning film Silence of the Lambs.

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Elmer Gantry 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Michigander More than 1 year ago
Sinclair Lewis uses the character of Elmer Gantry to vent his apparent deep-seated resentment against revivalist Christianity. While the constant attacks on Christianity have to be keep in the context of the period when the book was written, it is important to realize that even men of the cloth have their knaves and charletans. It is a classic book and a good read. Just don't get caught up in Lewis' politics of the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
A gritty look at where religion has been and how it has changed, or not. Very interesting history of the evangelical movement in this country. Ends a little flat, but really worth reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Elmer Gantry is about a college football player that is respected only because he is a four year starter, and he is a bully. Elmer Gantry is an alcoholic and isn¿t really happy with his life, He has only one real friend that leads him to religion, which Elmer gantry ends up preaching, very well. He brings multiple communities together and is brought to Rome because he is so good, then there is a plot against him that he has cheated on his wife and some money has been disappearing. Elmer doesn¿t want to lose his job so he preaches to the crowd and since he has a gift with words, they believe he didn¿t do it. This story is ok but gets very old about halfway through the book, because all he does is preach and everyone that hears him is completely mesmerized by his words. Then the fact that he goes from alcoholic, to preacher and is the best there is at it is very hard to comprehend. Also the book ends abruptly, not giving much information on what happened to him after the whole plot. I am a person who likes action in a book or the book reveals a new concept, but this book is kind of boring and religion isn¿t new. On the flip side I liked the beginning where he was feared more than respected, which is true with some football players, and he got class president because of his athleticism. Overall this book is good for the first couple of chapters but the middle and end drag it down to a three star.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had a hard time getting through this book. A lot of sermons and philosophy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In reading 'Elmer Gantry', I was immediately interested due to the fact that I am quite the religious person myself. I was thrilled with the way Lewis described characters and situations in a way that I have never read before. He is truly a brilliant linguist and writer. However, his topic of choice was poorly researched. While it is true that there are those evangelists and pastors who have fallen in ministry, the basis of the evangelical Christian church is not how Lewis describes it. There were, and still are, standards at which the church is run. The Baptist ministry, or any other ministry, would not have survived today if they had such a flimsy government (i.e. simply allowing athiests to be professors, students to drink and smoke, pastors to have no accountability while on assignment) or standards. While I found his ideas interesting, they are simply false. A strong foundation builds a lasting institution, and the Baptists, Methodists, or any other evangelical institution is thriving and does not look to be extinct any time soon.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The lack of any real central plot can be hard at times and sometimes you wanna get people moving by giving them a good kick in the as*. The book is good though, the characters are well developed, and you really feel sympathy for them. Elmer Gantry starts out as anybody else could have in a small southern town.His motives for power are not far feached from excuses we tell ourselves everyday. Yet slowly he is corrupted by his own power and its interesting to watch the wake of misery he leaves for those hes supposed to help. I wish there was a final ending but I guess it adds to the style of the book. Theres no guns or mass murders but theres a lot of evil backstabbing, hypocrisy, adultery, and you really learn a lot about the universal nature of mans corruptness. All set against the backdrop of preachers rise to power. If its your thing then by all means enjoy this book, if not enjoy it anyways. some will hate it, some will love it, you got to decide for yourself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was asked to read Elmer Gantry in a high school english class. The topic seemed interesting enough; man does good things for bad reasons. Interesting? No. Though I understood the book's message and the point it tried to show, I thought the prose was bland and unspectacular. However, I feel that was almost purposeful. Elmer(the main character) spoke so powerfully to his audience, maybe Lewis was simply showing that in stark contrast to the bore of everyday Christian life.