Dodsworth

By Sinclair Lewis
Read by Grover Gardner

13.35 Hours 01/01/2008 unabridged
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Meet Sam Dodsworth, an amiable fifty-year-old millionaire and “American Captain of Industry, believing in the Republican Party, high tariffs and, so long as they did not annoy him personally, in Prohibition and the Episcopal Church.” Dodsworth runs an auto manufacturing firm, but his beautiful wife, Fran, obsessed with the notion that she is growing old, persuades him to sell his interest in the company and take her to Europe. He agrees for the sake of their marriage, but before long, the pretensions of the cosmopolitan scene prove more enticing to Fran than her husband. Both a devastating, surprisingly contemporary portrait of a marriage falling apart and a grand tour of the Europe of a bygone era, Dodsworth is stamped with Sinclair Lewis’ signature satire, wickedly observant of America’s foibles, and great fun.

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Summary

Summary

Meet Sam Dodsworth, an amiable fifty-year-old millionaire and “American Captain of Industry, believing in the Republican Party, high tariffs and, so long as they did not annoy him personally, in Prohibition and the Episcopal Church.” Dodsworth runs an auto manufacturing firm, but his beautiful wife, Fran, obsessed with the notion that she is growing old, persuades him to sell his interest in the company and take her to Europe. He agrees for the sake of their marriage, but before long, the pretensions of the cosmopolitan scene prove more enticing to Fran than her husband.

Both a devastating, surprisingly contemporary portrait of a marriage falling apart and a grand tour of the Europe of a bygone era, Dodsworth is stamped with Sinclair Lewis’ signature satire, wickedly observant of America’s foibles, and great fun.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Lewis is an ingenious satirist of the American middle class, mimicking its speech and actions with what seems to be photographic realism but is actually more or less good-humored caricature.” Oxford Companion to American Literature
“Lewis’ remarkable 1929 satirical novel…is brought to life in a straightforward yet entirely enjoyable performance by Grover Gardner…Gardner’s Dodsworth is a clear-cut and firm individual whose voice shifts ever so slightly once he begins to realize that there is far more to life than just a paycheck.” Publishers Weekly

Reviews

Reviews

by Ash Ryan 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Lewis's insight ranges from the interpersonal to the intercontinental

An underappreciated classic...one of the great novels of the 20th century. More so than Babbitt, which is justly recognized as such. The same is true of Arrowsmith. Babbitt is a brilliant satire of the early 20th century midwestern American bourgeois businessman (basically a portrait of a W.A.S.P.)---Dodsworth and Arrowsmith are, respectively, portraits of the American industrialist and scientist, and while they are naturalistic, "warts and all" portrayals, Lewis by and large portrays them as possessing a certain nobility, even heroism.

Dodsworth is also one of the great American fictional treatments of travel abroad, up there with those of Twain, and much better than, say, Updike's.

But mostly, Dodsworth is an examination of the disintegration of a marriage, and through the spouses that represent them, of American versus European culture. Lewis offers a lot of insight into these subjects, ranging in scope from the interpersonal to the intercontinental. I can't think of any other writers that have been able to do that better than he does here.

Grover Gardner's reading of this audio edition is excellent, and a great way to experience this wonderful novel.

Author

Author Bio: Sinclair Lewis

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 the honor. However, he accepted the Nobel Prize awarded him in 1930. He was the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 13.35
Audience: Adult
Language: English