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When I read this book, it started my love for Sinclair Lewis He is, as far as I m concerned, the Charles Dickens of the US This book is about a young man who experiences disappointments and disillusionment in his life on his way to a career that he believes he wants. Small town doctor scales the heights of the scientific community Pulitzer Prize winner and then there s also they could rock, but they couldn t spellupdate I m abashed to say now that I will need to reacquire the book, since, having read Main Street, I hope to read re read all his best novels, of which Arrowsmith is one.I am sorry to admit that this is one of the two three books I ve read by Lewis, especially so since I grew up about 30 miles from Sauk Centre Minnesota, where he was born and raised The other book by him that I ve read is It Can t Happen Here, which unfortunately seemsplausibly prophetic as time goes on Perhaps I will have the opportunity to read other of read all his great novels in the years ahead, here s hoping Previous review Another WorldRecent review Seven Against ThebesNext review Boswell s Presumptuous TaskPrevious library review It Can t Happen HereNext library review Main Street @Download Book ï Arrowsmith à Originally Published In , After Three Years Of Anticipation, The Book Follows The Life Of Martin Arrowsmith, A Rather Ordinary Fellow Who Gets His First Taste Of Medicine AtAs An Assistant To The Drunken Physician In His Home TownIt Is Leora Tozer Who Makes Martin S Life Extraordinary With Vitality And Love, She Urges Him Beyond The Confines Of The Mundane To Risk Answering His True Calling As A Scientist And Researcher Not Even Her Tragic Death Can Extinguish Her Spirit Or Her Impact On Martin S LifeAfter Years Of Work As A Small Town Doctor And A Research Scientist, Arrowsmith Heads For The West Indies With A Serum To Halt An Epidemic A Tragic Turn Of Events Forces Him To Come To Terms With His Career And His Personal LifeAs The Son And Grandson Of Physicians, Sinclair Lewis Had A Store Of Experiences And Imparted Knowledge To Draw Upon For Arrowsmith What a premise for a book A young man falls in love, not just with a young woman, but with a quest This is the passion that infuses Arrowsmith How the author was able to put blood into such an idea explains in part the Pulitzer prize.The other part that explains the award is that the book is a good read Covering the nearly 20 years during which a student and later researcher learns to embrace his life s calling, the plot never stalls The constant motion guides us along with Martin Arrowsmith as he follows the thread leading him out of a labyrinth of false promises, and up upon his own personal road less traveled by During my reading, I couldn t help comparing the book to The Fountainhead, a book with a similar moral and strikingly similar plot elements The notion of man as a hero who overcomes constant adversity drives the action in both stories But Arrowsmith, published some 20 years before, is the better book One difference is that the later book presents us with a young hero having a fully developed moral sense to start with, and with our book here we see, to better effect, how a man becomes a heroic figure in the first place how he learns which choices really matter Another point of contrast lies in the role of capitalism, which helps the protagonist in The Fountainhead but hampers Martin in his own search for creative freedom Either way, the effective status of the free market plays a crucial role in both books.In further contrast, one finds in Martin a callow lad vulnerable to poor judgment, a flaw that elicits an indulgent sympathy This high strung fellow with a slightly nerdy disposition, black hair on pale skin and dreamy eyes, yaps away with an impossible awe shucks Midwestern affectation His voice sometimes hits an jarringly piercing note at other points his brusque rudeness abrades Testy frustration at times pushes him to overwrought tears And does his own self discovery, in the end, arrive at the expense of a family member Proneness to error makes up the bread and butter of the plot.Rare for a novel, the scientific method is a theme, for Martin s self actualization depends on it The necessity of controls in a solid experiment and the need for uninterrupted research factor into the story The corrupting power of commerce and personal popularity is a danger in which the young doctor finds himself entangled again and again Like him, we find ourselves even today grappling with the effect that the profit motive exerts on clinical research.Let s not think that a man turned so inward ends up entirely alone But again, we find Martin s affections becoming psychological, possibly even at the expense of the sexual and familial For such as he, the attraction of the mental bond two people can forge is a discovery that sets his psychic makeup apart from the crowd.To this book, with its distinctive Midwestern tang, I gave a high rating I recommend it for readers who are looking for an unlikely subject and an unusual hero, a protagonist pushing against a riptide toward unexpected contentment. 3.5 stars, rounded down.To truly appreciate Arrowsmith, you must appreciate satire, because much of this book is written a bit tongue in cheek Martin Arrowsmith is a man who aspires to be a pure scientist, and struggles to do so in the face of commercialism, hubris and ambition I must confess to not liking Martin universally He is pompous at times, and he is cold and unfeeling at others I wanted him to find a better balance between his dedication to his work and his personal relationships, particularly the one he shared with his wife, Leora.I was struck with how little has changed in our society over the century that lies between the publication of this novel and our own day Martin Arrowsmith is a physician, but one who cares little for the practice of medicine and is muchinvolved with the research of disease With our current struggle with how to best provide health care for the masses, I could see so many of the questions were the same in 1920 Do you rush to market with an inoculation that has not been completely proved or do you continue your research until you are satisfied there can be no error, risking the deaths of infected people and the chance that someone else will beat you to the market with their own serum What is the purpose of the independent research laboratory the production of discovery useful to the population or the making of profits for the shareholders What about the charming but ignorant, or worse, morally corrupt, men who are running things, making the decisions, choosing the direction While I found this to be well written and its message meaningful, there was a missing element for me, and that was emotional involvement I found that the further into the story I got theemotionally divorced I felt I could not muster a tear when the events in the story might have merited one, nor could I feel the injustice or frustration, although I recognized it and chronicled it I was very much looking forward to reading this, and I felt a bit deflated when I closed the last page.Don t misunderstand, I am not suggesting it isn t worth the reading, it just didn t live up to my expectations. Humans as a species were never intended to live in our mass groupings of modern times Not only are we too belligerent and crewel to one another, but our own biology serves to kill each other off The only thing that has saved us from ourselves, that has provided us with some breathing room and has allowed us the space to mentally subdue the dangers of the crowd, is science And by science, I really mean to say truth The absolute kind of truth that serves as an absolute rock in a world largely devoid of such solid and immovable objects As with the other Sinclair Lewis novels that I ve read, Arrowsmith covers a broad span of years in the life of its main character, Martin Arrowsmith It s a life that touches the heart of my own life in that Martin has a love for the truth He wants to know things, but he wants to know them with certainty.As a young disciple of the truth, Martin turns to science, or the common outlet for science medicine He searches for truth throughout his long career as a doctor and constantly runs into its compromised existence He finds that truth is constantly assailed by all the forces that comprise humanity Things like friendship, love, greed, jealousy, and compassion serve to dilute the substance of pure truth and serve to render it inept Martin also finds that actual control over society is often contrived from this diluted form of truth Along the way, however, Martin meets the love of his life and her name is Leora In many ways, Leora is the human embodiment of truth, which is why I found her so endearing as a character Even though her presence is something of a side note to Martin s life, she offers a glimpse into what a useful and meaningful truth in society could ultimately look like absolute fact blended with an imperfect humanity but tempered with reason But getting to that sort of future will only be possible if we can all bring ourselves to care about the truth, and know what the truth is, in this imperfect world. I just finished this novel earlier today I was blown away In her book, The Art of Fiction, Ayn Rand refers to this work by Sinclair Lewis often She compares it to The Fountainhead a number of times, and rightly so Martin Arrowsmith is much like Howard Roark in many ways, though Roark hadintegrity Martin seemed so muchhuman than Roark though There are times that all idealists fall short from their way of life Martin sells out a few time in this story, but it makes his characterinteresting The conflict isreal life than in the Fountainhead Do not get me wrong, I also gave The Fountainhead a five star rating I love the book I love both of these books My favorite aspect of this book is the relationship between Martin and Max I know what it is like to have such high respect for an individual to the point where when you violate their values, you are convicted yourself Max would be a great mentor to those who pursue individualism and idealism The novel is written so well and there was not a single spot that had me confused There was a literary flow to the story The events lined up perfectly and rendered Martin s development without flaw I would highly recommend this book to anybody who believes in individualism and understands the fight one must engage in to achieve their personal goals The only problem that I had with this book was the ending I mean, I like how the story ends, but I do not like the summary feel to the last few chapters All of the events occurred so fast and it was difficult to appreciate each event This person dies, this person marries, this person is born, this person quits his job, this person moves, etc It just seemed that the last few chapters could have been extended a bit since Lewis was so detailed when he spoke of Martins school experience, his time in North Dakota, and his career development To wrap things up at the end almost felt like a rip off Regardless of my thoughts, this book is solid, plain and simple Read it. First of all let me state, I preferred Main Street This was a disappointment even if it started out good I do like the clever lines filled with sardonic humor, but they wore thin after a while You must listen carefully or you may not catch the implied criticism The book is too long, and it is repetitive A message is delivered, but that message is said over and over again The central focus is upon those in the medical profession The author is stating that many are view spoilerinterested in fame and fortune hide spoiler Sinclair Lewis refused to accept the Pulitzer Prize for this extraordinary novel, but don t refuse the opportunity to read it Lewis writes with devastating precision, creativity, and wicked humor, while skewering the abundant egotism, vanity, greed and self aggrandizement he finds in his fellow human beings This novel follows Dr Martin Arrowsmith from small Midwest town the setting of most of Lewis works in medic school through his career, during which he is constantly challenged to balance the ideals he learned as a scientific researcher to pursue truth, with the pressures of the healthcare market Arrowsmith absorbed the philosophy of Professor Max Gottlieb, a slightly mysterious, arrogant German Jewish researcher who intimidates and ridicules most of his students as unworthy of his attention, but who prizes going slow to ensure lab results are iron proof before publishing results The shadow of Max Gottlieb hangs over Martin Arrowsmith as he discovers the harsher realities of life as a small country doctor, and later, the political realities of working in a public health department under a mandedicated to finding a way to Congress than to doing his job When Arrowsmith later works as a medical researcher for a company trying to fast track medicines and cosmetic wonders to market, he is told it s old fashioned and parochial to withhold publishing, because they live in an age of commerce and competition Martin is outraged He preached to himself, as Max Gottlieb had once preached to him, the loyalty of dissent, the faith of being very doubtful, the gospel of now bawling gospels, the wisdom of admitting the probably ignorance of one s self and of everybody else, and the energetic acceleration of a Movement for going very slow The stakes for Arrowsmith s philosophy become grave when he is asked to go to the Caribbean to help with an outbreak of plague There, his training to use controls in his experiments and not to hurry any inoculation before its time clashes with the grim reality of people dying by the score each day on the Island Arrowsmith struggles to do what s right, wrestling constantly with Gottlieb s standard of total scientific purity versus saving those he can Written in 1925, this novel is still amazingly current as a look at human nature, the world of health care, and the forces that can corrupt both. I feel like I should be given a reward for making it through this, one of the most boring novels I ve ever read Maybe a coupon for a free pair of shoes, or a fruit basket Every page was sheer torture No plot point, no character, no line of dialogue, was interesting Not one sentence glimmered or sparkled with the suggestion this writer is prizeworthy.When you consider two other American works published this same year that could have won the Pulitzer The Great Gatsby and An American Tragedy the mind does boggle just a bit.I was going to give the book two stars out of deference to the Nobel Prize But then in the final pages Arrowsmith view spoiler left his wife and very young child he was annoyed by the number of social engagements his wife wanted him to attend and moved to the woods to do science with a fellow man scientist Lewis portrays this move as heroic the scientist rising above ordinary existence in his quest to pursue pure knowledge and improve the world But in reality Arrowsmith has been an asshole his entire life in college he gets engaged to two girls at once while married to his first wife he kisses and entertains thoughts of having affairs with two different women, the second one while his wife is actually dying of the plague several miles away hide spoiler