Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Babbit was my book club's November choice, which was quite appropo given the real estate crisis. It's the story of George Babbit, a completely average, middle American business man, a conservative, Republican, who goes to church and the right Booster clubs. He sticks to the middle of the road with a vengence.

Lewis' has some beautiful sentences in this satiric novel. The tone's matter of fact with a zing. For example,
His name was George F. Babbitt. He was forty-six years old now, in April 1920, and he made nothing in particular, neither butter nor shoes nor poetry, but he was nimble in the calling of selling houses for more than people could afford to pay. p.2
Babbit is quite smug clearly thinking he was the bee's knees. Of course, readers expect this to catch up with him. It does, but it takes quite a while. Lewis' description of Babbit's lukewarm feelings for his wife and later his confused feelings about his lover are powerfully written. The scenes when Babbit and the widow are so tentative and bourgouis, that you feel Lewis is the first writer to get this kind of relationship right. Lewis gets all the characters just right.

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