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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that could change your life
Read Arrowsmith early in life, and you'll want to become a doctor, marry a Leora, and read everything else Sinclair Lewis wrote. While not "fashionable," Arrowsmith's search for truth and his relationship with Leora are far beyond any politically correct world view. The writing is incredible. When I first read it (a dozen or so times ago), I could not fathom...
Published on 20 April 1999

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2.0 out of 5 stars An endless zigzag
Sinclair Lewis defines Martin Arrowsmith as `a young man who was in no degree a hero, who regarded himself as a seeker of truth, yet who stumbled and slid back all his life and bogged in every obvious morass.' He is `a snuffing beagle', who in his lifespan covered in this book never was in control of his destiny.

This book touches all kind of important...
Published on 22 Mar 2007 by Luc REYNAERT


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that could change your life, 20 April 1999
By A Customer
Read Arrowsmith early in life, and you'll want to become a doctor, marry a Leora, and read everything else Sinclair Lewis wrote. While not "fashionable," Arrowsmith's search for truth and his relationship with Leora are far beyond any politically correct world view. The writing is incredible. When I first read it (a dozen or so times ago), I could not fathom how any writer could be so creative, so different, so perfect. Give it to your favorite teenager. You could change his or her life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opening our eyes to a world so wide, yet so common., 26 Jun 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Arrowsmith (Signet Classics) (Mass Market Paperback)
Sinclair Lewis, in his novel, ARROWSMITH, reflects the common ordinary feelings that every student of graduate studies and those from junior colleges face, self confidence. Upon graduation, I always feared of making th grade in the real world. His charecters are among us, the chapters are metaphors of our own lives and dreams. Do read it and see the reflections Lewis carries to you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pulitzer or not, this is a prized favorite., 26 Sep 1995
By A Customer
While reading some older pulitzer winner's, I found a copy of "Arrowsmith" and decided to plunge in. This is a deliteful story about an ambitious young doctor in the 1920's, and his struggle to find a "worthy" use of his medical skills. A thinly veiled contempt for commercialized medicine runs throughout the story, but never gets too "preachy". A very good choice for any med student or young doctor, or anyone at all.
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2.0 out of 5 stars An endless zigzag, 22 Mar 2007
By 
Luc REYNAERT (Beernem, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Sinclair Lewis defines Martin Arrowsmith as `a young man who was in no degree a hero, who regarded himself as a seeker of truth, yet who stumbled and slid back all his life and bogged in every obvious morass.' He is `a snuffing beagle', who in his lifespan covered in this book never was in control of his destiny.

This book touches all kind of important themes:

- Commercialism and the religion of a scientist: `Knowledge is the greatest thing in the medical world, but it's no good whatever if you can't sell it.'

- Commercialism and profession: `Explain to a patient, also his stricken and anxious family, the hard work and thought you are giving to his case, and so make him feel that the good you have done to him, is even greater than the fee you plan to charge.'

- Public v. private health system: `to get rid of avoidable diseases and produce a healthy population is killing commercialization, making money. Therefore doctors must become public health officers.'

- Psycho-analysts as guess-scientists.

- General human problems: `the cruelty of nature kicking human beings by every gay device of moonlight and white limbs into heaving babies.

- Influence of the Church on the irrationality of the masses. Its battle against free-thinking.

- Personal problems: alcoholism, marriage.

None of these themes is properly developed.

The scientific basis of this book is very poor: fighting the plague with bacteriophages.

Into the bargain, there is virtually no plot: the human relations with friends, colleagues, professors or women are more or less accidental. Also, after a far too long itinerary, the story ends abruptly.

This book is a big disappointment and can only be recommended to Sinclair Lewis fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking and satirical study of the medical profession, 29 Jun 2010
By 
Sarah A. Brown (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arrowsmith (Signet Classics) (Mass Market Paperback)
Arrowsmith is one of Lewis's more obviously engaging heroes, and in some ways, at least at first, this seemed a more genial novel than say `Babbitt' or `Elmer Gantry'. It follows the pattern of a Bildungsroman in which the hero, whose own background is comparatively humble, struggles to succeed as a doctor and find the right path within that career.

Like other Lewis novels, `Arrowsmith' foregrounds the dangers of commercialism, which it plots against disinterested scientific research. The hero is pulled between idealism and pragmatism, and between the competing attractions of a succession of mentors, beginning with the slightly disreputable country doctor who inspires him as a boy, and moving on to a variety of more senior medics, most notably the sardonic, conscientious, disappointed Gottlieb.

`Arrowsmith' is quite unusual in its focus on work. Romance does play a role, but it is a strictly secondary one. Although those in the medical profession will probably find this novel particularly resonant and engaging, it's an excellent depiction of office/professional life more generally, in its portrayal of a young man who is always hoping that the next move will fulfil all his dreams, and who hovers between principle and pure research on the one hand and, on the other, the urge to impress the boss, to `get on'. Arrowsmith yearns to fit in and be a social success, yet paradoxically he also views the lifestyle of his conventional and prosperous colleagues with distaste, and wants to remain fastidiously aloof.

`Arrowsmith' as a novel mirrors Arrowsmith the protagonist in that its tone is uncertain, jumping between broad satire, tragedy, dark comedy, cynicism and idealism. I often felt surprised and wrongfooted by the turns of the plot.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An inferior version of The Citadel, 3 Sep 2008
This review is from: Arrowsmith (Mass Market Paperback)
Though hailed as the definitive medical novel I must say that I was somewhat disappointed by this book and it compares very unfavourably to the superb Citadel by Cronin which tells a similar sort of tale only with an English doctor as its protagonist rather than an American. Arrowsmith is the tale of an idealistic young doctors corruption and redemption, along the way he falls in love and faces the usual dilemmas that are found in these type of books. However the writing is clumsy, the book is overlong and Arrowsmith isn't a likeable enough character for us to actually want to find out about his life and his struggles. Read The Citadel instead, it is a far far superior book on a very similar subject (the story line is almost identical in fact, just the telling of the story is better).
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Arrowsmith (Signet Classics)
Arrowsmith (Signet Classics) by Sinclair Lewis (Mass Market Paperback - 26 Nov 1998)
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