Elmer Gantry

Elmer Gantry

Downloadable Audiobook - 2008
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Elmer Gantry is the portrait of a silver-tongued evangelist who rises to power within his church, yet lives a life of hypocrisy, sensuality, and ruthless self-indulgence. The title character starts out as a greedy, shallow, philandering Baptist minister, turns to evangelism, and eventually becomes the leader of a large Methodist congregation. Throughout the novel, Gantry encounters fellow religious hypocrites. Although often exposed as a fraud, Gantry is never fully discredited. Elmer Gantry is considered a landmark in American literature and one of the most penetrating studies of hypocrisy in modern literature. The novel also represents the evangelistic activity of America in the 1920s and people's attitudes toward it.
Publisher: [Ashland, Or.] : Blackstone Audio, 2008
ISBN: 9781433222191
Branch Call Number: Overdrive eAudiobook
Additional Contributors: Heald, Anthony


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Apr 23, 2014

Elmer Gantry is a riveting tale of hypocrisy particularly as affecting the evangelical Protestant denominations. The protagonist, Elmer Gantry, starts off as a good ole boy attending a college in rural Kansas that provides a quality of education on the level of a good high school. Eventually Elmer becomes an ordained minister but has various scrapes with the powers that be. He leaves and becomes a salesman. He finally finds his way back to the church and in position to fulfill his ambitions. Sinclair Lewis has good ear for the voice of the various religious types (ministers, laymen, community leaders, ...) that populate the pages. He tells his story in a straightforward manner and with a certain restrained humor that keeps up a good pace. Although this story is set in the early 20th Century, the ideas and ambitions expressed by the various characters in this book still appear relevant. Sinclair Lewis does, in one paragraph, poke fun at himself and his book "Main Street".


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