Book pak Recorded Books 1998
CS ISBN 0788718770 $85.00 Ten cassettes
Not especially known for its prose style, Sinclair Lewis's art is often based on accumulation; he adds detail to detail until a larger picture sharpens. This classic novel portrays middle-aged George Babbitt and his irreconcilable urges to conform to social standards and to satisfy his deeper inner restlessness. Lewis delineates and satirizes Babbitt's bourgeois nature with small and large data, such as his booster button, his slang ("tux" for "dinner jacket"), his jingoism, his hypochondria, his naive politics, his worries about his clothes. Such a style makes George Guidall's measured narration a bit inappropriate--Guidall's deliberate approach sometimes lingers needlessly over individual sentences that do not repay such scrutiny. The many conversational scenes come off as more lively and are much better. Overall, this is a serviceable reading, but the paradigm for Babbitt on cassette remains the multi-voiced, unabridged performance by L.A. Theatre Works. G.H. ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/NOV 98]
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