SIDRON PLANISH by Sinclair Lewis


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Lewis stages a comeback to the Elmer Gantry period, let's say-with the first thesis novel in his true and tried vein for some time. Gideon Planish is a figure made to order for Dewis' sharp tongue and gift of take-off, and he unrolls the reel of development as a ""professional wisdom dealer, fact softener, information retailer, lay priest, unofficial censor, critic who didn't need to know anything about anything to tell everybody everything about everything"". We see him first as a bumptious freshman, then as a youngish professor in a one horse college -- and education comes off second test. Urged on by his ambitious -- but devoted -- young wife, he goes from racket to racket, organized charity, organized religion, organized democracy, bunks inflated by public relation counseling in the best style of the 20's and 30's. One senses echoes of half forgotten ferments; and one grows suspicious of the ""fronts"" of even respectable foundations, as Lewis takes them apart with ironic skill. This is sure shooting for the Lewis fans -- faith restorer for those who like the Lewis of It Can't and Elmer Gantry. But there's been such an overdose of crusades against this type of thing that one wonders whether now is the time to attack again. Or should the war be allowed to bury the issues involved? Anyhow, Lewis contributes his spaceful effectively, in typical Lewis fashion.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1943
Publisher: Random House