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Editorial Reviews

This 1924 classic traces the less than satisfying career of a doctor from his college training through his small-town practice, participation in a city health agency, and work in a West Indian clinic, where he hopes to engage in pure science and escape the money-grubbing that has so frustrated him earlier. Sinclair Lewis won the Pulitzer Prize for Arrowsmith but refused it, out of pique, some critics suggest, because he felt he should have won it for his earlier novels. The novel still makes good listening today, in large measure because of the competence of narrator John McDonough. Though he could use a little more drama and more consistent differentiation among the many characters, his style eventually becomes as compelling as the novel itself.
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Publisher's Summary

The son of a country doctor, Sinclair Lewis turned to writing instead of medicine. He won the Nobel Prize in 1930. Arrowsmith was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. This is the story of a brilliant young man who dedicates his life to science, yet finds that corruption, not disease, is his greatest foe.
Martin Arrowsmith is fascinated by science and medicine. As a boy, he immerses himself in Gray’s Anatomy. In medical school, he soaks up knowledge from his mentor, a renowned bacteriologist. But soon he is urged to focus on politics and promotions rather than his research. Even as Martin progresses from doctor to public health official and noted pathologist, he still yearns to devote his time to pure science.
Published in 1924, this novel had a profound effect on the reading public. As an expose of professional greed and fraud, it was a call to scrutinize flawed medical practices. Now, through John McDonough’s vibrant narration, it is a truly notable audiobook.
Public Domain (P)2001 Recorded Books, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Stephen on 09-08-13

Arrowsmith - The Classic Book, Not the Band

Book: In general, I do not comment on classics. However, I found the story interesting since it draws from the history in the US from 100 years ago: Pre-WWI, midwest, industrialization of the economy, the movement of most of the population from the farm to the city, etc - all the changes - economic, political, social, etc. I liked it but if you were looking for fast moving book, this is not it. However, if want to see changes in personalities and slices of social groups, it is interesting with great wording and character development. I sure it won the Noble Prize for Literature for its social-political aspect, in part, but it is a very good piece of literature.

Performance: The reader was very good. In time, I forgot there was reader and toward the end of the book the reader acted some of the characters well out.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Kenneth West on 05-23-15

Precursor to Rand's The Fountainhead

It's no coincidence that Ayn Rand read many of Sinclair Lewis's novels, especially Arrowsmith. The theme of Arrowsmith is staying true to oneself, to one's very soul. Unlike Howard Roark in The Fountainhead, Martin Arrowsmith has not achieved the certainty of Roark, yet he fights throughout the book to not be a second-hander (to use Rand's term). He succeeds, but it takes the length of the book to find out for sure.

Wonderful book!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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