This novel tells the story of a young, narcissistic, womanizing college athlete who abandons his early ambition to become a lawyer. The legal profession did not suit the unethical Gantry, who then became a notorious and cynical alcoholic. Gantry is later ordained as a Baptist minister, briefly... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
This novel tells the story of a young, narcissistic, womanizing college athlete who abandons his early ambition to become a lawyer. The legal profession did not suit the unethical Gantry, who then became a notorious and cynical alcoholic. Gantry is later ordained as a Baptist minister, briefly acts as a "New Thought" evangelist, and eventually becomes a Methodist minister. He later acts as manager for the charismatic Sharon Falconer, an itinerant evangelist. Gantry becomes her lover but loses both her and his position when she is killed in a fire at her new tabernacle.
During his career, Gantry contributes to the downfall, physical injury, and even death of key people around him, including a genuine minister, Frank Shallard. Ultimately Gantry marries well and obtains a large congregation in Lewis's fictional Midwest city of Zenith.
Throughout his life, Gantry continues as a false prophet and finds that his games lead to misery.
“I have here in my pocket - and thank heaven you can't see them - lewd, dirty, obscene, and I'm ashamed to say this: French postcards. They were sold to me in front of your own innocent high school by a man with a black beard... a foreigner.”Elemer Gantry
“I was accosted by three painted women. Your streets are made unsafe by shameless, diseased hussies, rapacious pick-pockets, and insidious opium-smokers.”Elmer Gantry
He had, in fact, got everything from the church and Sunday School, except, perhaps, any longing whatever for decency and kindness and reason.Highlighted by 25 Kindle customers
He was born to be a senator. He never said anything important, and he always said it sonorously.Highlighted by 17 Kindle customers
Elmer assumed that he was the center of the universe and that the rest of the system was valuable only as it afforded him help and pleasure.Highlighted by 16 Kindle customers
'The Roman Catholic Church is superior to the militant Protestant Church. It does not compel you to give up your sense of beauty, your sense of humor, or your pleasant vices. It merely requires you to give up your honesty, your reason, your heart and soul.'Highlighted by 15 Kindle customers
You know it's almost impossible to get people to read the Bible honestly. They've been so brought up to take the church interpretation of every word that they read into it whatever they've been taught to find there.Highlighted by 11 Kindle customers
'All you have to do,' said Zenz, 'is to get some sound and perfectly meaningless doctrine and keep repeating it. You won't bore the laymen -in fact the only thing they resent is something that is new, so they have to work their brains.Highlighted by 11 Kindle customers
Sinclair Lewis (Lord, how that book of Lewis', 'Main Street,' did bore me, as much of it as I read; it just rambled on forever, and all he could see was that some of the Gopher Prairie hicks didn't go to literary teas quite as often as he does! -that was all he could see among those splendid heroic pioneers)!Highlighted by 10 Kindle customers
The Elmer Gantry who had for years pretended that he relished defying the whole college had for those same years desired popularity. He had it now -popularity, almost love, almost reverence, and he felt overpoweringly his rôle as leading man.Highlighted by 9 Kindle customers
The light was dim, completely soothing, coming through fantastic windows such as are found only in churches, saloons, jewelry shops, and other retreats from reality.Highlighted by 8 Kindle customers
'Why is that it's only in religion that the things you got to believe are agin all experience?Highlighted by 7 Kindle customers
We’re hiding the errata, links to supplemental material, books with additional background information, books that influenced this book, books influenced by this book, books that cite this book and books cited by this book sections. If you would like to add content to them, you must first make them visible.