Both a devastating, surprisingly contemporary portrait of a marriage falling apart and a grand tour of the Europe of a bygone era, Dodsworth is stamped with Sinclair Lewis' signature satire, which is wickedly observant of America's foibles - and great fun.
A wealthy and less interesting version of Babbitt. Characters speak in ridiculous long speeches. Not Lewis' best work.
The narrator's voice was a little distracting at first when he read the females dialog. ...but I soon grew accustomed to it.
Once again, the book was far better than the film.
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Dodsworth started out well. Sam Dodsworth picks Fran for his lifelong sweetheart, marries her, and they live more or less happily together for thirty-something years. Before they married, he promised to one day take her to Europe. After he has built up an automobile manufacturing business and become a millionaire (but not a multi-millionaire), his company is bought out by a larger company, and he opts to retire instead of joining the new company in a subsidiary role. Finally, he can take Fran to Europe. So they set out.
Sam has mixed feelings about his travels. There are scenes and people he enjoys, but Fran spoils much of the trip with her attitude about the people they meet, the service, etc. She seems to mostly want to go where she can be admired and party, and doesn’t at all like the same people as Sam. Eventually they break up, and Sam meets someone more congenial after wandering around alone for a long time. Then Fran’s great romance breaks up, and suddenly she wants to go home with Sam again.
The book, like the tour of Europe, seemed to go on too long, making scenes that ought to have been beautiful dull and tawdry after all the unsatisfactory company.