Dragon’s Teeth by Upton Sinclair Download (read online) free eBook (PDF ePub Kindle)

Dragon's Teeth

Dragon’s Teeth is the most celebrated novel of this Upton Sinclair series, as it won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1943.

This book covers 1929-1934, with a special emphasis on the Nazi takeover of Germany in the 1930s. It is the third of Upton Sinclair’s World’s End series of eleven novels about Lanny Budd, a socialist, art expert, and “red” son of an American arms m

This book covers 1929-1934, with a special emphasis on the Nazi takeover of Germany in the 1930s. It is the third of Upton Sinclair’s World’s End series of eleven novels about Lanny Budd, a socialist, art expert, and “red” son of an American arms manufacturer.
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    Erika

    Oct 23, 2016

    rated it
    did not like it

    Shelves:
    never-finished

    This novel is the third in a series, and reading it without having read the other two first felt like being at a party where everyone has the same thing in common except you. Your neighbor’s nephew’s surprise-goodbye celebration. People are making toasts, ready to cry, and you’re not sure where the nephew is going or if you’re supposed to be happy or sad about it.

    Upton Sinclair wrote 11 Lanny Budd novels during the 40s and early 50s, and they were all huge sellers at the time. Dragon’s Teeth wo

    Upton Sinclair wrote 11 Lanny Budd novels during the 40s and early 50s, and they were all huge sellers at the time. Dragon’s Teeth won the Pulitzer in 1943, so I was expecting something entertaining, or at least readable, but I found it to be neither and finally abandoned the novel about 40% of the way through.

    The action takes place during the depression and rise of Nazi Germany. Lanny is married to Irma Barnes, a wealthy heiress, and together they gallivant around Europe visiting with friends and family from the earlier novels. This book has many weaknesses, but the worst for me was an ironic, nudge-and-wink quality to the writing that I suspect was seen as clever at the time, but I found really annoying. Here are some examples.

    Irma said, “Your mother must come and help us.” So Lanny wrote at once, and that old war-mare said “Ha,ha!” and scented the battle afar off. It would have been a mortal affront to invite one mother-in-law and not the other, so Irma sent a cablegram to [Lanny’s mother] and that older and more experienced charger dropped all her plans and took the first steamer.

    or

    The Jewish money-lord tried to keep friendly with everybody, and he knew that many who would not ordinarily darken his door were willing to come when a celebrated American heiress was his guest. [Irma] knew that this Jewish family had risen in the world with the [her] help but so long as they showed a proper gratitude and didn’t develop a case of “swelled head” it was all right for the help to continue.

    Which brings up another issue with the novel. Lanny is a perfect hero who stands tall under the threat of Nazism and commits brave, selfless acts to fight against it. Irma, on the other hand, is depicted as silly and shallow. This might be due to sexism or maybe it’s Sinclair’s views on wealth, but whatever the reason, he robbed her character of any dignity and humanity. As her creator, he owes her more.

    But Irma is doesn’t affect the plot all that much and I’m probably oversensitive to how she’s characterized. Instead, the novel centers on Lanny’s daring efforts to get a Jewish friend out Germany. I’ve read a lot of positive reviews of Dragon’s Teeth, saying that Sinclair is a “master of plot, character development and suspense.”

    I didn’t see it and found the book to be a shallow, and badly written, polemic.

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