The Gnomobile Upton Sinclair

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The Gnomobile  by  Upton Sinclair

The Gnomobile by Upton Sinclair
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Muckraker extraordinaie, Upton Sinclair who exposed the meat packing industry in The Jungle & is the source behind the film, There Will Be Blood (loose adaptation of Oil!) wrote a childrens book (which then was adapted into the 60s Disney musical of the same name)!

Who would of thought Sinclair would or could write for kids. Dude was steadfast vehement in his vitriol toward all that was/is wrong in the world, beginning with capitalism. The Gnomobile is a great little book. A little girl comes face to face with a gnome in the Redwoods & he is alone with only his grandfather who is unwell. They want desperately to find & live among their fellow gnomes again but the others have disappeared.

The girl, Elizabeth, teams up with her eccentric Uncle Rodney - whose family is in - you might have guessed it - the lumber industry on an almost cross country adventure to find the rest of the gnome population. Along the way, they have many adventures & it all reads very fast-paced. Sinclair miraculously imbues humor & silliness. I was impressed! Essentially, though, this is a story about environmentalism & an attack on the lumber industry & deforestation and while there are moments he points out our collective lack of values as a society, the end result is light-hearted without becoming preachy.

I get the feeling that Sinclair tapped into 2 sides of his personality in order to write the characters of Rodney & Glogo. Rodney, the young lumber scion who goes against his familys wishes believes in hope & believes that, yes!, we can make a difference! Glogo, the elderly gnome with neurasthenia, on the other hand feels powerless over any challenge presented to him. I heartily recommend this book. Its a damn shame its no longer in print.



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