Book Review

It Can’t Happen Here


I’m not quite sure why I decided to read this book.  Maybe it was seeing it included in a new genre called Prophetic Dystopian Literature, and being curious.  I mean, for a book written in 1935 to be part of a new genre, with the author none other than Sinclair Lewis, who wrote Main Street and was the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature?  I was surely intrigued by the word “prophetic,” given what is happening in America today, and the word “dystopian,” given my dislike for said happenings.  Maybe the title alone, It Can’t Happen Here, clinched it.

Whatever.  I couldn’t finish this book.  And it was totally my fault.  The writing is brilliant, chock full of the wit and description for which Lewis was known.  But yeah, talk about prophetic and dystopian.  Talk about America today.

Since the election, I’ve stopped listening to the nightly news and limit myself to short clips on my phone.  It’s too depressing to hear more – which is exactly what I felt two-thirds of the way through this book.  The plot had taken turns that were so appalling, so real, so frightening that I couldn’t read on.  Oh yes, it could happen here.

I gave this book three stars for its standing in the history of literature.  It lost two stars because … well, just because.


Share this: