Sinclair Lewis (Bantam Classics, ISBN 978-0553214864)
Clayton’s households divide into two genera: proletarian families (and students) who accept Clayton’s wonderful seediness and property-amassing twenty-first-century Babbitts who resent it.
Amongst the latter, Bill Pontikis stands out for his efforts to assemble Clayton’s residents and businesses into a community. As one who has experienced Mr. Pontikis in person – sometimes at distances as little as five feet, I must conclude that rather than acting from any humanitarian motive, he simply wishes to enlarge the opportunities for commercial rapine. Nonetheless, the fact remains that unlike the majority of Clayton’s other petty napoleons, Pontikis has shown himself willing to take a hand in civic life. Continue reading