Dragon's Teeth (novel)
First edition cover
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|Preceded by||Between Two Worlds (Upton Sinclair)|
|Followed by||Wide Is the Gate|
It is the third of Upton Sinclair's World's End series of eleven novels about Lanny Budd, a socialist, art expert, and "Red" grandson of an American arms manufacturer.
Back of the novel (1968 reprint):
- The Pulitzer prize-winning novel by a great American writer portrays the men and women caught in an onslaught of terror, a holocaust from which few escape.
- Lanny Budd became involved in what the Nazis termed "politics." He saw it as a question of human decency–that was how he found himself the prey in a manhunt as horrifying as it was deadly. Lanny Budd was one of those millions engulfed in the century's tragedy, trapped by the rising monster of Nazi Germany.
- "Mr. Sinclair rises to the full fictional possibilities of his material... a sincere and brave performance." The Times
- "Few works of fiction are more fun to read; fewer still make history half as clear, or as human." TIME
- "Sinclair's finest." The New York Times
In the first volume of the series, Lanny Budd had met a family of Dutch Jews. By the time the events of this book occur, his half-sister has married one of their sons.
In the climax at the end of this volume, Lanny helps spring the other son from Nazi arrest and jail, and gets caught up in the Blood Purge from June 30 to July 2, 1934 in Germany.
Dragon's teeth starts out with Lanny Budd in the delivery waiting room in a very expensive hospital in England, while his wife, Irma Barnes, of a very wealthy family was giving birth to the new addition to their family, a baby girl. Through the first couple hundred pages of the book we learn a lot about Lanny Budd and his family and associates, he is the son of the owner of a gun company named Budd gun corp. His father is the current owner but he is soon to die and here is where we experience the first conflict, he has a brother Robbie and it is undecided to who the company will go to but this is not one of the major conflicts in the book and this is not predominately covered situation, however the rising of the nazi empire is covered greatly. Lanny budd and Irma Barnes are good friends with an astounding Jewish family that his half sister married a younger portion of. His half sister married Hansi, a great musician that travels the world and plays in the great stadiums and concert halls in the world. Lanny's half sister Bess is portrayed as a great supportive wife that is said to not even allow Hansi to carry his own violin case because his fingers should only be used as a medium to express his beautiful feelings and passion to millions of people, however he is humble and plays for the workers at a very low price and sometimes free. At this point in the novel politics start to become involved and two colors seem to be the run about the pages, pink for socialists and red for communist. We find out why Hansi plays for workers without caring about the money, he is colored red and a very deep hue at that. Also around a few pages in the book we see the true face of Upton Sinclair, We know that in his life, he usually saw women as the supporter of the family due to his mother being wealthy and he portrays Irma Barnes, Lanny's wife as the supporter of the newly created family. Also we see his pink views coming out in Lanny Budd. An important part of the novel is that due to be wealthy from her fathers wealth, Irma has a lot of money and free time, turning to be an organizer of the meeting of great people in the world, which leads to the reader discovering ad understanding to politics of the time. After all of the characterization of the novel is covered, the meat of excitement in Dragon's teeth begins to show. The stock market crashes while lanny and all of his acquaintances are on a cruise on the private yacht of Hansi's family. This situation continues to happen, the yacht leaving, the world changing and then coming back to it, almost as if to show snapshots of the world as it is changing. Later in the novel the rise of the Nazi's is focused on greatly and the snapshots stop. The Jewish family was on their way to pick up their acquaintances at a port and The Budds and friends sit nervously as the yacht becomes later and later. In just a few pages we find that the young prosperous Jewish family was captured by the Nazi party and the family was split up and put into jails and concentration camps. Johannas, the father of the Jewish family, was retrieved by him giving every last cent of his to the Nazi party. Lanny had to influence to make this happen because he is falsely close with higher ups in the Nazi party and even met the fuhrer a couple of times over tea. However the rest of the novel is the struggle of getting the last person of the family out of Germany. This is one of the most mentally taxing parts of the novel. It was arranged that Lanny would pay 30,000 notes for his friend to be dropped of near the border of Germany and it was arranged that they would be allowed to drive out of the country with no issues, however there were S.S. officers waiting at the location and they killed Lanny's friend and put Lanny under arrest. After several days of rotting in many jails it seemed to be Lanny's time to be executed. As he is dragged into the torture and execution room he witnesses the torture of an owner of one of the biggest banks in the world. Strangely he is rescued right before his turn is up. He is brought into an office of one of the greats of the Nazi party that he has met before and is very intimidating especially because of his pet tiger cub. The higher up offers the release of the prisoner if he pays him off and if he goes to the family of the banker and tells them what he saw and gets the account numbers and passwords so they can bleed him dry. If Lanny follows through he will save two lives. The plan goes of perfectly and the perfect ending to the novel, Lanny saves his friend and his friend is operated on by one of the greatest doctors in the world to restore him back to perfect health with the help of his wife.
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