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An American Tragedy (1925)

by Theodore Dreiser

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,659452,781 (3.92)199
High quality reprint of An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser.

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» See also 199 mentions

English (43)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Here's what I wrote after reading in 1987: "Poor Clyde Griffiths. Desperate to achieve 'success', to acquire wealth, friends, cars, clothes, and the beautiful Sondra, he commits murder. Murder of the helpless, selfless, friendless Roberta. The oddity of the readers response to this is captured by Irving Howe: "As touched by Clyde's early affection for Roberta, so later we participate vicariously in his desperation to be rid of her. We share this desire with some shame, but unless we count ourselves among the hopelessly pure, we share it.". Poor Clyde Griffiths; the American Dream gone sour." ( )
  MGADMJK | Feb 17, 2022 |
naturalistic novel of fall of young man too ambitious
  ritaer | Jun 5, 2021 |
I'M FINISHED! It's a very interesting psychological glimpse into a criminal's mind, but I underestimated how much it would take out of me. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
Great story! I was fascinated because it was based on a true murder. The story is one that resonates today.. Clyde is a character that is obsessed with shaking off his humble past and joining the upper echelons of society. He feels entitled to this because his uncle (he believes) unjustly made the fortune his father should have, but chose a life of a humble street minister. He attempts to gain the life among the idle rich, at any cost. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
Dreiser can be a frustrating writer, what with the profusion of perfect tense verbs and parataxis, but some of those frustrating bits paradoxically account for the almost breathless and riveting movement of the narrative. This novel is also frustrating because of its tripartite structure: late Victorian bildungsroman, psychological thriller, and social commentary, in that order. To the middle section, and due almost entirely to Dreiser's ability to so finely render psychological nuances, I give four stars. ( )
  BeauxArts79 | Jun 2, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
...a thrillingly detailed social panorama onto which a vivid, sobering tale of ambition and murder and their consequences is painstakingly grafted. The tragedy is an “American” one because of its central action: the drowning of pregnant Roberta Alden by her lover Clyde Griffiths (based on a real 1905 murder case), ensuing from the latter’s seduction by “the American dream” of rising from humble origins to wealth and social success.
added by Lemeritus | editKirkus Review (Apr 2, 2993)
My suspicion is that Dreiser’s books (with the exception of “Sister Carrie”) are now considered too long for high-school students, too earnest for college literature classes, and too odd for many common readers. Dreiser’s reputation has always been vexed, and the long debate over his stature has been accompanied by a secondary debate—a malignant shadow of the first—devoted to the question of whether he could write at all.... The greatness of “An American Tragedy” is that Dreiser took this crime sensation and dissolved the violent but meaningless frame of the story into its innumerable constituent episodes: the social condition of murderer and victim and friends; the moments of obsession, doubt, and rage; the slowly forming moral hardness; the evasions, the hundred hesitations and velleities; the acts rejected as well as those committed. No such story is truly banal, Dreiser seems to be saying; there is only inadequate representation of what happened....“An American Tragedy” is clumsy and heavy-spirited, and dated in its sexual arrangements, yet it has an extraordinary dignity and power that carry one through the taffied, redundant sentences. A Samson who cut off his own hair, Dreiser struggled mightily with language without enjoying the resources of language. But he was a hero nonetheless.
added by Lemeritus | editThe New Yorker, David Denby (Apr 13, 2003)

» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Theodore Dreiserprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kazin, AlfredIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werumeus Buning, J.W.F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Галь, НораTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dusk - of a summer night.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Tragic America" and "An American Tragedy" are not the same book. Do not combine them.

Please do not list this book as part of a series. The LT instructions state: Also avoid publisher series, unless the publisher has a true monopoly over the "works" in question. So, the Dummies guides are a series of works. But the Loeb Classical Library is a series of editions, not of works. This also applies to Library of America, Harvard Classics, etc. etc.
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High quality reprint of An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser.

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Penguin Australia

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