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Sister Carrie (Vintage Classics) by Theodore…

Sister Carrie (Vintage Classics) (original 1900; edition 2021)

by Theodore Dreiser (Author)

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3,979592,923 (3.74)221
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

A country girl moves to the big city and lives her own version of the American Dream by becoming mistress to the men of her choice and so working her way to fame as an actress.

Sinclair Lewis said of the novel in 1930, "Dreiser's great first novel, Sister Carrie, which he dared to publish thirty long years ago and which I read twenty-five years ago, came to housebound and airless America like a great free Western wind, and to our stuffy domesticity gave us the first fresh air since Mark Twain and Whitman."

.… (more)
Title:Sister Carrie (Vintage Classics)
Authors:Theodore Dreiser (Author)
Info:Vintage (2021), Edition: Reprint, 464 pages
Collections:Your library

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Sister Carrie by Theodore DREISER (Author) (1900)


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» See also 221 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
This is the second place most depressing book I have ever read. It loses out to the first place book because that one could easily drive someone to suicide. This one just gives you a really terrible round of guilt trips.

It is the story of Carrie, who is a younger sister - not a nun - and goes into the city of Chicago for the first time. Following is her journey to, well... what she thinks she wants, due to social constructions and peer pressure and ridiculous societal expectations.

Firstly: the prose was well-written. The dialogue between characters, descriptions, and philosophical musings were interesting. I often felt like I was reading situations from different philosophical perspectives (e.g., this is why this side disapproves, and this is why this side approves), which was a nice, mostly unbiased way to look at things.

The characters were specific, but vague. That's the best I can come up with. I didn't like any of them, but I blame that partially on the fact that they are human, and partially on the fact that I was so bored the whole book that I lose any interest in them I might have had.

Because that's what this book is. Boring. I just finished "The Country of the Pointed Firs" - I know boring by now. Amazingly enough, a book where a relatively great deal happens, like "Sister Carrie" can be as equally boring as "The Country of the Pointed Firs".

This is how the book reads: "So all this happened, and it was kind of bad, kind of okay. And then it all happened again."

"But wait, we're not done yet."

The book could have ended so many times that I was shocked when I saw my Kindle indicating that I wasn't yet halfway through the thing. The novel is almost a response to readers clamoring for more after "THE END" comes up at the end of a story: "Look, here's what happened to them! See? You happy? No? Good!" You weren't bored enough yet? Well, prepare to discover just HOW bored a human being can get!

It's a good study of life in New York and Chicago in the late 19th century, but if you're just looking for an interesting read and don't really hate yourself, go somewhere else. ( )
  AnonR | Aug 5, 2023 |
Sister Carrie presents a collection of complex imperfect characters coping with moral dilemmas within the enticements and brutality of urban life, each suffering or gleaning the results of their decisions. ( )
  snash | Jul 10, 2023 |
Carrie is a young girl looking to make her way in the world, and she leans heavily on two men to do it - - one, a charming salesman, and the other a very successful business man. Unfortunately, the latter is married, and when he runs away with Carrie, his fortunes turn dramatically for the worse.

This book is quintessentially American, and I love how none of the characters are perfect. They are all flawed, but also have some redeeming points, and those are my favorite types of characters to read about.

The book is extraordinarily realistic in its feel. As you read it, you truly believe it. And you feel the pain of the characters as their lives become more convoluted and stressful.

The premise is simple, but it is a compelling, albeit slightly depressing, read. I almost related to the book a little too well, and when it was done, I felt a sadness, because I think people really go through things similar to what these characters faced, and it just isn't cheerful. ( )
  Anita_Pomerantz | Mar 23, 2023 |
At age eighteen, Carrie Meeber moves from a small town to the big city of Chicago, where she tries to make a living. When she runs into difficulties, rather than return home, she accepts assistance from a man who leads her to believe they will marry. She eventually becomes involved with another man who, unbeknownst to her, is already married. Carrie drifts through life with no set goals, at times encountering failure and at other times finding success. One of the primary themes appears to be the role of chance in a person’s life, especially for those who, like Carrie, are initially not particularly assertive or decisive.

This book was published in 1900 and is set mostly in the 1890’s. In this book Dreiser illustrates major changes taking place in society at the time, such as the increase in industrialization, rise in consumerism, changes in traditional roles for women, improvement in mobility (via train travel), and shifts in moral standards. It is fascinating to me to read books written long ago, as it provides a true picture of what life was like in those days. One of Carrier's places of employment is described as:

“The place smelled of the oil of the machines and the new leather—a combination which, added to the stale odours of the building, was not pleasant even in cold weather. The floor, though regularly swept every evening, presented a littered surface. Not the slightest provision had been made for the comfort of the employees, the idea being that something was gained by giving them as little and making the work as hard and unremunerative as possible. What we know of foot-rests, swivel-back chairs, dining-rooms for the girls, clean aprons and curling irons supplied free, and a decent cloak room, were unthought of. The washrooms were disagreeable, crude, if not foul places, and the whole atmosphere was sordid.”

The book is compelling and extremely well-constructed. It is structured around major set pieces, with natural transitions between them. The characters are realistic; they exhibit both virtues and flaws. Dreiser provides an unnamed narrator, who occasionally addresses the reader. This narrator occasionally indulges in generalizations about women and ethnic comments that may not sit well with a modern audience, though it is possible that Dreiser is showing that the narrator is a product of an earlier way of thinking, as Carrie’s trajectory diverges from the narrator’s rather generic observations.

This book is well worth reading for the way it brings to life the seeds of change that have become the norm today. It provides a vivid picture of the urban scene at the turn of the 20th century, and parts of it are very sad. Dreiser was ahead of the curve and roundly criticized, but this book stands the test of time and has become a classic. ( )
1 vote Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
The trials and tribulations of Sister Carrie as she makes her way up the ladder of success in the big city society of turn of the century Chicago and New York. Dreiser is a great storyteller and the book winds it way through the many twists and turns with a captivating narrative.

Looming behind the tale is a philosophy type message that links how each and every person at one time or other grapples with achievement in life despite the many obstacles. Carrie is clearly a prime example of how difficult life can be for those on the outside only to see her dreams unfold eventually through her determination and a bit of luck. Her antagonist finds the flipside in the fall from power and glory and in this transition the philosophy of Dreiser is on full display. ( )
  knightlight777 | Jun 20, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
I believe the novel Sister Carrie helps to describe the life of young girls in the turn of the century. The confusion of what to do, who to be with, who to trust.. running into problems, this story touches bases with all of these.
added by newfieldreads | editSister Carrie, Josie (Mar 19, 2010)
The novel Sister Carrie was a great book to read if your into sneaky ways and like reading about Drama. The book shows how you shouldnt always base your opinions on what you see because that may lead you in the way of false pretences. Over all I enjoyed reading the book and it also gave me an outlook on how the 1900's really is not that different from the present time we live in. The novel teaches you inner morals to go with what your heart desires Carrie made her life the way she dreamed by following what she knew and working hard for it.
added by newfieldreads | editSister Carrie, Samantha (Mar 19, 2010)

» Add other authors (42 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
DREISER, TheodoreAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Auchincloss, LouisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baldini, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delbanco, AndrewIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dielemans, WimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doctorow, E. L.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Domeraski, ReginaContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geismar, MaxwellEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giusti, GeorgeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leibowitz, HerbertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Price, RoyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stahl, Ben F.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorp, WillardAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When Caroline Meeber boarded the afternoon train for Chicago, her total outfit consisted of a small trunk, a cheap imitation alligator-skin satchel, a small lunch in a paper box, and a yellow leather snap purse, containing her ticket, a scrap of paper with her sister's address in Van Buren Street, and four dollars in money.
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Disambiguation notice
Sister Carrie has been published in two forms: all editions between 1900 and 1981 were based on a version somewhat abridged by Dreiser and his editors. In 1981, the Pennsylvania edition based on the original manuscript from the NYPL was published.

Work #36059 is for the standard version. Do not combine it with the unexpurgated editions (Penguin Unexpurgated, Pennsylvania Edition, or NYPL Collectors Edition) or with the Norton Critical Edition (also contains the unexpurgated material as well as several background and critical writings).
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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

A country girl moves to the big city and lives her own version of the American Dream by becoming mistress to the men of her choice and so working her way to fame as an actress.

Sinclair Lewis said of the novel in 1930, "Dreiser's great first novel, Sister Carrie, which he dared to publish thirty long years ago and which I read twenty-five years ago, came to housebound and airless America like a great free Western wind, and to our stuffy domesticity gave us the first fresh air since Mark Twain and Whitman."


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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400102707, 1400109051


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