An American Tragedy

( 42 )

Overview

An American Masterpiece

Clyde Griffiths finds his social-climbing aspirations and love for a rich and beautiful debutante threatened when his lower-class pregnant girlfriend gives him an ultimatum.

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Overview

An American Masterpiece

Clyde Griffiths finds his social-climbing aspirations and love for a rich and beautiful debutante threatened when his lower-class pregnant girlfriend gives him an ultimatum.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Robert L. Dufus
An American Tragedy is not to be recommended as fireside reading for the tired business man: yet, as a portrayal of one of the darker phases of the American character, it demands attention. -- Books of the Century; New York Times review January 1926
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451531551
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/3/2010
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 896
  • Sales rank: 79,179
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Theodore Dreiser was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, on August 27, 1871. After a poor and difficult childhood, Dreiser broke into newspaper work in Chicago in 1892. A successful career as a magazine writer in New York during the late 1890s was followed by his first novel, Sister Carrie (1900). When this work made little impact, Dreiser published no fiction until Jennie Gerhardt in 1911. There then followed a decade and a half of major work in a number of literary forms, which was capped in 1925 by An American Tragedy, a novel that brought him universal acclaim. Dreiser was increasingly preoccupied by philosophical and political issues during the last two decades of his life. He died in Los Angeles on December 28, 1945.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 42 )
Rating Distribution

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4 Star

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3 Star

(11)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 18, 2012

    Under-rated Classic Is Totally Engrossing

    Theadore Dreiser got scarcely a mention during American Lit Class when I was in high school. I had mistaken classified him as an early American writer. So I was surprised to learn that he wrote An American Tragedy in 1938 while in Hollywood, working for a film company.
    I was also pleasantly surprised to find it one of the best books I've read in several years. Drieser's book is a fascinating character study in the psychology of crime, and also a snapshot on how much the culture has changed in its social attitudes toward sex outside of marriage and pregancy.
    Based on an actual murder case which occurred in the early 20th Century,it reflects the ambition and attitudes of class consciousness that was the dark side of "the American Dream".
    At 800-plus pages, it is a little long, but a superbly written book. It is well worth the time and effort. I give it an A.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    Excellent

    Although the first 50 pages are somewhat slow moving, if you push forward you will find a true literary treasure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2000

    A moving portrayal of a flawed character

    This is a story that most have seen as society corrupting and destoying a young man. I see it as the story of a young man with a deeply flawed character who was doomed by his own actions. The point is that this book, like any great story, can be studied on many levels and from many points of view.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2000

    A must-read

    I'm a high school student and chose to read this for my book report. I get bored easily and found that I could not put this novel down. It is a wonderful portrayal of the regression of an average American boy into a hardened criminal. Dreiser should be commended for his dark yet substantially interesting novel.

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