An American Tragedy

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Overview

The classic depiction of the harsh realities of American life, the dark side of the American Dream, and one man's doomed pursuit of love and success...

"Mr. Dreiser is not imitative and belongs to no school. He is at heart a mysticist and a fatalist, though using the realistic method. He is, on the evidence of this novel alone, a power."-The New York Times Book Review
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Hardcover Good 0848822536 Hardcover ex-library with typical marks and moderate shelf wear. Text is unmarked. No dust jacket.

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Overview

The classic depiction of the harsh realities of American life, the dark side of the American Dream, and one man's doomed pursuit of love and success...

"Mr. Dreiser is not imitative and belongs to no school. He is at heart a mysticist and a fatalist, though using the realistic method. He is, on the evidence of this novel alone, a power."-The New York Times Book Review
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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: 9780848822538
  • Publisher: Amereon LTD.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 832

Meet the Author


Theodore Dreiser (1871–1945) was an American author and an outstanding representative of naturalism, whose novels depict real-life subjects in a harsh light. Dreiser's novels, particularly Sister Carrie, were held to be amoral, and he battled throughout his career against censorship and popular taste.

Actor and musician Dan John Miller is an award-winning audiobook narrator, having garnered multiple Audie Award nominations and one win, twice been named a Best Voice by AudioFile magazine, and received several AudioFile Golden Earphones Awards and a Listen-Up Award from Publishers Weekly.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 40 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2007

    Good read

    Clyde Griffiths, a young man raised by a poor Christian family that practices in missionary work in the streets and finds a job as a bell boy. His troubles start when he befriends his co-workers and starts doing things that are not exactly Christian-like He enjoys going against what his family tells him and eventually ends up running over and killing a young child with a car that his friends stole. Clyde leaves his hometown of Kansas City and goes to Chicago after this incident. He meets a poor girl named Roberta Alden and falls in love with her, but also falls in love with another girl, Sondra Finchley, who is the opposite in the fact that she is very wealthy. He eventually realizes (after having had sex with Roberta) that he does not want to marry her, but he wants to marry Sondra. Sondra and Clyde seem like they are going to make this end with them living happily ever after until Roberta discovers that she is pregnant. She has an unsuccessful abortion and believes that Clyde is still planning on marrying her. Meanwhile, Clyde and Sondra's relationship becomes more and more serious and Clyde realizes that he has a very big issue in his hands. Clyde does not want Sondra to discover that him and Roberta have had relations and impregnated her. So, Clyde decides to kill Roberta and make the murder look like an accident. Clyde invites Roberta to canoe with him and tells her that he wants to end their relationship. He then hits her over the head with his camera and they both fall over the canoe. Roberta, unable to swim, drowns in the water while Clyde escapes to shore. He is then arrested and is tried. How the trial goes, you'll have to read and find out for yourself. I thought this book was very interesting and although I don't exactly like drama, this book really caught my interest. The first few pages start off slow, but the action gets better as you read on. 4 out of 5 stars for me.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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 May 14, 2008

    Study in the best and worst of men

    An outstanding classic that I make a habit of re-reading every few years. The book is long yet engrossing and never dull.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2007

    First 190 Pages!

    I first came upon 'An American Tragedy' in the school library. It was worth 65 reading points, so I decided to give it a try. After the first page, I enjoyed the book. It's in third person omniscent which is rather enjoyable to see what the other characters think about the pro/antagonist, Clyde. After reading 190 pages, I trooped over to my nearest Barnes & Noble and purchased the book. Even though it is quite lengthy, it is still a nice read with a timeless theme.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2006

    A long, long read

    I usually really like books that have themes similar to this one: the whole idea that the American dream is a myth for many people. This book, however, took me forever to read because it did not hold my attention very long. It took me about 8 months to read. You know when you read a book, and you put it down without a bookmark in it, but you remember exactly where you were because you were that into it? Yea, well that didn't happen with this book for me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2003

    A Classic for its theme, but not the plodding plot

    This book was ranked #16 in the AP listing of the top-100 English-language novels of the 20th Century. I would rank it in the top 50, but not the top 25. It took me over a year to read this book, it could not hold my interest and I read many books in the meantime. But I didn't give up on it. As with Sister Carrie, you don't learn the true moral of the story until the last few pages. The theme of the novel - about the intoxicating seduction of the American Dream - aids in making the novel a timeless classic even unto 2003. But the plot seems to move along very slowly at times, and it seems that at least 1/3 of the book could be eliminated without losing much effect. But you won't gain anything by reading just the Cliffs Notes for this book, to get the full effect of the tragedy of Clyde you must read the whole book through the last few gripping pages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2002

    and on it went.....

    If ever a book dragged, this would be it. The author seemd to be able to expand one simple scene acros 10 pages. One critic called this novel, the worst written best book of all time. While it was a good story, the presentation by the author put me to sleep. Read a plot summary, actually reading the whole thing is time consuming.

    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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  • Posted April 26, 2010

    A true tragedy

    I was fascinated by the way the author was able to truly get inside the character's skin. The story is gripping and pulled from headlines of his day. The author is able to give you a sense of living in the 1920's, the class structure, the morality and yet, the story is truly timeless. Boy meets girl, falls for someone else and all the struggle that entails. I really enjoyed the book. Originally I found a free copy on the internet that was a pdf file. I kept wanting to read it, find myself reading a few chapters, but would find myself wanting to continue reading and be away from a computer. So I finally bought the book. I wouldn't recommend flying through it - it's meant to savor and chew on. I relly enjoyed the book and intend to find his other books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2007

    gripping

    A very intense story. It was a bit hard to get through the first chapter. But once you get to the second chapter you start to understand how the story is tied together and its potency, especially for today. At first, due to its length, I was reluctant to start reading it but can now see that its an excellent book. Quite a remarkable, unforgettable story and very intense.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2004

    Outstanding

    From top to bottom, one of the best I have ever read. Easily the equal to Tom Wolfe's 'Bonfire of the Vanities'. Has all the necessary components to a great story, and the prose flows beautifully. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2002

    SUPERB!

    This was a really great book, although at times Dreiser can describe...and describe...and describe, but otherwise it was such a great book on the reality of humanity. I recommend it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2002

    Beautifully written

    I am a junior high student, and this is, in my opinion, one of the most brialliantly written books of all time. It portrays American life flawlessly, and contemplates many different aspects on murder as well as the society we dwell in. Lengthy, but seldom tedious, Dreiser offers a timeless classic that should be read by all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2002

    The romantic downfall of man

    I first became interested in this book, when I first saw the movie, A Place in the Sun. The movie was an adaptation of the book and I became interested. I read the book, my sophomore year in high school and was in love. I can not say that numerous books have touched me deeply, but this particular one did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2002

    AMAZING

    This is by far the best book I have ever read. I strongly recommend it to everyone who likes to read and even those who don't.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews

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