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An American Tragedy
     

An American Tragedy

3.9 23
by Theodore Dreiser, Dan Miller (Narrated by)
 

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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

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

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452601892
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
07/11/2011
Edition description:
Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 5.50(h) x 2.30(d)

Meet the Author

Theodre Dreiser was born into a large and impoverished German American family in Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1871. He began his writing career as a reporter, working for newspapers in Chicago. Pittsburg, and St. Louis, until an editor friend, Arthur Henry, suggested he write a novel. The result was Sister Carrie, based on the life of Dreiser's own sister Emma, who had run off to New York with a married man. Rejected by several publishers as "immoral," the book was finally accepted by Doubleday and Company, and published-over Frank Doubleday's strong objections-in 1900.
Numerous cuts and changes had been made in the lengthy original manuscript by various hands, including those of Arthur Henry, Dreiser himself. Later, when given to mythologizing his career, Dreiser was to suggest that the publishing history of Sister Carrie had been one of bowdlerization and suppression only; but the publication of his unedited manuscript by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 1981 shows that Dreiser approved and even welcomed Henry's and Jug's alterations. (Whether the book was ultimately improved or compromised by their liberal editing is a fascinating and as yet unresolved issue among Dreiser scholars.) Sister Carrie sold poorly, but writers like Frank Norris and William Dean Howells saw it as a breakthrough in American realism, and Dreiser's career as a novelist was launched.
"
The Financer "(1912) and "The Titan "(1914) began his trilogy about the rise of a tycoon, but it was" An American Tragedy "(1925), based on newspaper accounts of a sensational murder case, which brought him fame. The novel was dramatized on Broadway and sold to Hollywood. Newly influential and affluent, Dreiservisited Russia and was unimpressed, describing his observations in the skeptical "Dreiser Looks at Russia" (1928). In later years, however, he became an ardent (through unorthodox) Communist, writing political Treatises such as "America Is Worth Saving" (1941) His artistic powers on the wane, Dreiser moved to Hollywood in 1939 and supported himself largely by the sale of film rights of his earlier works. He dies there, in 1945, at the age of seventy-four.

"From the Paperback edition."

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An American Tragedy 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
ReadingfreakLA More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although the first 50 pages are somewhat slow moving, if you push forward you will find a true literary treasure.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Deeply engrossing with superb character development. Well worth the time and effort. A deep exploration of the human character. Sorry I waited so long to read it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An American Tragedy was probably better when it was breaking new ground. I just wanted to get on with it, so I wouldn't have to spend so much time turning the compost heap of Clyde Griffith's psyche.