AN American Tragedy / Edition 1

AN American Tragedy / Edition 1

4.2 22
by Theodore Dreiser
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0451527704

ISBN-13: 2900451527706

Pub. Date: 08/28/2000

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900451527706
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/28/2000
Series:
Signet Classics Series
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
880

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

AN American Tragedy 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An outstanding classic that I make a habit of re-reading every few years. The book is long yet engrossing and never dull.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
IreneCM More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.