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Old 07-17-2007, 04:45 PM   #1
Dr. Drib
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Dreiser, Theodore: An American Tragedy. v1. 17 July 07

An American Tragedy is one of the most important novels written by an American writer. This is not just about a murder, but also about a society that contributed to the breeding of a murderer. It sheds light upon what is wrong with one individual and the ills of that society. The writing is powerful, often clumsy, but always passionately felt.

Here's what one critic said, which is pretty much the consensus of most critics:


"An American Tragedy is a novel about a murder but also about the society that bred the murderer. It not only illuminates the dark regions of the criminal mind, but also plays a searchlight across the American class system. Dreiser assembles a variegated yet representative gallery of American types to tell his tale—male, female, rich, poor, blue-collar and rural, urban sophisticates and magnates of industry, delinquents and officers of the law, unbelievers and sincere religious folks—all drawn with insight and deep sympathy."

I hope you enjoy this and the "companion piece," Sister Carrie. An American Tragedy is based upon a real murder.

Don

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 05-23-2008 at 09:45 AM. Reason: Prefix
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Old 07-17-2007, 05:42 PM   #2
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Thanks, I've never read this. I have seen the film A Place in Sun with Montgomery Clift. Is it an accurate adaptation of the novel?
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Old 07-17-2007, 06:55 PM   #3
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I haven't seen the movie!

Although I've certainly heard about it.

If you'll allow me just a moment here: I feel a need to "explain" Dreiser's writing style: It's not that his style is dated, but that the writing is just so clumsy. However, there's a certain engagement in his writing, if one can get past the diction, syntax, etc.

He also takes a long time to get things going, but that's exactly what I like in a literary novel. The fact is, he's not Thomas Wolfe. I loved Wolfe's writing when I was younger (and still do), but now take his youthful exurberance with a grain of salt. The two styles are worlds apart. If you can get past Drieser's methodical buildup in all his writings, then I think you'll really like what he does.

His committment to his art continues to say something to me personally, and the critics pretty much echo what I'm saying here in this reply to you about his style.

Please let me know if you like it, or even if you don't.

Have you read Sister Carrie?

Thanks,
Don



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Thanks, I've never read this. I have seen the film A Place in Sun with Montgomery Clift. Is it an accurate adaptation of the novel?
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:11 PM   #4
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I haven't read it, but it's going on my electronic nightstand.
I did see the movie, though, with Laurence Olivier.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:03 AM   #5
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Superb!
One of my favourite writers from "before I discovered fantasy" era
I have read more than dozens of his books.
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