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The Financier (Penguin Classics) Paperback – November 25, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Revised edition (November 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014310554X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143105541
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #722,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Based on the life of flamboyant financier C.T. Yerkes, Dreiser's portrayal of the unscrupulous magnate Cowperwood embodies the idea that behind every great fortune there is a crime. You don't read Dreiser for literary finesse, but his great intensity and keen journalistic eye give this portrait a powerful reality. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Praise for Theodore Dreiser:

''Theodore Dreiser is a man who, with the passage of time, is bound to loom larger and larger in the awakening aesthetic consciousness of America . . . If there is a modern movement in American prose writing, a movement toward greater courage and fidelity to life in writing, Theodore Dreiser is the pioneer and the hero of the movement.'' --Sherwood Anderson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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This book is a must read for any investor.
Maxim Masiutin
Theadore Dreiser is a master with words and he paints his characters and scenes with elegant precision.
Jack J Donnelly III
Read it 16 years later and it's getting better!
Anna K.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By William A. Marsh on May 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
I must point out that Mr. Dreiser is one of my favorite authors. Sister Carrie, Jeanne Gerhardt (sp?) and An American Tragedy are the finest books on American society in the same manner that Anthony Trollope's works on Victorian England are the finest of their ilk.
The Financier takes the reader to Philadelphia just prior to and around the time of the civil war. Mr. Cowperwood starts small,dreams bigger and free-falls gigantically. The power plays and court trial are fascinating studies of human nature and a treatise on Dreiser's nature -vs- nurture views.
But far deeper in the story lies the its heart- Coperwood's love for one of his financial partner's daughters. The lengths they go to keep the relationship going matched with the lenghts her father goes to stop it (she is much younger and he is married) is a fine a redition of love against the odds as you'll read.
Its amazing how a sophmoric book like "Martin Dressler" can win a Pulitzer Prize while the journalistic genius of Mr. Dreiser remains on the fringes of mainstream of American Literature.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Shawn S. Sullivan on June 6, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Theodore Dreiser writes a towering novel in The Financier. It would be a grave oversimplification to state that this is a novel about "business". Rather, he is among the very first American writers that dealt with realism. Frank North was certainly another. Between them they mark an inflection point in writing. They wrote about the world as they saw it, somewhat akin to journalism. They didn't mind, but rather relished, getting "dirty" in the world of commerce. Men toiled in this world - why not write about it and the troubles and ethical delimas created therein?

This work is about a man's drive, his inability to satisfy himself, relationship destruction, identity loss and society. It demonstrates in very real terms how high one can climb and then fall. It is a book that deals with ethics and ponders about whether needs can ever be truly met by the most driven.

This book clearly belongs up there with the great ones. It shows a writing style and a mind of a genius. It also began to set the pace for some great writing in the 20th Century.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S. Pactor VINE VOICE on March 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
Ah, Theodore Dreiser... Even though I don't really enjoy reading him at times, I can't stay away. This is the third Dreiser book I've read (The other two: The Titan, and Sister Carrie). I would certainly recommend Sister Carrie over The Financier, but I would recommend this book over its succesor, The Titan.
The Financier is the by now familiar tale of the rise/fall/rise of an aspiring financial tycoon. The only difference between Frank Cowperwood (protagonist of The Financier) and the Gordon Gecko of 80's "Wall Street" fame, is that Cowperwood is working in the 1860's , not the 1980's and he lives in Philly, not NYC.
Cowperwood is the son of a bank vice president. He posseses a preternatural gift for finance and an, ahem, well developed, sense of self interest. Cowperwood is the sort of Spencerian/ Darwinian/Nietchzian "super man" that is as common in early twentieth century American fiction as the self obsessed yuppie has become in early twenty first century American television.
Cowperwood's catch phrase during this book is "I satisfy myself." Personally, I found that phrase a tad redolent of omanism, if you know what I mean, but I'm sure Dreiser had the purest of intentions at the time.
The plot of the book concerns machinations involving Cowperwood and his handling of city bonds. I know, it sounds dry. Well, it is dry, and boring, especially for the first hundred and fifty pages, where Dresier seems intent on teaching the readers all about the operation of financial markets in Philly in the 1860's.
The story picks up when a fire hits Chicago, and Cowperwood's shenanigans are detected. Cowperwood is then tried, convicted and sent to prison. It's a good time. Makes for fun reading.
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Format: Paperback
Hoosier novelist Theodore Dreiser published "The Financier" in 1912. It was the first of his trilogy dealing with American business. Subsequent volumes are "The Pit" and "The Genius." "The Financier" has been published in a new edition by Penguin with a useful introduction by Lazer Ziff. It is a long and slow moving novel which will bore some readers.
The novel is a fictional account of a rutless financier who ascends the financial Matterhorn only to lose it all due to his criminality. Frank Copwerwood is born to a Philadelphia banker. He has a knack for business who charms and schemes his way to a million dollars and a beautiful home.
Cowperwood is a is a keen judge of men, the market and how societal events affect the stock market. He weds a nice but dumb widow; sires two children and carries on a long affair with another woman. Aileen Butler is the beautiful and bright daughter of an Irish businessman. When her father learns of the affair with the older Cowperwood he seeks his ruin.
Cowperwood spends over a year in prison for taking money from the City Treasurer in cahoots with the repulsive Uriah Heep-like Philadephia City treasurer. He emerges from prison undaunted; quickly regains his fortune and heads for Chicago with Aileen. He had earlier divorced his longsuffering wife Lillie making sure she and the children are provided for in Philadelphia comfort. The Chicago fire of 1871 plays an important role in bringing Cowperwood's criminal behavior to light.
Dreiser's novels are naturalistic in their description of dirty dealings, sexual escapades and the amorality of American business. Ehicks are a missing component in the life of the Type A personality of Cowperwood. He is always alert on how to make a buck and wield power.
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