Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
An American Tragedy (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – August 3, 2010
|New from||Used from|
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Theodore Dreiser set out to create an epic character and, in the form of Clyde Griffiths in An American Tragedy, he succeeded. Griffiths is just a Midwest kid, the son of a preacher in Kansas City, who tastes a little sophistication and then hits the road seeking pleasure and success. He has his moments, conducting more than one romantic affair, until that ill-advised pursuit ensnares him. Then he reads about an "accident" of a young woman and ponders a dastardly deed ... Dreiser spins these scenes with the eye of a master in control of his form. An American Tragedy stands as an American masterpiece. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Novel by Theodore Dreiser, published in 1925. It is a complex and compassionate account of the life and death of a young antihero named Clyde GRIFFITHS. The novel begins with Clyde's blighted background, recounts his path to success, and culminates in his apprehension, trial, and execution for murder. The book was called by one influential critic "the worst-written great novel in the world," but its questionable grammar and style are transcended by its narrative power. Dreiser's intricate speculations on the extent of Clyde's guilt are countered by his searing indictment of materialism and the American dream of success. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
An American Tragedy introduces us to everyman Clyde Griffiths, born to unordained, self-proclaimed, missionary parents who run a small home for wayward souls and spend some time each day, singing church hymns and proclaiming the glory of the Lord on street corners along with organ accompaniment. Unfortunately for Clyde, this lifestyle leaves him awash in embarrassment, desperate to break free from the daily horror and the impoverished conditions that permeate his home life. Clyde desires nice things with his whole being, dreaming of one day living the life of luxury. He lacks a formal education as a result of all his parents moving around, but soon lands a series of jobs which allow him to buy the things he’s so greatly desired, but he’s terrible with money, without the concept of saving for the future or creating a safety net because no one ever taught him how so he lives from paycheck to paycheck. There’s a longstanding fallacy that Dreiser manages to shed light on, which is, if you’re poor you’re stupid and if you’re rich, you’re smart. Clyde proved himself adept at getting out of his poor circumstances, he just didn’t have the training and foresight to stay there. Clyde wasn’t stupid, simply not as schooled as his cousins and there seemed to be no way for him to catch up.
Such is the systemic nature of poverty: a lack of education and no one to advise you of how to do things differently. Clyde’s rich relations tolerated rather than uplifted him as if they thought his poorness would rub off on them. Rather than looking at the odd one or two who break free of poverty, we should, as a society, be looking at why our fixes have made the trap of poverty inescapable because the 1920’s could just as easily be 2017. Reading Dreiser, you get the impression that he believes the world needs this tragedy, actually revels in it, that the rich need the poor so they can feel richer and the poor need the rich so they can feel subjugated and that we are all just pawns in a larger script. Dreiser manages to convey all this through the guise of the twin pillars of religion and law, one created to control the masses the other to admonish when that control failed to work. Poor people may have been born poor, but they are God-fearing, and therefore malleable because of the hope of a better life after this miserable one. Easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle and all. The rich, however, have little incentive to give up anything because, well, there’s just no proof of an afterlife, and aren’t material blessings at least tangible proof of God’s love?
There were a few plot deficiencies that pained me a bit, like how women, once used up, were completely dropped from the book, Hortense, Roberta, even Sondra, although again, this was the 1920’s and women had very little to do other than act in a supporting role for their men. As for the writing, at 867 pages, the book was a bit too long for me as was Dreiser’s desire to dissect Clyde’s thinking from every vantage point, but the book was written circa 1925 when a bit of verbosity was the norm, and moreover, who am I to quibble with a classic?
The character analysis, the strange and unnerving parallels to what’s happening in the U.S. today, the social implications of poverty and its reverberating effects all work to make this a great, albeit sad novel. An American Tragedy is worth your time as both a novel and historical text. Depending on how the next four years go, An American Tragedy could be more relevant today than when it was when first written. Read it. You’ll have a greater perspective regarding the challenges surrounding the nature of poverty by the time you’re finished.
I would recommend this book on the literary style alone-who writes like this anymore!?! I was taken back to an era that exists no more not only by the passage of time & progress but words & descriptions long since gone which at times made it tedious reading but again I was compelled page to page to see how it would really turn out in the end for Clyde not George.
While reading American Tragedy, one of the things that came to mind was, what if Teddy Kennedy had not been the scion of one of the most powerful political families in the nation? Would he have fared any better in front of a jury of his peers than did Clyde Griffiths?
Most recent customer reviews
What would shape a young man to commit murder? How did he get to that point?Read more
Hot Toasty Rag, May 22, 2017
There are two things you need to know about Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy.Read more