1925, 2007, Books, Non-Fiction

An American Tragedy (1925) by Theodore Dreiser

How is An American Tragedy on any best of list? I don’t get it. Dreiser is not a very good writer. I mean, he’s ridiculous. Everything ever has an explanation, apparently. As human beings, we can understand every single aspect of every single action and find all the causes, both major ones and minor / side ones. Obviously. This is the way life really is.

Also, people are pretty stereotypical. People’s choices reflect their situations far more than their individual personalities. If one didn’t preface certain lines by indicating who was speaking, one would confuse the reader as to the utterer of the comment. This is generally what I think Dreiser’s approach to the world is.

Did I mention that, due to the title, and his overall lack of subtlety, there isn’t an iota of suspense?

Sometimes I don’t know where to begin…I mean, who judged this as ‘great’? It’s fairly rare that the movie version is so obviously superior in every way to its source material, but from what I remember of A Place in the Sun, it kicks this book’s ass.

The only reason I am finishing it is because I don’t put books down halfway through, I don’t give up on an album after 3 songs, I don’t walk out of theatres…you never know what might happen before the end to change your opinion. Science I hope so in this case.

  • Author: Theodore Dreiser
  • Country: US
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Crime fiction, Tragedy
  • Publisher: Boni & Liveright
  • Publication date: December 17, 1925
  • Dewey Decimal: 813.52

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