Tuesday, February 27, 2007

17. "An American Tragedy" ~ Theodore Dreiser


OK, the only thing remotely tragic about this novel was the fact that I had to get to page 467 before I realized that I could skim it and still get the gist of the story.

Clyde Griffiths grows up poor, humiliated by his family, greedy for love and social recognition. Who hasn't been through this?

The tragedy comes when his greed usurps his morality and he offs some poor chica carrying his baby.

But 800 pages. For the love of Mike. I think he's on this list for completing such a monstrous manuscript. The language is flowery, perfectly fine for the early century. If I were his editor, I would have polished my green pen and scrapped 500 pages of the superfluous "oh oh oh, my love, my darling" and descriptions of jealousy.

Banned book -- sex is insinuated (oh! oh!), and there are about 100 pages about them trying to abort the fetus. Mild by today's standards.

1.75 out of 5.0 Irish Car Wreck.

1 comment:

jenclair said...

It has been years since I've read this, but I mentioned it in a comment today on BlueStalking Reader's blog.

All I remember is the lake, the drowning, and that it was based on a real case.

Dreiser is worth reading for several reasons, but I'm not sure entertainment is one. :)