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Maggie: A Girl Of The Streets

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  6,251 Ratings  ·  306 Reviews
Maggie, A Girl of the Streets, is the first novel written by author Stephen Crane, and was considered to be too risque by publishers in 1893, and Crane was forced to self-publish this title. Maggie, A Girl of the Streets, is considered to be one of the most important novels featuring Naturalism, which believes that an individuals behavior is shaped largely by forces which ...more
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Published April 17th 2007 by Filiquarian Publishing, LLC. (first published 1892)
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Tfitoby
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit
This tiny novella, this "shocking portrait" of working class life, might win points for its approach towards capturing the dialect and mileau of the time and place but the overall feeling I took from it was not a call to understand the people that were trodden underfoot by the educated classes but more a sense of humouous observation, almost like these drunks and whores, these scoundrels and brutes are a human zoo fit only for ogling from afar by their betters. There's a fine line between captur ...more
Jen Knox
Aug 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a treasure, as much for the story of Crane's trying to get it published as for the story itself. I am always drawn to authors' first books. There's often an energy there lost in latter books. The energy and intensity of this story made gave it a momentum that wasn't lost on The Red Badge of Courage but was toned down. I admire the raw honesty of the prose here; there's something alive in it that refuses to be toned down for the audience's sake.

Kandice
Oct 31, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think the moral of the story was lost on me, as the times have changed so much. Everything was inferred instead of said outright. Did she actually have "relations" with Pete? I can't be sure, so am unclear why her mother disowned her. Did she kill herself? Was her situation really so severe that was her only way out? Obviously there was quite the double standard. Sins were not arranged in order of importance. The parents could be alcoholic lowlifes, and beat their children, but she was thrown ...more
Jose Moa
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is perhaps the most sordid short novel i ever read;the journey to depravity prostitution and death forced by the loneliness, doublé moral and necesity of a por beautifull girl born in a miserable suburb of New York.The prostitution of the body not of the soul that remains pure and clean to his final death.This is i think the firs naturalist novel in USA
Brian
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For as much as I love Crane, I just can't get over the hump on this one and connect the dots to many of his other works I find nearly perfect. It might be the disconnected ending that makes the reader flip back pages to see if we accidentally missed a chapter, the Irish patois of the chronically indigent, or maybe it's Crane's thumb on the moral scale that keeps me from engaging fully - whatever the case, this is an example of either a short story made too long or a novel entirely too short; as ...more
Sara
Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book on-screen in my down time at work. It's set in late 19th-century New York, from what I gather, which is what attracted me to it, as I'm in the midst of a long documentary on New York. I don't know that I would include the book among my top 10, but I like it very much. The language is absolutely delectable. I want to eat it and hug Crane for writing it. His language is crystal clear; he constructs sentences in such a way to emit a vivid visual experience from between the words. H ...more
Christina
Dec 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really loved this novella. It directly transports one to 1880's Lower East side Manhattan. I thought Crane was born and raised in the Irish slums of the Bowery, but he had spent very little time there before the novel. His use of dialogue and slang made me feel like I was there in the tenement with Jimmy and Maggie. It taught me about history, the slums of old New York, and the puritanical views of lower class Irish at the time. I got a little bit of sociology, anthropology, history, and fiction ...more
Sarah
Jul 09, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Considered "too immature" by critics when it was released, I also consider it shallow. It seemed like the same few phrases were repeated by every character until they said it enough to qualify enough words for a novel. This seems more of a sneer at the lower class rather than the narrative on how women with little resources and restricted freedom could be forced and then harshly judged for living immorally by society's standards. And I was hoping for the latter.

I suppose the ambiguity of Maggie
...more
FoodxHugs
Maggie, Girl of the Streets has the rare distinction of featuring one of the most repulsive fictional mothers I've read about in fiction. Trust me, that's quite an accomplishment and it's no mean feat that Crane manages to create such despicable and realistic characters in this novella.

Notable for being one of the first works of American Realism, Maggie is an insightful and gritty depiction of poverty. Crane was friends with Hemingway and was said to to have influenced him. I haven't read any H
...more
Paloma Meir
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Damn them all to Hell (to use the language of the book), was my first reaction upon finishing this story. Barbaric unrelenting disrepair. I haven't been this upset by a book in years. I'm very thankful for feminism this morning.

Deanne
Ugh. Depressing. Annoying dialog full of phonetically spelled street talk. I only finished it because I had to for my class on Immigration in the late 1800s.
Tyler
Jan 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anybody
Recommended to Tyler by: Mr. MacConnell
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, written by Stephen Crane, is a story of how a young Irish girl grows up on the streets of New York. With little to no education, barely any money, and her only peers of the neighborhood fighting at all times, this girl's life is full of hardships.

During her childhood, Maggie's younger brother Jimmie was always getting into fights with the neighborhood kids. Her mother was always drinking and her father barely cared for his family at all. Maggie's father died whil
...more
Kelly
We read this in my junior year American studies class in high school. Honestly, I wasn't a fan of a lot of books that we read in that class, mostly because I favor 19th century Brit lit over 19th century American lit (Gatsby and Slaughterhouse Five were the two shining exceptions) just in subject and tone, and well, everything. But! This little story really stuck with me. I read it a couple of times that first night, and I lead the discussion the next day, mostly because I couldn't shut up.

I thi
...more
Rahil
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women
Stephen Crane, I DON'T KNOW U, BUT I'LL FIND YOU , AND I'LL KILL U ,even though you're already dead ! -_- This is one of the books that suffocates the shit out of you, I wanted to throw it away several times, not just because of The Somehow-old-English-used-that-sounds-like-Chinese , No , but for the depressing story ! Why do we mourn people when they die, while we curse them , hate them, and bore them when they're alive ?! The confusing thing is that it's her own mom who did so ! I see a lot of ...more
Kate
Dec 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kate by: Required reading for AP English Literature Grade 11 or 12
This was a short enough novel that it wasn't a chore to read. I had a friend in high school named Maggie and I recall that we would sometimes call her "Maggie Girl of the Streets" while we were reading this book... The only other thing I remember about this book is the main character looking up and saying, "The moon looks like shit" - and my teacher dissecting this sentence to mean that the character's life was so terrible she couldn't think of anything wonderful to compare the moon to.
Hail
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was good, but nothing spectacular in my opinion. It felt like there were some missing parts and some things were left unexplained. Even so, it was a tragic tale and one that illustrated the differences between social classes during this time in America.
Lighty
Jan 30, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-school
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Darinda
Read in The Stephen Crane Megapack: 94 Classic Works by the Author of The Red Badge of Courage.

Maggie is a girl who was raised in an abusive home in a poor area of the city. As an adult, she lived with her mother (a horrible alcoholic) and her brother (a brute). She fell for her brother's friend, who was a scoundrel. He ended up abandoning her, as did her family. Eventually, she ended up on the streets.

This story is about the harshness of life, partially due to poverty, for a young woman in the
...more
Vivian
Oct 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Have you read Erskine Caldwell's Tobacco Road? This is the same story, only set in New York City's post-Civil War Irish community.

Maggie seems somehow set apart from her rough older brother and parents who fight, swear, and drink constantly. She naively makes choices that cause her family to expel her from their home. From there her choices are limited and ultimately disastrous.

I can imagine this story making quite a stir when it was published, with its language and frank portrayal of life for
...more
Andy
Sep 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this a couple months ago, just getting around to reviewing it. This was the fifth naturalism novel I read in my "Summer of Naturalism." This is considered THE first example of naturalism in American literature.

The story follows Maggie as she grows up in a poor district of Manahattan. Her home is a horrible place, full of drinking, fighting and strife. She sees her brother Jimmie's friend, the self-confident bartender Pete as a way to escape, naively not realizing that Pete is just as shal
...more
Becca
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
good 2 kno that if you have sex in the 19th century ur whole family hates u and then u die off screen
María
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
2.5
Josiphine/Tessa
Depressing and simplistic and very much of its time.
Sarah
Jun 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crane loves drama and he steeps this novella in the same mash of din and color as his Red Badge of Courage, but this ostensible failure (it wasn't popular until after he grew famous for Red Badge) is actually an odd mix of Jacob-Riis-esque documentary of the Bowery slums and a throw back of the mid-century temperance tales like Solon Robinson's wildly popular temperance tale, "Hot Corn," which was serialized in the New York Tribune (later published in novel format) and which spawned numerous min ...more
Penny Landon
Feb 02, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had such high expectations for this book because the subject matter is so interesting and historical. The idea of a narrative that deals with a women being driven into prostitution really had potential. What I got was a hot mess that really should not have as much fame and so much scholarship written about it. Unless you are a close reader and make A LOT of assumptions, the whole premise of the book is lost on you. I ended up referring to a summary online just to make sure I was reading it cor ...more
Zakiyah
Jan 16, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-shelf
This book was amazing. I applaud Stephen Crane for writing this book. I really liked it. It told me that Black people wernt the only ones treated badly. That other people like the Irish people were.
Something bad about the book was that I could not understand the lingo. I mean I could understand it but I either had the read it aloud, or read it really slowly. Also sometimes even when i understood the words, I couldnt understand what it meant.
Some positive things About Maggie girl from the stre
...more
Rhian
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This very short novella set in a poor district of New York at the end of the nineteenth century tells the story of a young girl's descent into prostitution. The daughter of a drunken and abusive mother and father, Maggie succumbs to the charms of her brother's friend, Pete, who seems to promise a little more fun and excitement that she has ever known. But of course it goes badly wrong.

The blurb on the back says that the book 'shocked a world unprepared for his grim and starkly realistic explorat
...more
Jessica
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Romaissa
May 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It felt so strange reading this book. I was completely lost and had no idea what i'm exactly reading. I thought i was going to read about Maggie, but the story was barely centred on her. I can't even make a judgement about her. The author was more concerned about describing the low life of the city than writing about Maggie. Besides the unfamiliar English he used in the characters' dialogues, his writing style was okay. However, i didn't enjoy the reporting of the events, and i guess the narrati ...more
Jade Graham
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book it made my cry! Maggie: A Girl Of The Streets makes you think about the hard times before the war and how people spoke back then.

Added 5/3/16- Maggie: A Girl of the Streets is unlike anything I've ever read. There are similarities to how prostitutes are treated in tv shows that are shown in the book. But that book was depressing in a way that felt real. She was always neglected by her family. Fell for a rich guy who dumped her one date later. Then after getting help from no one
...more
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Kindle copy flawed 1 13 May 23, 2009 04:22PM  
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19879
Stephen Crane was an American novelist, poet and journalist, best known for the novel Red Badge of Courage. That work introduced the reading world to Crane's striking prose, a mix of impressionism, naturalism and symbolism. He died at age 28 in Badenweiler, Baden, Germany.

More about Stephen Crane...
“The man had arrived at that stage of drunkenness where affection is felt for the universe.” 22 likes
“The girl, Maggie, blossomed in a mud puddle.” 8 likes
More quotes…