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Sister Carrie

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  31,690 Ratings  ·  1,209 Reviews
This epic of urban life tells of small- town heroine Carrie Meeber, adrift in an indifferent Chicago. Setting out, she has nothing but a few dollars and an unspoiled beauty. Hers is a story of struggle? from sweatshop to stage success?and of the love she inspires in an older, married man whose obsession with her threatens to destroy him.
Paperback, 512 pages
Published January 6th 2009 by Signet Book (first published 1900)
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Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie was the first real book I've ever read in English. I was 11, my mother just bought me a brand-spanking-new English dictionary, and my school librarians finally let me roam the section of the library where normally kids were not allowed to wreck havoc in on their own. Awed by the idea of a big book in a language I just started to somewhat understand, I reached for it, just missing the much more age-appropriate Treasure Island - but then why'd you think I'd ever wa ...more
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3 out of 5 stars to Sister Carrie, one of the greatest American novels of true realistic cum naturalistic tone, published in its final form in 1900 by Theodore Dreiser. Some of my favorite literature comes from this time period in American history. Writers took extreme liberties with creating the most realistic point of view and portrayal of characters who were living the American dream, or at least attempting to. All details were painfully described when it came to what was going
Aug 17, 2007 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe I am actually trying to read this again. This is an oft-flung book, which has fair aerodynamics and, the hardcover copy of which makes a satisfying "thunk" as it hits the wall.
When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things. Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan standard of virtue and becomes worse.

That I prioritized 'Sister Carrie' over at least fifty other books high on the ever-expanding tbr list can be imputed to a matter of false advertising. The blurb hails Carrie as a modern woman in American fiction, a first of her kind (think Kate Chopin's The Awakening released just a year prior t
Michael Finocchiaro
High school read. Recall it being extremely well-written albeit quite depressing - need to re-read!
Jan 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a classic that I could read over and over again. What a story! If you haven't read it, you should! The story not only captures the reader into the story, it gives you a deep sense of mans crazy nature.

I just finished reading this one again. I first read it 7 years ago, and felt is was time to try it again. Dreiser really speaks to my soul!!

"Oh Carrie, Carrie! Oh blind strivings of the human heart! Onward onward, it saith, and where beauty leads, there it follows. Whether it be the tink
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the Blackstone Audiobook which came out Nov 18, 2005. It is not registered here at GR. There are two versions of Theodore Dreiser's book. The original "Doubleday Edition" was published in 1900. This, the original, was in fact edited by his wife. It has 47 chapters. It was considered more easily accessible to the public; the harsh message of new American Naturalism softened. The Blackstone audiobook uses this version.

80 years later, the "Pennsylvania Edition" of the book came out.
Aug 15, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jonathan by: Shane Avery
In the words of Edmund Wilson, "Dreiser commands our respect; but the truth is he writes so badly that it is almost impossible to read him."

Sister Carrie is a bad book. Not morally bad, unfortunately. That at least would make it interesting. In that respect, nothing in this book would be out of place in a Progressive lecture on social purity. This line from the first page sets the tone: "When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things. Either she falls into saving hands and b
Jacob Appel
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I returned to this book after nearly two decades away and I found it as juicy and engrossing as ever.

I'll be the first to acknowledge that, as stylists go, Dreiser is among the least accomplished of major American novelists. Maybe only John O'Hara compares, if he's even still considered a major author. Dreiser's word choice is no more precise than that of a Ouija board, his sentences as vibrant as chewed galoshes. But reading Dreiser for his wordsmithery is like visiting Casablanca for the water
Mar 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Theodore Dreiser and Emile Zola are both in the naturalist camps of literature, and indeed, I found many similarities between Sister Carrie and Nana. The major difference however, is that Dreiser choses to lead Hurstwood, his formerly affluent male protagonist to a bitter, self-induced end in a flophouse (reminiscent of Edith Wharton's House of Mirth), while Carrie, a lowerclass woman who, it could be argued, does bad things for money and material gain, moves up the socio-econimic ladder to a po ...more
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Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser was an American novelist and journalist. He pioneered the naturalist school and is known for portraying characters whose value lies not in their moral code, but in their persistence against all obstacles, and literary situations that more closely resemble studies of nature than tales of choice and agency.
More about Theodore Dreiser...
“People in general attach too much importance to words. They are under the illusion that talking effects great results. As a matter of fact, words are, as a rule, the shallowest portion of all the argument. They but dimly represent the great surging feelings and desires which lie behind. When the distraction of the tongue is removed, the heart listens.” 92 likes
“Many individuals are so constituted that their only thought is to obtain pleasure and shun responsibility. They would like, butterfly-like, to wing forever in a summer garden, flitting from flower to flower, and sipping honey for their sole delight. They have no feeling that any result which might flow from their action should concern them. They have no conception of the necessity of a well-organized society wherein all shall accept a certain quota of responsibility and all realize a reasonable amount of happiness. They think only of themselves because they have not yet been taught to think of society. For them pain and necessity are the great taskmasters. Laws are but the fences which circumscribe the sphere of their operations. When, after error, pain falls as a lash, they do not comprehend that their suffering is due to misbehavior. Many such an individual is so lashed by necessity and law that he falls fainting to the ground, dies hungry in the gutter or rotting in the jail and it never once flashes across his mind that he has been lashed only in so far as he has persisted in attempting to trespass the boundaries which necessity sets. A prisoner of fate, held enchained for his own delight, he does not know that the walls are tall, that the sentinels of life are forever pacing, musket in hand. He cannot perceive that all joy is within and not without. He must be for scaling the bounds of society, for overpowering the sentinel. When we hear the cries of the individual strung up by the thumbs, when we hear the ominous shot which marks the end of another victim who has thought to break loose, we may be sure that in another instance life has been misunderstood--we may be sure that society has been struggled against until death alone would stop the individual from contention and evil.” 48 likes
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