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An American Tragedy
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Group Reads - Fiction > An American Tragedy- Jan/Feb 2018 Group Classic Read

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Please discuss our Jan/Feb 2018 group classic read An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser


Patrick I will see if I can keep up with this read. The problem as always is that I have too many books in progress. However, I have wanted to read An American Tragedy for a long while. Of Dreiser's other work, I've read Sister Carrie in both the first edition text and the restored manuscript text, and The Financier.


message 3: by Pam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 675 comments I already have my first 3 books for 2018 ready to go. As soon as I finish them, I will start American Tragedy. I've been meaning to read it for years and it's one of the first 10 books I added to my GR's TBR! It's definitely time to read it.


message 4: by Greg (new)

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Patrick wrote: "I will see if I can keep up with this read. The problem as always is that I have too many books in progress. However, I have wanted to read An American Tragedy for a long while. Of Dreiser's other ..."

I read Sister Carrie too and quite liked it. I'll be joining in this read as well. It's a long one though!! Glad it runs 2 months!


message 5: by John (new)

John Grabowski (johngrabowski) | 7 comments I hope to join in the read but make no guarantees. The fact that it's two months is nice. I have other stuff I must read during this time too. But this has been on my list after reading Sister Carrie.


Rebecca | 50 comments I'm also glad that this is a two month read, it certainly gives me a fighting chance to finish the book. I just started, only reading the first chapter, but it's so packed with detail that I can tell that it will take awhile to finish!


Patrick I read the first chapter (and loved it) yesterday, so I guess I'm in!


message 8: by Greg (new)

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Patrick wrote: "I read the first chapter (and loved it) yesterday, so I guess I'm in!"

Great Patrick!


Jen from Quebec :0) (muppetbaby99) | 57 comments I just grabbed a Kindle copy for 99 cents and hope to join in, if I can! --Jen from Quebec :0)


message 10: by Greg (new)

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Jennifer Lynn wrote: "I just grabbed a Kindle copy for 99 cents and hope to join in, if I can! --Jen from Quebec :0)"

Great Jen - that's a good price!


message 11: by Pam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 675 comments I downloaded the ebook from the library today. This will be much easier to read than my husband’s paperback with its tiny print! I started the first few pages and I can tell this one is going to require some concentration. No reading while watching TV. 😀


Rebecca | 50 comments I have gotten through the first 2 chapters.


message 13: by Greg (new)

Greg | 7684 comments Mod
Rebecca wrote: "I have gotten through the first 2 chapters."

What do think so far Rebecca? I'll be reading it later in the month.


Patrick Also two chapters in here, loving it, but I knew I would.


Rebecca | 50 comments It's very good. There is just such detail that it wasn't moving along much but I read chapter 3 and that one was a bit more interesting. The print in my copy is fairly small also so I'm finding that I can't get as far as I would with some other books. I may see if they have a large print copy at the library.


Patrick The detail - that's Dreiser's method, to patiently build up a dense and thoroughly lived-in reality.


Rebecca | 50 comments Sounds good I've never read anything by him before. I only seem to be able to make it through one chapter at a time though I'm sure part of it is the size of the print that's why I want to see if they have a larger print book.


Rebecca | 50 comments I've just begun chapter 7. Some things are becoming more clear now such as how Dreiser shows the difference in societal classes. It's very interesting.


Leslie | 15985 comments Patrick wrote: "The detail - that's Dreiser's method, to patiently build up a dense and thoroughly lived-in reality."

I found that it took a while for my interest to get caught up in the plot because of all the details but once I did, the details really paint a vivid picture.


Rebecca | 50 comments This book seems to be holding my interest more, however, the edition that I got from the library has very small print and they don't have any copies with larger print. I will keep reading it just means more breaks! I am really enjoying the character building of Clyde, I am already beginning to understand how things could go astray!


message 21: by Pam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 675 comments I am on ch. 8 and really enjoying the book. Like Rebecca commented, Dreiser does a great job developing Clyde’s character. I can feel his excitement about this “new world” he is experiencing! It’s easy to see the potential pitfalls. I’m so glad that the group selected this book since I needed the motivation to pick it up!


Rebecca | 50 comments I've just gotten to ch. 8 and I am enjoying the continued character development of Clyde. He really has a hard time figuring out women because of his upbringing.


Rebecca | 50 comments I am enjoying the book. I am up to the car crash and I can see how Clyde can be manipulated by a woman at this point.


message 24: by Pam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 675 comments I'm ~50% done (Book2 Ch27). Still enjoying it. I wish I didn't already know the story but the book adds so much insight into Clyde's psyche and his motivation and gives the reader a sense of the times, especially the differences in the social classes. Clyde is the guy looking from the outside in, wanting to join the upper echelon of society. It's a constant struggle of where he is class-wise and where he aspires to be. It feels like at times he wants to do the right thing but just doesn't have the moral fiber or the conviction to do what he knows is right. He comes off as weak and pitiful, in my opinion. In Book2 Ch3, the author says that "Clyde had a soul that was not destined to grow up." Very true...


Leslie | 15985 comments Pam wrote: "I'm ~50% done (Book2 Ch27). Still enjoying it. I wish I didn't already know the story but the book adds so much insight into Clyde's psyche and his motivation and gives the reader a sense of the ti..."

I felt this way when I read the book too. The book gives you Clyde's thoughts which makes a big difference to how I perceived him compared to the movie.


Rebecca | 50 comments I've gotten to book 2 chapter 4 and I can certainly see the class differences, along with Clyde's aspiring to join the upper classes. Do you think his upbringing has much to do with this?


message 27: by Pam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 675 comments I’m finally at Book 3! Things should get interesting now. Oh, what to do, what to do...


Rebecca | 50 comments Unfortunatly I haven't gotten very far, it's a good book but life has gotten in the way. I may have to purchase it in order to finish it.


Leslie | 15985 comments Rebecca wrote: "Unfortunatly I haven't gotten very far, it's a good book but life has gotten in the way. I may have to purchase it in order to finish it."

Maybe you can renew it?


message 30: by Pam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 675 comments I finished the book late last night while watching the Olympics. I enjoyed it but had some issues with the writing. I felt it was too wordy, repetitive, and a bit over-dramatic. It was, though, an excellent character study and contrast of the social statuses in America. It’s not a book I will forget! At the end, I found myself thinking about our justice system. (view spoiler)


Leslie | 15985 comments I found the final section was what really differentiated the book from the movie for me.


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