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Read: An American Tragedy

An American TragedyAn American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m stunned that it took me so long to read this because I couldn’t put it down by the 2/3 of the book. An American Tragedy is based on the murder of Grace Brown in 1906 and the subsequent trial of her murder. I’m hesitant to give too much away for fear of spoiling the novel so I’ll try to be vague.

An American Tragedy is the story of Clyde Griffiths. It begins in Kansas City where we meet his poor, religious family and his parents who have been more concerned with proselytizing rather than preparing their children for life as adults. What you have is a young man wanting more from life without knowing how to get it. And Clyde seems to be constantly chasing people in an effort to have affection. It’s a scenario that is bound to end in disaster.

Dreiser spents a huge amount of time delving into the minds of his characters. Sometimes you may wish he hadn’t. But Dreiser’s characters are so well developed that you find yourself feeling the emotional ups and downs they do. The result is feeling a strong connection with the characters in this novel. And having a strong opinion of Clyde.

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