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Sister Carrie Paperback – Aug 1 1994
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Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser's revolutionary first novel, was published in 1900--sort of. The story of Carrie Meeber, an 18-year-old country girl who moves to Chicago and becomes a kept woman, was strong stuff at the turn of the century, and what Dreiser's wary publisher released was a highly expurgated version. Times change, and we now have a restored "author's cut" of Sister Carrie that shows how truly ahead of his time Dreiser was. First and foremost, he has written an astute, nonmoralizing account of a woman and her limited options in late-19th-century America. That's impressive in and of itself, but Dreiser doesn't stop there. Digging deeply into the psychological underpinnings of his characters, he gives us people who are often strangers to themselves, drifting numbly until fate pushes them on a path they can later neither defend nor even remember choosing.
Dreiser's story unfolds in the measured cadences of an earlier era. This sometimes works brilliantly as we follow the choices, small and large, that lead some characters to doom and others to glory. On the other hand, the middle chapters--of which there are many--do drag somewhat, even when one appreciates Dreiser's intentions. If you can make it through the sagging midsection, however, you'll be rewarded by Sister Carrie's last 150 pages, which depict the harrowing downward spiral of one of the book's central characters. Here Dreiser portrays with brutal power how the wrong decision--or lack of decision--can lay waste to a life. --Rebecca Gleason --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
`Dreiser`s early novel is probably his greatest, and one of the greatest American novels`l Irish Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Inside This Book(Learn More)
When Caroline Meeber boarded the afternoon train for Chicago her total outfit consisted of a small trunk, which was checked in the baggage car, a cheap imitation alligator skin satchel holding some minor details of the toilet, a small lunch in a paper box and a yellow leather snap purse, containing her ticket, a scrap of paper with her sister's address in Van Buren Street, and four dollars in money. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
T.Dreiser is without a doubt, one of the most underappreciated authors ever to grace the American scene. This book is, or should be, on the same level as "To Kill A Mockingbird" or "Grapes of Wrath." I highly, highly, highly (can you tell I liked it?) recommend this book to you.
The writing itself, as other readers and critics throughout the past one hundred years or so have repeated when attempting to find fault with Sister Carrie, isn't the most impressive thing about the book. However, in its defense, the cut and dry, occasionally pasted on moments of philosophical conversation and the rugged and perhaps at times inconsistant speech patterns of the various characters somehow, for me, created an even more believable picture, zoning in on those people who attempt to speak both above and beneath their social class and educational backgrounds for either personal gain or in a futile effort to 'fit in'.
A wonderful book, because of its flaws, in fact, that reads like a quick-paced and absorbing tale always on the verge of tragedy. That tension, that what-will-happen-next feeling pervades throughout the book and concludes by providing quite an impact indeed.
saying that everyone should take heed of. Carrie is a girl who desires money and new apparel. She comes from an average financial family and feels this isn't sufficient enough for her. She uses two men, Drouet and Hurstwood to achieve her dreams. All the characters of the novel were real and dealt with real life problems. Carrie, in the beginning, needed to pay board and get a job. Although she did not like the job, she still had to have the money to live. This was also true with most of the other
characters. They were very relatable because you can identify with their problems. Even though they had they share of predicaments, there was not any suspense or major problem that had to be dealt with. Basically, this
was a novel about the story of Carrie's life away from home. Sure, she had little troubles but nothing that would make you read on the edge of your seat. Even though at the end of the novel she was without problems and had what she wanted, she was not happy. She wished for money and to be like the upper class, and unquestionably she got it, but she didn't have anyone to share it with. Theodore Dreiser's, Sister Carrie, had no real plot or suspense in it. All in all, I enjoyed the novel, but he could have made it more interesting for the reader to read by putting in elements of suspense.
I would recommend this book to people interested in the concept of the city. Although its notoriety stems from its "naturalistic" depiction of the characters, I thought it was the depcition of the urban environment of Chicago and New York which stood out.
While the intertwined fates of Carrie, Drouet and Hurstwood occupy the foreground of this book, I found myself consistently drawn to the back ground.
Since Dreiser came up as a newspaperman, this makes a certain amount of sense.
The details that Dreiser includes about the day-to-day life in the big city at the turn of the century were worth the price of admission, so to speak. The plot of the novel, concerning Carrie and her rise and fall and rise, was less notable, as far as I'm concerned.
This is not a short book, and some of the economic turmoil suffered by the characters tapped in to a larger well spring of fear and anxiety about social status that many Americans(including myself) share.
While not what I would call a "fun" read, it is fairly light, and certainly worthwhile.
Most recent customer reviews
In my English 3 honors class, we had to pick a novel out of a list, and then do a big project on it. Read morePublished on May 8 2004 by blackholesun1Girl
Sometimes you are told to read a book because it is a classic and then it turns out to be really awful. 'Sister Carrie' is a classic, written in 1900. And it still is... Read morePublished on April 24 2004 by M. Buisman
This book is an interesting commentary on class relations at the beginning of the 20th century. Having been written at the time, I never got the impression that the author was... Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2004 by W. Wellesley
Sister Carrie is a serious, thoughtful look at the role of money in the lives of men and women at the turn of the century. Read morePublished on May 16 2003
Classic story of small town girl comes to the big city to make her fortune. Written in the same realistic style that Dreisser used in An American Tragedy, Sister Carrie offers more... Read morePublished on May 4 2003
I finished it last weekend, it is not that difficult to read word wise but after you read it you have to digest all they Dreiser is saying. Read morePublished on April 7 2003
When reading booklists (one of my fav. hobbies) I came across this title and the review was somthing like a lover's life rises as her partner (Drouet) declines. Read morePublished on April 4 2003
When I finished reading Theodore Dreiser's 1900 novel, "Sister Carrie," I wrote in the margin, "We live in a depressing fiasco of a country. Read morePublished on March 3 2003 by mp
I sometimes fear that novels heralded as "classics" may have been great in their time, but no longer have as much wallop. Read morePublished on June 22 2002