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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brother Dreiser
When I studied English Literature at London University in the 1960s, Dreiser was not on the map - indeed, unless you opted for a special American Literature paper (which I did not), no American writers were mentioned (apart from the pseudo-English Eliot and James) so that I came later - with delight - to Twain, Steinbeck, Whitman, Dickinson, Fitzgerald and with less...
Published 19 months ago by Melvyn Elphee

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unreadable
I'm not talking about the book itself, but the painfully lazy conversion to ebook- DO NOT BUY THIS VERSION, either pay more for another kindle version, or buy a physical copy. This one is full of mistakes and grammatical errors to the extent that I found it unreadable. not just a few small typos, there are mistakes on nearly every page, some so bad I'm not sure what it's...
Published 9 months ago by Daisy


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unreadable, 30 Dec 2013
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I'm not talking about the book itself, but the painfully lazy conversion to ebook- DO NOT BUY THIS VERSION, either pay more for another kindle version, or buy a physical copy. This one is full of mistakes and grammatical errors to the extent that I found it unreadable. not just a few small typos, there are mistakes on nearly every page, some so bad I'm not sure what it's actually supposed to say, sentences that don't make sense etc. Don t be swayed by the price, Stay well clear of this version!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brother Dreiser, 18 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Sister Carrie (Kindle Edition)
When I studied English Literature at London University in the 1960s, Dreiser was not on the map - indeed, unless you opted for a special American Literature paper (which I did not), no American writers were mentioned (apart from the pseudo-English Eliot and James) so that I came later - with delight - to Twain, Steinbeck, Whitman, Dickinson, Fitzgerald and with less delight to Hawthorne, Melville and Hemingway. But after forty years of reading and teaching English Literature, Dreiser did not figure in my consciousness until rently when a friend mentioned that An American Tragedy was one of the things she had enjoyed on her course in the USA. As that book did not figure on the free kindle downloads I opted for Sister Carrie instead. I am very glad to have commenced my acquaintance with Dreiser. He has something in common with Edith Wharton (the background society, though his emphasis is on a different part of it), Thomas Hardy (the tragic inevitability of poverty) and George Gissing (the realistic depiction of poverty and its manifestations), also a splash of Scott Fitzgerald in that he is one of the first critics of the American Dream. But he is sufficiently himself for us to need his voice.
It is quite a hard novel to "rate": on the negative side, the style is raw and clumsy (though often appropriately so), the plot has too many "and then"s rather than "and so"s, there is a creaky and unconvincing sensationalist robbery section which really needed re-writing and the thematically important character of Ames is under-developed, which weakens the force of the novel as a whole. But against this, it is so readable! Plot and character conspire to fling us from incident to incident and page to page in a way that makes it fairly hard to put down, yet it is no mere pot boiler - the seriousness of purpose is greater than the involving details through which it is conveyed. And in Carrie and the two men in her life we have memorable, convincing characters who represent more than their mere individual selves and do indeed become part of an American tragi-comedy, now, sadly, a universal one. Hurstwood in particular achieves a tragic depth that links him to Arthur Miller's Willy Loman or Biju in Kiran Desai's marvelous 2006 Booker Prize winner, The Inheritance of Loss (if you haven't read it yet, DO!) Once we are thinking in these terms of the "great", there are little questions that perhaps keep Dreiser out of such a category - is he guilty of sentimentality from time to time? Is he unable to select the significant detail and so gives us too much? Does he give in to overt moralising? But such niggles are involved even when considering Shakespeare, Dickens, Tolstoy et al. Dreiser has made an important contribution to our awareness of the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Man and Woman. Humankind is the richer for his contribution.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Great American Novel!, 12 Mar 2006
Sister Carrie," Theodore Dreiser's debut novel, is the extraordinarily powerful story of Carrie Meeber, a naïve small-town girl from Wisconsin who comes to the big city, Chicago, to reside with her older sister's small family. The year is 1889. "She was eighteen years of age, bright, timid and full of the illusions of ignorance and youth."
Carrie is soon overwhelmed by the difficulty of finding work, especially since she has no previous experience as a wage earner. When she finally does get a job on an assembly line at a shoe factory for $3.50 per week, she is exhausted by long hours of standing and poor working conditions. "Not the slightest provision had been made for the comfort of the employees, the idea being that something was gained by giving them as little as possible." "The wash rooms and lavatories were disagreeable, crude, if not foul places, and the whole atmosphere was one of hard contract."
Carrie does well in spite of these hardships, but she must pay her sister's husband almost her entire salary for her room and board. With winter coming and the chill winds of a Chicago autumn upon her, Carrie has no money for a coat, hat, nor even an umbrella. She is absolutely wretched. Then she meets a young salesman, Charles Drouet, whom she had become slightly acquainted with on the train to the city. She is eventually tricked into living with him - seduced by his offers of marriage, and the economic security and comparative independence he provides her. She is still a girl and is motivated by impulses and her passive, overly trusting nature.
Carrie makes another serious mistake when she allows herself to be deceived a second time by a well-to-do, married saloon manager twice her age, Mr. Hurstwood. Drouet, showing off, had introduced Carrie to his socially superior friend, and also thought to shine in Hurstwood's eyes by presenting him to his attractive, young "wife."
Disillusioned after a few years with Drouet, who loves her in his fashion but has proved to be irresponsible and flighty, Carrie believes Hurstwood to be single and herself to be in love with him. Hurstwood, a respectable gentleman who has never been a philanderer, is himself quite enamored with Carrie - enough to leave his family. He persuades her to flee Chicago and move with him to New York. He does this by outright lying to the young woman in his desperation to have her.
Given the period when the novel was published and the morality and mores of the time, "Sister Carrie" was not only poorly received, the novel scandalized polite society. The heroine, a young woman who comes to the city, forms two out-of-wedlock relationships, eventually becomes successful in her own right, rising to fame and respectability. She is rewarded rather than suffering punishment for her moral lapses.
Originally a newspaperman, Theodore Dreiser writes with a blunt journalistic style. In "Sister Carrie" and his other work, he deals with the gritty reality of life and is known as an outstanding representative of naturalism - a movement in literature and the arts where real life subjects are portrayed as they exist in the real world - with all their blemishes and defects.
I originally read "Sister Carrie" 25 years ago and thought to revisit it when I found it in one of my book trunks. I loved the novel back then, but now I really appreciate what a great American novel this is. The characters are outstanding in their depth and realism. The story is compelling, and the portrait of American life as seen through Dreiser's eyes is exceptional. Highly recommended!
JANA
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A classic story turned to gobbledegook, 15 Jun 2014
By 
Pippa M (Wiltshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This may be a great story and I would love to know but this kindle version is the worst digitised book that I have ever read. It is so full of errors, bad spelling, grammar and punctuation that it is unreadable. It is just so sloppily done that the publishers ought to be ashamed to have made it available in this form. If you have ever used OCR (optical character recognition) software you will know what howlers it can create in mis-identifying words and grammar. But you would expect a publisher to have proof read and corrected the result before putting it on sale. Do not buy this version.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A shocking mess, 25 May 2014
By 
Frank Sounder (London, England) - See all my reviews
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Dreiser was recommended to me and I came to this with high hopes. These still exist but I will be seeking another edition. The novel is so badly typeset, with erroneous punctuation, extra words and missing words, that it seems at first to be an example of some unique, previously undiscovered, modernist style. But it's not. It's just a shoddy shambles. If you still think it's worth forking out 73p to confirm this, don't. It's not. Also see review by Daisy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyment of Sister Carrie, 12 Feb 2014
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I enjoy the story, having read it many years ago, and been unable to find a copy to re read, I was delighted to find in on Amazon. I do find however that some of the script is difficulty to follow as words are missing or sometimes words used which are probably not in the original. any one should be able to get the understanding without difficulty.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're not happy, said Hurstwood, 28 July 1999
By A Customer
You're not happy -- so you do something about it. To make yourself happy, you compete with others and the strongest will survive. Hints of Darwinian thought mix with Dreiser's own opinions on society as the reader follows the tale of Carrie and Hurstwood. Carrie goes to the city from the country and proceeds to work her way up in life. Hurstwood begins in a good position yet makes a tragic choice to end up down in life. The strongest survive in the city, and Dreiser's characters are all trying to survive. Works laced with determinism are not the most fun to read, but often have very important things to say about society. Sister Carrie is a profound book and well worth the time and effort.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected - and that's a good thing!, 21 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Sister Carrie (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
When the heroine, Carrie, was first introduced as a naive small-town girl heading to Chicago and falling for the advances of a travelling salesman on the train, I was worried that this would be a simple tragedy, where the helpless Carrie gets chewed up by the big city and ruined.

Fortunately, the book is a lot more interesting than that. Carrie does suffer, she does get disillusioned, but she also fights back and makes a concerted attempt to find happiness, and the results are far from predictable. Some of the men who try to prey on her end up as victims themselves, while Carrie experiences a real mix of good luck and bad.

Dreiser's writing style is a little verbose by modern standards, but still the story moves along quickly enough. The author also puts in some moral judgments and quasi-scientific explanations for the characters' actions, things which a modern writer would leave out but which work fine as artefacts of the age. The story was compelling and unpredictable, and I'm glad I read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Vicissitudes of Life..., 16 July 2012
By 
John P. Jones III (Albuquerque, NM, USA) - See all my reviews
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Theodore Dreiser, an American novelist of the "naturalist school" published this, his first novel, in 1900, to limited acclaim. The wife of the publisher, Mrs. Doubleday, was adamantly opposed to its publication since, in her opinion, "immorality," by which she means, Carrie's relationship with men, was not clearly punished. At the end of my "Barnes & Noble Classics" copy, there is a spot-on retort from a review in the "San Francisco Argonaut": "But these critics will have little to say in condemnation of the immorality of a commercial system which offers young girls a wage of three or four dollars a week in payment for labor as destructive to the mind as to the body." As with numerous other American novelists, their merit was first recognized in Europe, and then reflected back to the States. The novel was re-issued in 1907, to a much more receptive public. Dreiser grew up in Indiana, and went to Chicago as a newspaperman. The principal character, Carrie, is based on his sister, who, in the novel, went from Wisconsin to Chicago. Though re-issued in the same year that Upton Sinclair published his famous muck-raking novel The Jungle (American Library), also set in Chicago, Dreiser's novel is actually set in the 1880's - `90's. In terms of the social classes, the two novels both complement and contrast the classes depicted, and there is a dash of some social mobility thrown in.

Carrie is a classic country girl, fleeing a big family, for the lights of the big city. On the train to Chicago she meets Drouet, a smooth-talking salesman. Carrie's domestic situation, living with her sister and brother-in-law is not a happy one, and she soon takes up "domestic arrangements" with Drouet. And in the much more sedate time of what was the Victorian era in England, that is all you learn: the panting, puffing and groping are all carefully excised. Hurstwood, a married man of some property, and limited propriety, and an erstwhile friend of Drouet, also takes an unseeming interest in Carrie, which borders on Maugham's Of Human Bondage. With this essential dynamic, the novel is propelled forward, with the inevitable vicissitudes in the human interactions as well as the social standing of the main characters. Roughly half the novel is set in New York City, so the reader gains an appreciation of the two largest American cities in the post-Civil War period, an event that is never mentioned.

"Naturalism" means a realistic account life in the aforementioned cities. No "stream of consciousness" or other innovative story-telling techniques. Just a straightforward story, an easy read. I felt that the characterizations of the men, both Drouet and Hurstwood, seemed to be more insightful. Carrie is depicted as a strong women, with an independent streak, but she is also simply swept along by events, and her motivation at times is difficult to understand. The economics of the times is also realistically portrayed, including the grinding poverty that was the fate of most. Unemployment, underemployment, many of the same themes that dominant today's economy were highly operative then. Carrie "made it," at least in terms of achieving success as an actress, but as Dreiser said, in terms of her relationship to Hurstwood: "She forgot her youth and her beauty. The handicap of age she did not, in her enthusiasm, perceive." She achieved "success," but not happiness. But that was not enough for Mrs. Doubleday, even though Dreiser says: "It is but natural that when the world which they represented no longer allured her, its ambassadors should be discredited...In your rocking-chair, by your window, shall you dream such happiness as you may never feel."

Regrettably, this is the first novel of Dreiser's that I have read. His other major work, published a quarter century later, An American Tragedy (Signet Classics) is now on the "to-read list." In terms of the characters, and the setting, it is an important American novel, relevant both then, and in our own troubled economic times. 5-stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Tragic Love, 30 Jun 2011
By 
Marham - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sister Carrie (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
Sister Carrie come to the city to live with her sister who is struggling. She eventually marries but then is "Swept off her feet" and leaves for New York with her lover who looses his job and all goes down hill. This is a story of survival but with no happy ending. It is beautifully written and moves with pace. A masterpiece of American Literature.
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Sister Carrie (Dover Thrift Editions)
Sister Carrie (Dover Thrift Editions) by Theodore Dreiser (Paperback - 28 May 2004)
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