Mcteague: A Story of San Francisco (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) Paperback – 24 Nov 1994
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
One of the great works of the modern American imagination. Alfred Kazin " -One of the great works of the modern American imagination.---Alfred Kazin "One of the great works of the modern American imagination."--Alfred Kazin
About the Author
Alfred Kazin (1915-1998) was one of the most distinguished literary critics of the twentieth century. His numerous books include the highly acclaimed On Native Ground: An Interpretation of Modern American Prose Literature.
Top customer reviews
This is the dark, nasty tale of McTeague, a slow witted dentist; his girlfriend Trina and their mutual friend (Trina's cousin) Marcus. The basic storyline being that Marcus wants Trina but gives way to McTeague. The dynamic occurs when Trina wins a fortune and Marcus regrets his magnanimity and falls out with McTeague.
An interesting angle with the construction of the story is another couple Maria (McTeague's housemaid) and Zerkow (a Jewish merchant) also get together but based on his belief that Maria has a hidden fortune in a gold dinner service. The dynamic of both couples rotating around both a real or imagined fortune is clever - suffice is to say brutal murder is the outcome.
This is a very slow burn sinister story with the build-up of the relationship of McTeague and Trina taking far too long I found. The depiction of the late 1800s America is very appealing but the realistic thrust of the story is just too meandering overall. Trina's miserliness dominates and steers the McTeague downfall. The extremely dramatic cowboy/western style ending, though worth the read of the book for, is the finale of about the last 10th of the book and appears somewhat out of place and perhaps overly contrived.
I found also that a significant event which lays McTeague low also mis-placed in that I'm sure (give the circumstances, which I won't state as it could be a spoiler) he could have found someway to carry on his profession.
In summary a good read but not nearly as enthralling as The Wheat.
Its philosophy is determinism: people follow their desires `blindly, recklessly, furious and raging at every obstacle' in `the changeless order of things'.
This determinism of no escape is perfectly illustrated in the last image: `As McTeague rose to his feet, he felt a pull at his right wrist. Looking down, he saw that Marcus in that last struggle had found the strength to handcuff their wrists together.'
The picture is sometimes overdone, a caricature: `The hideous yelling of a hurt beast, the squealing of a wounded elephant.'
And ultimately, the novel is less impressive than `The Pit' or `The Octopus', because it lacks a framework. People are acting as in a void. The novel is a pure illustration of characters. There is no social conditioning; e.g., the fact that a new legislation is introduced to regulate the profession of dentist is mainly used as a vengeance, out of jealousy.
But, all in all, it is (still) a courageous book and a very worth-while read.
and Norris uses repetition and the placement of vastness to dig the graves of the vulgar people that inhabit the novel's space.
repition, crossed by the unexpected.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews