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Sister Carrie (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – 28 May 2004

3.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc. (28 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486434680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486434681
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Theodore Dreiser is a man who, with the passage of time, is bound to loom larger and larger in the awakening aesthetic consciousness of America. Among all of our prose writers he is one of the few men of whom it may be said that he has . . . never been a trickster. If there is a modern movement in American prose writing, a movement toward greater courage and fidelity to life in writing, Theodore Dreiser is the pioneer and the hero of the movement. --Sherwood Anderson

Such a novel as Sister Carrie stands quite outside the brief traffic of the customary stage. It leaves behind an inescapable impression of bigness, of epic sweep and dignity. It is not a mere story, not a novel in the customary American meaning of the word; it is at once a psalm of life and a criticism of life. . . . [Dreiser's] aim is not merely to tell a tale; his aim is to show the vast ebb and flow of forces which sway and condition human destiny. The thing he seeks to do is to stir, to awaken, to move. One does not arise from such a book as Sister Carrie with a smirk of satisfaction; one leaves it infinitely touched. --H. L. Mencken --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

"American writing, before and after Dreiser's time, differed almost as much as biology before and after Darwin," said H. L. Mencken. Sister Carrie, Dreiser's great first novel, transformed the conventional "fallen woman" story into a bold and truly innovative piece of fiction when it appeared in 1900. Naive young Caroline Meeber, a small-town girl seduced by the lure of the modern city, becomes the mistress of a traveling salesman and then of a saloon manager, who elopes with her to New York. Both its subject matter and Dreiser's unsparing, nonjudgmental approach made Sister Carrie a controversial book in its time, and the work retains the power to shock readers today.
"Sister Carrie came to housebound and airless America like a great
free Western wind, and to our
stuffy domesticity gave us the first
fresh air since Mark Twain and Whitman," noted Sinclair Lewis. "Dreiser enlarged, willy-nilly, by
a kind of historical accident if
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with afford-
able hardbound editions of impor-
tant works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-
fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring
as its emblem the running torch-
bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well asinau-
gurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.

"From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sister Carrie, published in 1900, was Dreiser’s first novel, and what a deep novel it is. It follows a clear narrative journey, has completely believable characters, the central ones of whom are particularly complex, nuanced and perfectly credible as recognisable individuals – but we also absolutely see the history and culture of time and place acting on them, moulding them, influencing and shaping them. Choices may be made, which seem individual, but the freedom of expression may be more circumscribed than some characters – or some readers – may believe.

Carrie is a young rural girl, who comes to Chicago in 1889, to stay with her sister and her brother-in-law. Carrie has ambition, she is a young woman of beauty and some delicacy, wanting to improve her status and opportunities. She aspires to some kind of clerical office job, or perhaps as a sales assistant in one of the burgeoning glossy department stores. Unfortunately, her poverty and lack of experience are against her. It is an employer’s market, and all she can get is dirty, badly paid, unskilled factory work, exploited and working in impossibly harsh conditions.

Dreiser, writing with irony, looks back on the 1889 working conditions and compares them to the more enlightened thinking of ‘now’ (1900):

“The place smelled of the oil of the machines and the new leather – a combination which added to by the stale odours of the building, was not pleasant, even in cold weather. The floor, though regularly swept each evening, presented a littered surface. 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 and making the work as hard and unremunerative as possible.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A engrossing novel of an ambitious young girl's coming of age in 19th. century Chicago and New York. The character sketches are vivid and real, and Dreiser cleverly tears the reader from empathy with first Carrie and then her lovers, upon whom she depends for her expensive tastes. It is fascinating to see her apparent adaptation when one of them falls from grace.

This was Dreiser's first novel, written in 1900, and the prose, with occasional delightfully archaic flourishes seems surprisingly modern. Others have noted that this transcription to e-book is ridden with typos and spelling errors. Simply not true; perhaps these critics are mistaking the American spelling.
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Format: Paperback
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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