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Sister Carrie

Theodore Dreiser

Book Overview: 

Sister Carrie is his first novel and tells the story of a young country girl who moves to the big city (Chicago) where she starts realizing her own American Dream by first becoming a mistress to powerful men and later as a famous actress.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .three days, while he made the shorter circuits of his business, but, as a rule, she saw a great deal of him.

"Say, Carrie," he said one morning, shortly after they had so established themselves, "I've invited my friend Hurstwood to come out some day and spend the evening with us."

"Who is he?" asked Carrie doubtfully.

"Oh, he's a nice man. He's manager of Fitzgerald and Moy's."

"What's that?" said Carrie.

"The finest resort in town. It's a way-up, swell place."

Carrie puzzled a moment. She was wondering what Drouet had told him, what her attitude would be.

"That's all right," said Drouet, feeling her thought. "He doesn't know anything. You're Mrs. Drouet now."

There was something about this which struck Carrie as slightly inconsiderate. She could see that Drouet did not have the keenest sensibilities.

"Why don't we get married?" she inquired, thinking of the voluble promi. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Book Review
3 out of 5 stars to Sister Carrie, one of the greatest American novels of true realistic cum naturalistic tone, published in its final form in 1900 by Theodore Dreiser. Some of my favorite literature comes from this time period in American history. Writers took extreme liberties wi...more

I returned to this book after nearly two decades away and I found it as juicy and engrossing as ever.

I'll be the first to acknowledge that, as stylists go, Dreiser is among the least accomplished of major American novelists. Maybe only John O'Hara compares, if he's even still considered a major a...more

High school read. Recall it being extremely well-written albeit quite depressing - need to re-read!

Until a few weeks ago, Sister Carrie wasn’t even on my guilt pile. I was finally moved to pick the book up after seeing that it was at the top of a handwritten “you must read” list by William Faulkner. (A Facebook thing.) Until that time, I think I had always thought, vaguely, but also without re...more

Theodore Dreiser and Emile Zola are both in the naturalist camps of literature, and indeed, I found many similarities between Sister Carrie and Nana. The major difference however, is that Dreiser choses to lead Hurstwood, his formerly affluent male protagonist to a bitter, self-induced end in a f...more

Carrie's first vision of Chicago is something many of us experience on Friday nights while driving into the city, excited about whatever the night might hold. The rollercoaster of hope and desolation coursing throughout the book was as much a part of life at the turn of the 20th century as it is...more

I listened to the Blackstone Audiobook which came out Nov 18, 2005. It is not registered here at GR. There are two versions of Theodore Dreiser's book. The original "Doubleday Edition" was published in 1900. This, the original, was in fact edited by his wife. It has 47 chapters. It was considered...more

This is a classic that I could read over and over again. What a story! If you haven't read it, you should! The story not only captures the reader into the story, it gives you a deep sense of mans crazy nature.

I just finished reading this one again. I first read it 7 years ago, and felt is was ti...more

When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things. Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan standard of virtue and becomes worse.
That I prioritized 'Sister Carrie' over at least fifty other books high on the ever-expanding...more

Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie was the first real book I've ever read in English. I was 11, my mother just bought me a brand-spanking-new English dictionary, and my school librarians finally let me roam the section of the library where normally kids were not allowed to wreck havoc in on their o...more

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