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The Titan

Theodore Dreiser

Book Overview: 

Cowperwood moves to Chicago with his new wife Aileen. He decides to take over the street-railway system. He bankrupts several opponents with the help of John J. McKenty and other political allies. Meanwhile, Chicago society finds out about his past in Philadelphia and the couple are no longer invited to dinner parties; after a while, the press turns on him too. Cowperwood is unfaithful many times. Aileen finds out about a certain Rita and beats her up. She gives up on him and has an affair with Polk Lynde, a man of privilege; she eventually loses faith in him. Meanwhile, Cowperwood meets young Berenice Fleming. This is Book 2 of Trilogy Of Desire.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .He felt sorry for her. At the same time he was inclined to feel that perhaps now another type of woman would be better for him socially. If he had a harder type, one with keener artistic perceptions and a penchant for just the right social touch or note, how much better he would do! He came home bringing a Perugino, brilliant examples of Luini, Previtali, and Pinturrichio (this last a portrait of Caesar Borgia), which he picked up in Italy, to say nothing of two red African vases of great size that he found in Cairo, a tall gilt Louis Fifteenth standard of carved wood that he discovered in Rome, two ornate candelabra from Venice for his walls, and a pair of Italian torcheras from Naples to decorate the corners of his library. It was thus by degrees that his art collection was growing.

At the same time it should be said, in the matter of women and the sex question, his judgment and views had begun to change tremendously. When he had first met Aileen he had . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I wish I would've read the first of this trilogy first - "The Philadelphia Years" - but even as a stand-alone story, this was a well written portrait of naked power and money in Chicago's go-go years of the late 1800's. Greed, women, money, power - the usual intoxicants of Capitalist society. I'm...more

Во второй книге трилогии Теодор Драйзер начинает движение от Фрэнка Каупервуда-финансиста и махинатора к Фрэнку Каупервуду-интригану, изменнику и любителю женских прелестей.
Для тех, кто был восхищен тем, насколько подробно и ловко были описаны все действия Каупервуда на его финансовом поприще, на...more

It kept my interest long enough to finish reading it. Since the main character is a bourgeois capitalist pig-dog, and he's opposed only by other such characters, it's hard to find any real empathy for anyone in the entire book (except for maybe one of the women he screws over).

Less a follow-up to than an extension of Dreiser's _The Financier_. Whereas in that novel Frank Cowperwood's romantic relationships are ancillary to his financial speculation and relationship-building, in _The Titan_ Cowperwood's philanderings and the development of his inner aesthete take preced...more

Only took me a month+ to get through. :-/ I have to say I liked The Financier better, as The Titan moved a bit more slowly. However, I enjoy Dreiser's writing enough, and I find Frank Cowperwood interesting enough that I'm tempted to read the last book in the trilogy, The Stoic.

В продолжение "Трилогии желания" Драйзера вторая её часть, а именно роман "Титан" не только подтвердил мастерство автора, но и получился на порядок интереснее и захватывающем в отличии от первого, хотя первая часть "Финансист" в своё время понравилась даже больше чем очень. После второй части сло...more

How strange are realities as opposed to illusion! (c)
Rushing like a great comet to the zenith, his path a blazing trail, Cowperwood did for the hour illuminate the terrors and wonders of individuality. (c)
And this giant himself, rushing on to new struggles and new difficulties in an older l...more

Why Swell'st Thou So?

Trump is a perennial American type, the coarse outsider who is driven to succeed at all costs. And he does frequently win. The paradox, however, is that his measure of success, his criteria for what constitutes winning, are supplied by others. Thus Trump and his ilk are the l...more

An individual “pursuing his own interest…frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.” That quote from the 18th century economist and philosopher Adam Smith pertains to Frank Cowperwood, the hero of Thedore Dreiser’s trilogy, of which “The Ti...more

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