Finally finished An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, and it was a grind. I never intended to write a review of each book I read (on or off the list), so let’s just say that I found myself skimming paragraphs of onerous detail by the time Dreiser got to the trial. It was an interesting plot (inspired by a true story), and Dreiser has a lyrical style at the best of times, but the book could be just as powerful and 100 pages shorter. A major factor in it’s notoriety is the shocking topics (crass materialism, sex, pregnancy and finally murder) dealt with so frankly. It was shocking stuff in the 20’s, and Dreiser’s vivid portrayal of the social gulf between rich and poor was reinforced 4 years later by the stock market crash and the depression that followed.
Next up, Hero, Michael Korda’s biography of T. E. Lawrence [of Arabia].