Regular price: $45.49

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

An American Tragedy is the story of Clyde Griffiths, who spends his life in the desperate pursuit of success. On a deeper, more profound level, it is the masterful portrayal of the society whose values both shape Clyde's ambitions and seal his fate; it is an unsurpassed depiction of the harsh realities of American life and of the dark side of the American dream. Extraordinary in scope and power, vivid in its sense of wholesale human waste, unceasing in its rich compassion, An American Tragedy stands as Theodore Dreiser's supreme achievement.

First published in 1925 and based on an actual criminal case, An American Tragedy was the inspiration for the 1951 film A Place in the Sun, which won six Academy Awards and starred Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift.

©1925 Theodore Dreiser (P)2011 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    192
  • 4 Stars
    129
  • 3 Stars
    70
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    195
  • 4 Stars
    114
  • 3 Stars
    43
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    171
  • 4 Stars
    102
  • 3 Stars
    65
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    11
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A train reck you can't pull your eyes from.

What did you love best about An American Tragedy?

You really get inside the characters heads. You know what they are thinking, feeling and planning.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ambitious but immature Clyde Griffiths infatuation for Hortense Briggs is the start of his downfall. I could relate to his situation when this happen and it really 'rang a bell' for me.

Any additional comments?

Easy to read, a pleasure to listen to, the writing stands out as exemplars of pathos in modern literature. This book should be studied for students of literature for many years.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Tragedy it is

I think, it's a very good book and a great audiobook but tragic.
Also I disliked some of it, I was constantly captivated by it.
Narrator is amazingly good.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Daniel
  • Spokane, WA, United States
  • 05-11-13

Affecting and encompassing masterpiece

Clyde Griffiths, an ambitious social climber with grave personal flaw, fell in and out of love with an adoring factory girl, but has to abandon his moral anchor when the opportunity of fortune and status avail itself in the affection of an upper-class dame. Affectingly developed characters, biographical realism and a simple, linear yet encompassing plot line lend this fiction its masterpiece mantle.

Dan John Miller gave a titillating narrating performance.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Paul
  • United States
  • 04-04-13

And not a little bit tedious

Couldn't get past the first dozen chapters. The narration is really good, but the story is slow and the writing is monotonous. Bleech. Not my cup of tea.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sandy
  • Laguna Woods, CA, United States
  • 03-20-13

An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

What made the experience of listening to An American Tragedy the most enjoyable?

In high school we were told that this novel ranked with Moby Dick as "THE Great American Novel." I'm glad I finally got to it in my old age! Well, Moby Dick may be a greater novel, but it is much harder to read. This book flows and unfolds like a soap opera and really held my interest to the end. Dan John Miller is a wonderful reader. He can do voices -- children, regional accents, and is able to give each character a different voice. I highly recommend this novel.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The hero of the book is Clyde, and this book is a sort of coming-of-age for him. Hwe seems all too real as he changes from the obedient son of a street preacher into a ruthless man. That may be a spoiler, so I don't want to say any more.

Which character – as performed by Dan John Miller – was your favorite?

Clyde

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes, but it is a long one!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sharon
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • 02-24-13

Drags on interminably

Lovers of DH Lawrence may enjoy this book. I however, found it to be just insufferable. I am not sure if it is the narrator but I think it is the story. For instance a woman tries to get our hero to buy her a fur coat with the promise of “favours”. This takes approximately an hour to reach it’s conclusion. A description of a factory in which our hero will work takes approximately half an hour to describe. If this added to the story, giving the reader/listener a sense of time or place I could forgive it. But it doesn’t. This book is so boring it “could put fish to sleep”.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Disgrace or tragedy?

A long story about a man who didn't develop a character.
I found it well-written and well-spoken, sympathetic.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Gripping from beginning to end. Great author.

An examination of the vanity of class, his belief in the ultimate nausée of life

  • Overall

Good Book

I enjoyed the story and it was interesting. The narration was good. The story was well written.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Dreiser the Clumsy Genius

Crudely written, just as was Sister Carrie and The Financier, but as gripping as Carrie. Vastly ambitious.
Sympathetically and intelligently recited, but the women's voices are dubious. A very big ask.