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Sister Carrie

Narrated by: C.M. Hebert
Length: 17 hrs and 5 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Summary

Sister Carrie is an epic of urban life, the story of an innocent heroine adrift in an indifferent city. When small-town girl Carrie Meeber sets out for Chicago, she is equipped with nothing but a few dollars, a certain unspoiled beauty and charm, and a pitiful lack of preparation for the complex moral choices she will face. Her story is one of struggle, from sweatshop to stage success, and of the love she inspires in a married man twice her age, whose obsession with her threatens to destroy him.

Dreiser reveals with powerful insight the driving forces of our culture: America's restless idealism, glamorous material seductions, and spiritual innocence.

The book's strengths include a brooding but compassionate view of humanity, a memorable cast of characters, and a compelling narrative line. It is a work of pivotal importance in American literature, becoming a model for subsequent American writers of realism.

(P)1999 Blackstone Audiobooks

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    4 out of 5 stars

not unabridged

Advertised as an unabridged audiobook when it is in fact missing chunks and has parts repeated. Very poor, I would not recommend this edition.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Laurene
  • 28-12-08

Nicely done

Dreiser isn't the best writer in the world, but his stories and characters can be utterly gripping. The reader of this audiobooks is really good, especially given the material. She manages to make the character's fairly inarticulate dialog evocative, and she's very good with the little ironies and dry humor that can sometimes get lost when you're reading it yourself.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • connie
  • 03-12-09

Why audiobooks matter

This may not have been a five star novel in its day, but as a classic with insight into American social history, it ages well.

Dreiser's prose and novel structure may not be in the same category as Wharton or James, but he's a storyteller whose tale is made excellent by the narrator. This is another classic that only gathered dust on my bookshelf for decades, but as an audiobook I found it riveting.

I look forward to other audiobooks by Dreiser. In print, I had come across only Sister Carrie, but there are several titles to look forward to in audio.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Eenee
  • 02-01-13

Like Listening to 1900 English at it's BEST

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The story of Carrie is portrayed with such depth of character and description that it's like stepping back in time. I loved the descriptions of life in the 1890's . Dreiser wrote this book in 1900 at the language us PURE flowing descriptive English at it's best. The story unfolds with continuity and surprise. Listening to the female voice of Herbert was key to getting into the character of Carrie.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the language. He wrote with such fluid descriptions.

Which character – as performed by C.M. Hebert – was your favorite?

I wanted to hear a female voice to tell the story of a female character. Be certain to LISTEN to this recording and not others by male voices.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

She was great.

Any additional comments?

'Carrie' is like a lost treasure for literature. I recently listened to another Dreiser book called 'The American Tragedy'. It was well written, but a tad too wordy. Dreiser has a true command of language and writing.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 02-07-19

Epic Transformations

I had never heard of this novel and only got it because it was on a best of list. I was more than pleasantly surprised by the interesting plot and complex ever-changing characters. From the title I expected this to be a moralistic story of a fall from social norms, and it is anything but that. The story covers many years, and

Some readers seem to have found this novel was depressing and unpleasant, while I found the realism refreshing and that there was a very subtle humor. This was not dark humor, merely stark humor, which perhaps is the most powerful brand of humor.

This has been called the "greatest American urban novel" and I can see why. I really liked “An American Tragedy” which I had felt was a great urbaneque novel, but have to admit Sister Carrie is a bit superior. I did not realize until writing this review that both were by the same author. H.L. Mencken said of Dreiser, "American writing, before and after his time, differed almost as much as biology before and after Darwin.” I will be adding the rest of Dreiser to my reading list.

Dreiser may not be for everyone, if you don’t get the humor (which is far from obvious) you will certainly find these novels both unpleasant and depressing. If the humor resonates with you, you might find these strangely pleasant and uplifting novels.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Benjamin K.
  • 29-05-16

Terrific performance of devastating novel

Be prepared to weep. A brilliant and beautiful (if times overwritten by today's standards) story about an ordinary human's drive for happiness that also presents a wrenching, empathy understanding of wealth and poverty in America.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marie
  • 27-06-15

masterpiece

This is a great book, one of the greatest books. Sister Carrie's happiness and sadness moved people for generations.

1 person found this helpful

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  • m. sergei
  • 20-12-19

Good,but...

I like Dreiser ,but this novel seems uncompleted to me.Maybe Dreiser as a man had difficulties in understanding a life of an actress and of a woman.

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  • Dr. K. E. Patrick
  • 24-12-17

Rollee coaster saga

Trying not to include spoilers, the ups and down of Carrie’s life accompanied me on a long road trip to Florida. I found some of the characters’ decisions very frustrating and perhaps plot driven, but as a look at late-19th-century life in the urban centers of Chicago and New York, the novel had glimpses of American desires and tragedies.

The woman who narrated did good renditions of women’s voices. Her narrative sometimes reminded me of a speech-to-text voice when the author’s long, epic sentences got the better of her. Men’s voices, though, were attempted at her lowest register and just sounded growly. Having heard a child’s Pinocchio audio tape when my eldest was a toddler so many times, I was too much reminded of the oily growl of the trickster Fox.

It wasn’t intolerable though. Just not amazing.

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  • D A Epps
  • 29-02-16

loved this classic

Loved this classic! The narrator was fairly good. Great story about striving for the good life and the realization of what's really important.

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  • jaye
  • 11-05-12

dreiser outdid himself! awsome book!

Would you consider the audio edition of Sister Carrie to be better than the print version?

NEVER READ THE BOOK.

What other book might you compare Sister Carrie to and why?

MAYBE TO AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY BY THE SAME AUTHOR. BOTH BOOKS WERE WRITTEN SO WELL! I THINK THE ENDING OF SISTER CARRIE WAS BETTER THO.

What does C.M. Hebert bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

THE VOICES ARE WELL DONE! IT MAKES THE BOOK MORE ENJOYABLE.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

SORT OF. THE SAD SITUATION OF POOR PEOPLE WAS SO WELL DESCRIBED IT WAS SOBERING. AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WELL-TO-DO AMERICAN INCOME AND POOR WAS VERY EXTREME. AND THE WEALTHY WERE UNAWARE OF THE POOR.

Any additional comments?

AS I WRITE THIS I STILL FEEL AFFECTED BY THE BOOK. I THINK OF HOW DREISER MADE CARRIE'S HUSBAND WHOM I DID NOT LIKE AT ALL--A VERY SYMPATHETIC PERSON WHOM I FEEL A SADNESS FOR NOW--HE REPRESENTED ALL THE DOWNTRODDEN PEOPLE WHO ARE FIGHTING TO JUST STAY ALIVE.

IT IS AMAZING HOW ONE OR TWO BAD OR GOOD DECISIONS CAN CHANGE SOMEONE'S LIFE FOR EVER. AND DREISER DOES SHOW LUCK PLAYS A BIG PART IN THINGS.

CARRIE HAD A LOT OF GOOD LUCK GOING FOR HER.

HER HUSBAND MADE SOME BAD DECISIONS THAT AFFECTED HIM FOREVER.

2 people found this helpful