Sunday, January 11, 2009

Award of the Day: The Premios Dardo Award

The Premios Dardo Award! I do not know who started this award, but I thank No BS Book Reviews for recognizing my blog by "awarding" it to me. I will now pass along the good fortune. (I confess that I am artistically challenged -- it took me quite a while to figure out that the cool picture is a typewriter with words coming out.) This award "acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his or her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day." The rules to follow are: 1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who granted the award and his or her blog link. 2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award. Here are the blogs that I would like to acknowledge (if you have already received this award, sorry for making extra work, but be thankful you are so well regarded): Art Scatter Bookoholic's Boklista Books 'N' Border Collies BurmudaOnion ChainReading Fluttering Butterflies Fresh Ink Books Hotch Pot Cafe The Internet Review of Books Blog J. Kaye's Book Blog Julia Hedge's Laces Letters on Pages Linus's Blanket Rebecca Reads Tip of the Iceberg Great blogs -- I encourage you to visit them all.

Review: Sister Carrie

Although Theodore Dreiser finished Sister Carrie in 1900, years of stutter steps on the part of various publishing companies delayed its full American publication until 1908. Even then, as Dreiser describes, “the outraged protests far outnumbered the plaudits.” Dreiser’s new “realism” was shocking to readers.

While Sister Carrie may not pack the same punch 100 years later, the story is sprightly and still relevant. It moves right along, with plenty of dialog and even some exciting adventures. The period details of Carrie’s life may be particular to fin de si├Ęcle New York, but the story of Carrie’s efforts to rise above her situation, in contrast to the pathos of Hurstwood’s decline, is still compelling.

The only off-note was the last minute “moral of the story” message that seemed tacked on in the last two pages. That money cannot buy happiness is a common message, but a little hard to go along with when weighed against the alternative presented by Hurstwood’s fate. Compared to the pages and pages of sermonizing that wrap up Dreiser’s American Tragedy, however, the final homily is blessedly short.


If you would like your review of this book listed here, please leave a comment with a link and I will add it.


Sister Carries made it to the Modern Library Top 100 list.  I am particularly fond of my Modern Library edition because it has the funky dust jacket image.

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