McTeague

McTeague

A Story of San Francisco

Book - 2002
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A work of unflinching realism about the moral descent of a San Francisco dentist, McTeague, first published in 1899, helped haul American literature into the twentieth century with its unsentimental treatment of tragedy. This edition includes a reading group guide and a commentary section, with essays by John D. Barry, William Dean Howells, and Frank Norris.
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 2002
ISBN: 0375761292 (pbk.)
Branch Call Number: FIC NORRIS
Characteristics: xix, 512 p. ; 21 cm

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Orig. pub. 1899.


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This is the kind of film reading Jung could help you understand. Oh, any title, really, but most especially' 4 archetypes. ' P.S. Polk Street now is so very much different from the way Norris writes it to be.

u
USS_Enterprise
May 14, 2018

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this novel when I first started reading it, but I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought I would. I'm just surprised that I'd never heard of it until recently. I recommend McTeague to anyone who is interested in American Literature.
As with other authors of his time period, Frank Norris allowed ideas of Social Darwinism to influence his writing. With that said, there's a very 'pre-determined' feel to this story. Doctor McTeague, for example, is portrayed as being pre-disposed to violent behavior just because his father was an abusive alcoholic. I think that's too bad. I disliked how Norris writes about his characters in an offhand way (almost as if he's observing them through a microscope). I often felt that he was writing as if his characters' fates were already sealed. Since I personally disagree with this way of thinking, it was a bit hard for me at first to get into the novel. Additionally, the book starts off slow, and it takes a while before it feels like anything 'happens'. A few scenes feel excessively detailed and unnecessary to the overall plot. On the other hand, though (especially once the pace picks up), I found myself quite invested in the story and in these characters. The relationships shown between characters of different age, background, and class were interesting to me. Several scenes in this book were also very cinematic, and I could easily picture them in my mind. There's also the fact that McTeague takes place in a realistic setting (in California just before the turn of the twentieth century), which made this story more believable for me because it seemed like these things could have actually happened in real life. Norris also makes good use of symbolism and repetition, which helped me pay attention to what was most important.
Overall, I would say that this novel leaves behind an important message: that if we give in to our 'dark sides', or if we become greedy and corrupt, then the results will be detrimental, not only to ourselves, but also to the people around us.

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USS_Enterprise
May 14, 2018

Violence: Contains scenes in which there are graphic depictions of violence.

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USS_Enterprise
May 14, 2018

Coarse Language: Some mild language throughout.

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USS_Enterprise
May 14, 2018

USS_Enterprise thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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