Wednesday, April 15, 2009

If the glove fits...

Current book: An American Tragedy
Pages read: 577-673

Well, Clyde, who does make it over to the resort where Sondra is staying, soon gets caught, (surprise of surprises) and proves himself truly idiotic by denying all connection with Roberta upon his initial interrogation. Seriously, Clyde? You've been dating the girl for a year and have exchanged multiple letters and phone calls with her, not to mention the fact that you're her direct supervisor at work. Did you think they weren't going to check that out? I'm beginning to wonder if his mental capacity was damaged by his early religious upbringing. (Was that harsh? That was harsh. Sorry, religious establishment. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll bounce right back.)

Anyway, this hundred pages basically consists of various occurrences of Clyde lying to the cops and his lawyers. Eventually, though, his uncle the collar-factory owner sends him some high-level attorneys who arrange a complex series of lies and fabrications that will become the basis of his case. He's pleading not guilty and calling the whole thing an accident, which is about the biggest stretch in the known universe, but we'll see if he gets away with it. Don't feel too bad that his lawyers are making stuff up, either, because the district attorney has already planted evidence to try to more clearly incriminate him.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Sondra and her father are pulling all their political strings to keep her name out of the whole story, though she still can't believe Clyde would ever do something so terrible. (I forgot to mention that Sondra always speaks to Clyde in baby-talk, the transcription of which is maddening in the extreme. I'm surprised he didn't off her instead of Roberta. I mean, seriously, let me offer you an excerpt: "Was he so tired? My Clydie-mydie boy, after his work yesterday. Why didn't my baby boy tell me?" (585). Christ on a crutch, I want to kill her.) Also, Clyde's mother and sister, back in Denver (where they moved after Kansas City) have just read the story in the papers and are contemplating what to do next.

Like I said, sensationalist crime drama. ::shrug:: I guess I'll take it, but I don't have much analysis to offer. My prediction is that Clyde will be convicted and sentenced to death, but that might only be because I've read Sister Carrie and am familiar with Dreiser's predilections.


  1. Where's the hell's Johnnie Cochran when you need him? Dead,you say, well that's no excuse! And how long is this book anyway? A query: What's worse, serving a life-sentence in prison OR one in a marriage where your spouse communicates in baby-talk? It seems to me that there are a lot of tragedies occurring within the pages of this seemingly endless saga.

  2. Please tell me that's not an OJ Simpson reference...

  3. Oh, but it is. Who else could get this incomparable idiot off?



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