McTeague; A Story of San Francisco

McTeague; A Story of San Francisco


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First published in 1899, McTeague was a literary sensation. Its ultra-realistic portrayal of the rise and fall of a simple-minded dentist and his grasping, greedy wife was controversial for its candid depiction of sordid behavior right at the edge of insanity. It remains a searing indictment of human weakness and selfishness in a rapidly evolving America.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780530637167
Publisher: Creative Media Partners, LLC
Publication date: 03/08/2019
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Alfred Kazin (1915–1998) was one of the most distinguished literary critics of the twentieth century. His numerous books include the highly acclaimed On Native Ground: An Interpretation of Modern American Prose Literature.

Reading Group Guide

An unflinchingly realistic portrayal of the moral descent of a San Francisco dentist, McTeague, first published in 1899, helped to propel American literature into the twentieth century. “The novel glows in a light that makes it the first great tragic portrait in America of an acquisitive society,” writes Alfred Kazin in the Introduction to this Modern Library Paperback Classic. “McTeague’s San Francisco is the underworld of that society, and the darkness of its tragedy, its pitilessness, its grotesque humor, is like the rumbling of hell. Nothing is more remarkable in the book than the detachment with which Norris saw it—a tragedy almost literally classic in the Greek sense of the debasement of a powerful man—and nothing gives it so much power.”

Customer Reviews

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McTeague: A Story of San Francisco (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Riveting is right! One would never know that this book was originally published in 1899. It reads like a modern novel, and I found it extremely hard to put down. You have a sensation of being carried from page to page by the author, without being aware of the words which transport you. The psychological tension was built very artfully. And it was so delightful to read about everyday life in San Francisco in the 1890's -- I went out and bought some genuine San Francisco Anchor steam beer afterwards! The story was so popular that one director created a 10-hour B&W silent version of the book in the 1920's! This was the first book I read by Frank Norris, and I was oh so pleasantly surprised. What a tragedy that Norris died at the age of 32 what a wealth of fine literature he could have provided us. This is a great book on many levels, and the B&N Library of Essential Reading edition is especially handsome and readable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Nestor_J More than 1 year ago
Its a great read; felt sort of like a precursor to The Great Gatsby.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stormrose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
10/20, class book. Read this for a class on turn of the century America, in which case it's quite interesting. As a study of society, I mean. And it's well written, and the moral fall that occurs is good, but overall, I was unable to enter into the book deeply in any significant way - quite possibly because I had no sympathy for the characters - and neither did the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago