An American Dream

An American Dream

Book - 1965
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Publisher: New York : Dial Press, 1965
Branch Call Number: FIC Mailer, N 1965
Characteristics: 270 pages ; 22 cm

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lukasevansherman
Feb 18, 2014

After the relative failure of his third book, "The Deer Park (my theory for why it failed: it sucked), Mailer took nearly a decade off from novels, returning in 1965 with "An American Dream," the story of a man who murders his wife. The heavy-handed irony of the title is a clear reference to Dreiser's "An American Tragedy," which is also about a man who murders a woman. This is Mailer at his most brutal, unhinged and libidinous and it's a thoroughly ugly and unpleasant read, with absurd sex scenes redolent of Lawrence, borderline misogyny and a badly calculated scene where Mailer tries to imitate "black" speech. Truly terrible.

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