An American Tragedy is one of the short-listers in the never-ending competition for the honor of Great American Novel. Yes, I know some say Moby Dick has it wrapped up but I just can't identify with psychotic captains obsessing about big fish. Dreiser's massive novel resonates with me. Even though its morals may be dated, the themes of class conflict and the struggle of desire over conscience still speak loud and clear. Clyde Griffiths is not very admirable but he is understandable. The only reason why I give this four-an-a-half stars instead of five is because the trial portion and the end being dragged out . Overall it is an exciting and thought-provoking American classic.