In her essay “Her Better Judgment: Ayn Rand, Theodore Dreiser, and the Shape of the American Novel, Part 1”
Marilyn Moore writes:
We know that Rand was familiar with An American Tragedy. In her 1962 essay collection The Romantic Manifesto Rand singled out the novel as an example of a “bad novel” because the plot does not support the theme. The big ideas Dreiser aimed for couldn’t be supported by the story he told.
I am not an Ayn Rand fan. Have not read her books, don’t think I would want to.
But, I think Ms. Moore’s comment (and the views of Rand underlying it) are perceptive and well worth considering.
I may try myself at some point to write more about this. Keeping in mind that An American Tragedy is a work of fiction which, despite its defects, deeply impressed me as reader and which I still admire.
— posted by Roger W. Smith