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3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  29,969 Ratings  ·  1,788 Reviews
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

Published in 1975, Ragtime changed our very concept of what a novel could be. An extraordinary tapestry, Ragtime captures the spirit of America in the era between the turn of the century and the First World War.

The story opens in 1906 in New Rochelle, New York, at the home of an affluent American famil
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published November 4th 2010 by Random House (first published 1974)
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Mar 12, 2015 Fabian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A ragin' feeling I had during the first half of "Ragtime" was... oh-my-gawd, this may possibly become my favorite novel all year. Yeah. That overwhelmingly delicious feeling last year achieved during my "Where'd You Go Bernadette"/"The Godfather" double whammy was reproduced, until it, almost organically, chose to focus on one specific era in U.S. history! Ragtime is just so majestically beautiful, taking on the whole of America between 1903 and 1915, AKA the dawning of the 20th century, display ...more
Paul Bryant
Nov 07, 2007 Paul Bryant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Today I was thinking of the 101 reasons why I love books, the actual physical papery pagey spiney things with words all over them, and one of the reasons was that they're not machines. Everything i seem to have to do these days is with some kind of machine. At work, of course, chained to the pc - actually it's a laptop on a docking station with two screens, I wonder when they'll add me a third, and although I'm emailing and talking to people all day long (sexy voiced nurses from France and Argen ...more
May 09, 2011 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometime early in his career E.L. Doctorow figured out a great formula for historical fiction. He takes real life iconic figures from whatever era he’s covering and has them interact in believable ways with his fictional characters. It makes for a “show, don’t tell” scenario that brings history alive. With Ragtime, we get to peek inside the heads of Houdini, Freud, J.P. Morgan, Emma Goldman, Henry Ford and others. In the process, we learn the issues of the day and get an authentic feel for the s ...more
داستانى به شدت لذت بخش، به طورى كه دو روزه با ولع خوندم و تمومش كردم. با ترجمه ى دلنشين نجف دريابندرى.

دكتروف و ماركز
عنصرى كه داستان رو بسيار دلچسب مى كرد، شيوه ى دكتروف بود در روايت كه مكرراً من رو به ياد گابریل گارسیا ماركز مى انداخت. خلق يه دنياى پر از آدم، كه هر كدوم داستانى پر ماجرا دارن كه تلفيقى از واقعيت تاريخى و افسانه است، و دوربين روايت مدام از روى يكى روى ديگرى ميره.
نثر هم من رو به ياد ماركز مى انداخت: نثرى پر نشاط و در نهايت ايجاز كه بيشتر به واقعيات عينى مى پردازه، به جاى غرق شدن د
Ahmad Sharabiani
335. Ragtime, E.L. Doctorow
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه نوامبر سال 2006 میلادی
عنوان: رگتایم؛ نویسنده: ای.ال. دکتروف؛ مترجم: نجف دریابندری؛ تهران، خوارزمی، چاپ دوم مهرماه 1367؛ چاپ سوم 1385، در 280 ص؛ شابک: 9644870735؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان آمریکایی - قرن 20 م
عنوان کتاب یعنی: رگتایم، نام نوعی موسیقی جاز است؛ «نوعی موسیقی که از ترانه های بردگان سیاهپوست آمریکا سرچشمه گرفته؛ رگ به معنای ژنده و پاره و گسیخته؛ و تایم به معنای وزن و ضربان موسیقی ست. نویسنده میخواهد کیفیت پرضربان، گسسته، پیوسته، و دردآ
"Patriotism was a reliable sentiment in the early 1900's. Teddy Roosevelt was President. The population customarily gathered in great numbers either out of doors for parades, public concerts, fish fries, political picnics, social outings, or indoors in meeting halls, vaudeville theatres, operas, ballrooms."

This relatively short novel is jam-packed with a myriad of characters – some fictional and some real-life individuals. It is a grand undertaking that introduces us to the events and people of
Sep 23, 2016 Algernon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2016

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No One Ever Drove This Fast Before

The most startling thing about Ragtime is the pace of the narrative. It never slackens, even to allow direct speech. It moves relentlessly from place to place, person to person, with non-stop description, assertion, connection, reversal. There are crowds and traffic and excitement wherever you look. If there is temporary equilibrium, it is fragile: a tour boat listing first to starboard then to port; a motor car belching steam at the crest of a hill, a chauffeur
Apr 04, 2013 Darwin8u rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
― E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime


So my first book of 2014 isn't even on my to-read list. Must be good. Yes, in fact it is the killer historical novel of the Ragtime era. It is the big uncle to late 90s Philip Roth ('I Married a Communist', 'American Pastoral') , Don DeLillo ('Libra', 'Underworld'), Gore Vidal ('Empire, Hollywood') & Norman Mailer* (Executioner's Song & H
Jun 22, 2009 Agnieszka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2013, reviewed
And though the newspapers called the shooting the Crime of the Century, Goldman knew it was only 1906 and there were ninety-four years to go.

Ragtime is a vivid, colourful patchwork-like picture of America in the early XX century, when …patriotism was a reliable sentiment…everyone wore white in summer…there were no Negroes. There were no immigrants . It’s a story in which fates of fictitious heroes intertwine with authentic figures of epoch like magician Houdini, tycoons J.P. Morgan and Henry For
Nov 30, 2013 Hadrian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ragtime is a historical fiction with a heavy focus on the history. Large stretches of the novel are narrative digressions on contemporary figures ranging from Houdini and Emma Goldman to Freud, Ford, and Morgan, but also a look at the farce of race and justice with a heavy homage from Michael Kohlhaas.

Doctorow wants to create here an authentic yet critical look at the transformation of the United States at this time, and he does so with a choking degree of irony. If I'll quote sentences from th
Bonnie Shores
Jun 16, 2017 Bonnie Shores rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not quite sure how I feel about this book.


I went back and forth between giving it 3 or 4 stars. What to do? I decided that, since I was unsure, erring on the higher side would be more fair. I mean, the content of the book was really good. There were stories centered around a diverse mixiture of people from the early 1900s that included Harry Houdini, J.P. Morgan, Evelyn Nesbit, Sigmund Freud, Emma Goldman and Henry Ford. And therein lies my problem. The collection of stories, imho, didn't tr
Ragtime is like most reviews here describe it. A pulsing mosaic of real and fictional characters set at the dawn of the 20th century, when miracles where still a thing. I thoroughly enjoyed Doctorow's prose, while my favorite parts where those of Emma Goldman (of course) and Houdini. I was never really a fan of historical fiction but the man with the strange name made me want to reconsider.
Allie Riley
Mar 22, 2014 Allie Riley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just stunning. One of the best books I've read in a long time. Beautifully written and utterly engrossing, I didn't want it to end (which is one reason I took so long reading it). Very cleverly plotted and extremely atmospheric. The way Doctorow weaves together all the loose ends is masterful. His blending of fact and fiction works superbly well. A wonderful novel.
Somayeh Pourtalari
داستانی جالب و بسیار خواندنی در لابلای تاریخ آمریکا در اوایل قرن بيستم .
دکتروف به طرز هنرمندانه اي واقعیت و خیال را در هم تنیده است .

١٥فروردين ١٣٩٥
Mattia Ravasi
Jun 01, 2017 Mattia Ravasi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Video review:

Considering how often the narrative focus jumps from one character to the next, this should not be the easiest and most addictive of reads. But it fucking is! Ironic and witty and engaging, and so so tragic, Ragtime features an amazing cast of historical figures (Houdini! The Archduke Franz Ferdinand! Henry Ford! PJ Morgan!) and unforgettable fictional characters. You'll read it in one day it's so good.
Apr 07, 2017 Solistas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"...καθώς στεκόταν ανάμεσα σε δύο βαγόνια του πρώτου πρωινού τρένου που τον πήγαινε στο Νιού Ροσέλ, σκεφτόταν να ριχτεί στις ράγιες. Άκουγε το σταθερό ρυθμό, το κροτάλισμα των τροχών, ίδιο με το ρυθμό που κρατά το αριστερό παίζοντας ράγκταϊμ στο πιάνο. Το στρίγγλισμα και οι χτύποι των μετάλλων που ένωναν τα δύο βαγόνια ήταν η συγκοπτόμενη μελωδία του δεξιού χεριού. Το ραγκ της αυτοκτονίας".

Με αυτό το βιβλίο γνώρισα αυτόν τον σπουδαίο συγγραφέα πρίν πολλά χρόνια κ στο
Apr 14, 2013 Bill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Wildly Overrated (2013)

Doctorow, E.L. (1974). Ragtime. New York: Penguin.

This impressionistic portrait of New York in the early 1900’s has been widely praised as a “classic,” and has been made into a movie and a Broadway show. I can't understand the attraction.

The story is roughly centered on the life of an upper-class family in New York, but dozens of other sub-stories flare up and die down around them. A rich socialite who married for money defends her husband who killed her lover, a famous ar
Mohamad Yoosofi
Jun 13, 2014 Mohamad Yoosofi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: داستان
اساسیترین ترفند روایی این رمان، درهمآمیزی واقعیت بیرونی و شخصیتهای تاریخی است با واقعیتِ داستانی. فضای داستان از شخصیتهای جوراجور تاریخی و غیرتاریخی، اصلی و فرعی، سیاسی و غیرسیاسی آکنده و آشوبناک شده است. حادثههای تاریخی و تخیلی در این رمان آنچنان هنرمندانه در هم تنیده شدهاند که در پایان، در سرشت حقیقت تاریخی تردید افکنده میشود. شخصیتهایی چون پیر مورگان، هنری فورد، هری هودینی، اِما گُلدمن، هری کیتو، ایولین نسبیت و رابرت پیری کسانیاند که هویت تاریخی دارند و در این داستان نقشهایی ایفا کردهاند. در ...more
Mar 07, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-novels
Very enjoyable semi-historical novel set in America at the turn of the 2oth century.
The novel revolves around the fortunes of three families; a white family who are unnamed and referred to as father, mother and mother's younger brother, a jewish family and a black family. Their lives intersect in happy and tragic ways. Interspersed are real life characters such as Houdini, Peary,Ford, Morgan (JP), Emma Goldman and part of the fun is spotting the real life characters amongst the fictional.
Jan 05, 2008 rinabeana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This is a fantastic work of historical fiction. My (somewhat stricter than other people's) definition of historical fiction is a novel in which historical figures not only play a part, but interact with the fictional characters in the story. This novel delivered that in spades! I don't have a large amount of background on the historical figures in the novel, but I read up a little on them and it became clear to me how well Doctorow had fit his fictional characters into their lives. None of what ...more
May 06, 2009 Chrissie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, hf, magic, audible, 2014-read
How to best describe this book so prospective readers will know whether they w like it or not? Look at the beginning lines of the book description: "An extraordinary tapestry, Ragtime captures the spirit of America in the era between the turn of the century & the First World War. The story opens in 1906 in New Rochelle, NY." Tapestry is the word you want to pay attention to. When you look at a tapestry you see a lot of small details, but you don't get much deep understanding. You are present ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
The story opens in 1906 in New Rochelle, New York, at the home of an affluent American family. One lazy Sunday afternoon, the famous escape artist Harry Houdini swerves his car into a telephone pole outside their house. And almost magically, the line between fantasy and historical fact, between real and imaginary characters, disappears. Henry Ford, Emma Goldman, J. P. Morgan, Evelyn Nesbit, Sigmund Freud, and Emiliano Zapata slip in and out of the tale, crossing paths with Doctorow’s imagined fa ...more
Nandakishore Varma
From Wikipedia:

Ragtime is not a "time" (meter) in the same sense that march time is 2/4 meter and waltz time is 3/4 meter; it is rather a musical genre that uses an effect that can be applied to any meter. The defining characteristic of ragtime music is a specific type of syncopation in which melodic accents occur between metrical beats. This results in a melody that seems to be avoiding some metrical beats of the accompaniment by emphasizing notes that either anticipate or follow the beat ("a r
May 29, 2014 Shima rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
«این قطعه را تند ننوازید، هرگز درست نیست رگتایم را تند بنوازند.»
داستان، پر ضربان، گسسته و پیوسته با ریتم تند و
دردآلود است، با جریان زندگی آدمهای تاریخی و آدمهای غیرتاریخی امریکا از اوایل قرن بیستم شروع میشود وبا پایان جنگ اول به پایان میرسد.
داستانهای مختلف به هم بافته میشوند و در نهایت همه به گونهای در ارتباط با خانواده قرار میگیرند.

تغییر تاته و دخترش خوب پرداخته شده بود به خاطر همین اتصال این دو داستان را از بقیه بیشتر دوست داشتم. چون غیرمنتظره بود.

چون احتمال اینکه بین این همه نخوانده، ک
This is one of the finest American historical novels yet written. Doctorow recreates the turbulent atmosphere of the early 20th Century through wonderful characters, both historical (including Emma Goldman, Harry Houdini, Booker T. Washington, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Henry Ford) and many memorable fictional characters, like Coalhouse Walker. The book is about America at a time of increased prosperity, great poverty, racial inequality, immigrant sacrifice, and the road to the First World War ...more
This, my friends, is how you do historical fiction. I loved so many things about this novel: the omniscient narrator, the paraphrased dialogue, the minute details, the epic sweep. The plot seemed a bit contrived though, as if the author were trying to shoehorn as many historical figures as possible into his storyline. I couldn't quite believe that the characters would do what the author would have them do, even in instances where the fiction hews closely to fact.
Ally Armistead
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joy H.
Re: _Ragtime_ by E.L. Doctorow

2/18/11 - I've finished reading this book. I have to say that I enjoyed the film more. The plotline with the Coalhouse Walker, Jr. character was diluted in the book because the book (as opposed to the film) included more characters and subplots. Much of the text was taken up with the blending of the fictitious characters with the true-life historical personages and historic events. Although it was interesting the way Doctorow wove the fiction and non-fiction togethe
Novela apasionante de Doctorow en la que nos traslada a los primeros años del siglo XX, previos a la Gran Guerra. Se trata de una historia coral, en cuyo centro se encuentra una familia de clase media, y a su alrededor van desfilando los más variopintos personajes. La acción se sitúa en un Nueva York convulso y lleno de vida, que casi puedes sentir, en una época marcada por la llegada de los inmigrantes y las primeras huelgas de trabajadores, destacando también la lucha de las clases oprimidas, ...more
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E. L. DOCTOROW’S works of fiction include Homer & Langley,The March, Billy Bathgate, Ragtime, the Book of Daniel, City of God, Welcome to Hard Times, Loon Lake, World’s Fair, The Waterworks, and All the Time in the World. Among his honors are the National Book Award, three National Book Critics Circle Awards, two PEN Faulkner Awards, The Edith Wharton Citation for Fiction, and the presidential ...more
More about E.L. Doctorow...

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“I am often asked the question How can the masses permit themselves to be exploited by the few. The answer is By being persuaded to identify with them.” 57 likes
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