Jennifer's Reviews > Homer & Langley

Homer & Langley by E.L. Doctorow
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Jul 29, 2011

it was ok

This book was well written, and it's a good thing or I never would have finished it! It's the story of two eccentric brothers living in a mansion in NYC through the 20th century. The elder, Langley, becomes increasingly unstable and hoards all kinds of things, filling the home with heaps of trash and turning them into a New York freak attraction. The younger brother, Homer, becomes blind as a teenager and is dependent on Langley (though he is extremely independent as a person--he just falls into an enabling relationship and can't imagine leaving his brother.) Sounds exciting--and yet... I kept waiting for something to really happen. The ending was a shock if you can stick it out; before that, it just kind of meanders along. However--it is Doctorow, so the writing style is wonderful, which is why I finished it. I didn't find out till after I finished it that these people were REAL-- that also could have changed my outlook on the book. Doctorow doesn't claim that all the events are true--because the brothers were hermits, their feelings and motives are his speculation. So in retrospect, had I known it was based on true events I may have looked at it in a different light. You have to decide if you're the type who would like this book!
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