Melissa Stebbins's Reviews > City of God

City of God by E.L. Doctorow
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Apr 21, 09

Read in April, 2009

I read City of God by E.L. Doctorow over Easter. It is one of the books on the 1001 list. So, how did I find it? Intriguing, thought-provoking, frustrating, confusing ... but I really enjoyed it. A word of warning - the plot is pretty much secondary to this book. In fact large portions of the book are tied fairly tenuously to the main plot and there are various threads. Part of the difficulty is that there are several different narrators but it is not necessarily straight forward to work out who is narrating which bits, especially in the beginning. There was a holocaust subplot which I found really interesting.

Throughout the book there are references to cosmology, metaphysics, consciousness, language and of course religion. One of the major characters is a priest who is losing his religion. Doctorow brings great insight to many topics conveying both the beauty/complexity of life that is so often coupled with absurdity but it was disappointing in his treatment of faith that he didn't recognise the complexity inherent in orthodox Christianity. I'm not sure that I can recommend this book to everyone but I found it a worthwhile read.
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