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Homer & Langley

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  9,470 ratings  ·  1,718 reviews
From Ragtime and Billy Bathgate to The Book of Daniel, World’s Fair, and The March, the novels of E. L. Doctorow comprise one of the most substantive achievements of modern American fiction. Now, with Homer & Langley, this master novelist has once again created an unforgettable work.

Homer and Langley Collyer are brothers – the one blind and deeply intuitive, the other
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Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Random House
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3.61  · 
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 ·  9,470 ratings  ·  1,718 reviews


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Ahmad Sharabiani
Homer & Langley, E.L. Doctorow
Homer & Langley is a novel by American author E. L. Doctorow published in September 2009. It imagines a version of the lives of the Collyer brothers of New York City, notorious for their eccentricities as well as their habit of compulsively hoarding a plethora of various bric-a-brac, newspapers, books and other items.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و سوم ماه سپتامبر سال 2016 میلادی
عنوان: هومر و لنگلی؛ نویسنده: ای.ال. دکتروف؛ مترجم: الهام نظری؛ تهران، افراز، 13
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Will Byrnes
Nov 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
The bachelor Collyer brothers, of a respected family, were reclusive hoarders who lived in a Manhattan brownstone. After their bodies were found in 1947 more than a hundred tons of trash was removed from their house. Doctorow has taken the historical pair and put them to other uses. He looks at a wide swath of 20th century American history through the windows of their Fifth Avenue house, extending their lives beyond 1947, swapping some details between the brothers, and tossing in a cast of illus ...more
Candi
4 stars

"Ah my brother, don't you see? The ultimate technological achievement will be escaping from the mess we've made. There will be none after that because we will reproduce everything that we did on earth, we'll go through the whole sequence all over again somewhere else, and people will read my paper as prophecy, and know that having gotten off one planet, they will be able to destroy another with confidence."

When I began reading this book, I had no idea that Homer and Langley Collyer were r
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Cassy
Aug 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommended to Cassy by: Houston's Inprint Reading Series
I was lucky enough to attend a lecture by E. L. Doctorow where he read from “Homer and Langley” and was interviewed onstage. He joked that the story of the Collyer brothers had become an American myth and that, as with all myths, one does not need to research, only interpret.

This book is essentially the rambling of an old, blind man, Homer as he reflects back on his life spent with his trusty brother, Langley in their family’s mansion in New York City. The book doesn’t have chapters or parts. I
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Teresa
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-eua, 5e
Em 1947, foram encontrados os cadáveres dos irmãos Homer e Langley Collyer, que residiam numa mansão da Quinta Avenida, em Manhattan.
"Langley ia a rastejar por um dos túneis de fardos de jornais, para levar comida ao irmão cego e paralisado, quando acionou uma das armadilhas, ficando soterrado debaixo de uma pilha de coisas."
Homer morreu de fome e desidratação.
Foram retirados da casa 140 toneladas de objectos, entre eles um automóvel.

Utilizando a narrativa na primeira pessoa, pela "voz" de Home
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Astraea
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
داستان هومر و لنگلی زیباترین و بهترین کتابی بود که در عمرم خونده ام.هر 3-4صفحه ای که میخوندم مدام به عکس پشت جلد که عکس نویسنده کتاب بود و لبخند میزد نگاه میکردم.مدام میدیدم صفحه چندمم و چقدر میونده.بدترین احساس رو حین خوندن کتاب داشتم.از یه طرف چون عاشق کتاب بودم نمیخواستم تموم بشه و میخواستم تا ابد بخونمش از یه طرف میخواستم سریع تموم بشه و از این دنیای تیره و تار رها بشم..
شخصیت اول داستان یعنی هومر مثل اسکوبی جان کلام،فلوری روزهای برمه و 2پسر مرگ فروشنده بود.حتی از اونها هم بهم نزدیک تر.
دنیایی
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Oscar
Doctorow vuelve a darnos una clase magistral de cómo recrear la historia. Partiendo de un hecho verídico, el del descubrimiento de los cuerpos de los hermanos Collyer en su mansión de la Quinta Avenida en Manhattan, Doctorow nos relata su versión de cómo podrían haber llegado a ese estado. O más bien, en palabras del propio autor: "Como mitos que son, los hermanos Collyer requerían no que se investigara sobre ellos sino que se les interpretara."

Collyer1

Collyer2

La historia está narrada por Homer Collyer, el herm
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Jennifer
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Quirky People
Well, this book is absolutely beautiful. I am still thinking about what I want to say about Homer & Langley, while simultaneously composing a letter to E.L. Doctorow in my head. I felt this novel deeply and I am marveling at Doctorow's ability with words and language which activate the senses while creating images that linger.

More of a review to come.

Okay, so after pondering for a couple of days, here is what I have come up with:


This novel was released in 2009, but just this past fall, the
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Maciek
I usually tend to stay away from fiction which features real characters as protagonists, but decided to make an exception for Homer & Langley, a novel by E.L. Doctorow which he published in 2009. I had it on my list for years and years, until my interest finally piqued and I decided to give in.

I became interested in this novel precisely because of its subject matter - Homer and Langley, the Collyer brothers. The Collyers are probably the most well known (and tragic) compulsive hoarders, who
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Bob Redmond
Jul 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Doctorow's books, at least the two that I've read, proceed so patiently that you almost get bored. Perhaps in the same way that one might get "bored" watching an elephant or great blue heron: a thing of slow beauty.

So the story doesn't move like an episode of "24." It's OK. Doctorow is eating you all the while, a python novelist wrapping himself around you until one little squeeze will do you in. The last four short sentences of HOMER & LANGLEY, for instance (like the final chapters of WORLD
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Jacob Overmark
Some see a re-telling of an urban myth based on the famous Collyer brothers.

And it is in many ways, they have certainly been the inspiration, many of their eccentricities have been put into the Homer & Langley of Doctorow and it makes a great scene for this story.

Doctorow expands the story approximately 40 years to include the post war years, the cold war years and the hippie years, to end it in the 80-ties, the decade when we all started being so seclusive self-conscious that we hardly mad
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Lᴀʏᴀ Rᴀɴɪ #BookDiet2019
"What do we really know? If every question is answered so that we know everything there is to know about life and the universe, what then? What will be different? The darkness will be there still. The deepest darkness. The darkness that is deeper than any sea-dingle."

This was a book I was pleased to read among my Batman graphic novels for July, weekly marathon and subsequent reviews for Batman: The Animated Series, and an assortment of shoujo/josei manga. It was only two-hundred and a few page
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Rebecca
Sep 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
I understand Doctorow is writing fiction; hell, I love his blending of reality and fictional fantasy in Ragtime. However, the real life of the Collyer brothers is so interesting and heartbreaking it doesn't need thirty extra years, various young women and other devices out of the writer's toolbox. This book has a hollow feeling at its core, completely unlike the stuffed-to-the-cornices Collyer mansion on New York City's Fifth Avenue. Homer and Langley (for whatever unnecessary reason, at least t ...more
Chloe
Jun 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chloe by: Goodreads Firstreads
There's something both alluring and repulsive about compulsive hoarders. Once, a few years ago, I had to help clean out the house of one of my in-laws’ neighbors who had just died. Entering the man’s house was like stepping into an Egyptian tomb; relics from countless eras stacked methodically to the ceiling, knick knacks piled haphazardly in corners and on top of the mantle. Moving around was limited by the small pathways the man had carved through his treasures, though they were not so much pa ...more
Grazia
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Dobbiamo tener testa al mondo: non siamo davvero liberi se lo siamo solo quando gli altri ce lo permettono"

Sono arrivata a questo autore e a questa lettura col percorso ormai consueto. ... ho cominciato a leggere diverse recensioni tutte favorevoli su questo scrittore a me completamente sconosciuto (e qui uno deve rassegnarsi alla condizione di sconforto che Troisi ben sintetizza con la frase "loro a scrivere sono tanti, io a leggere uno solo, non c'è competizione")... non c'è limite cioè alla
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Ubik 2.0
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Il novecento visto dalla 5th Avenue

Eccellente sorpresa questo romanzo che riporta Doctorow ai livelli degli anni 70-80 quando l’autore scrisse i suoi capolavori (Ragtime, Il libro di Daniel, Billy Bathgate), resi indimenticabili anche da notevoli versioni cinematografiche (a cura di Forman, Lumet e Benton).

Difficilmente però qualcuno potrà portare sullo schermo questa incredibile vicenda (che le cronache dicono ispirata a fatti veri!) con un io narrante cieco e un fratello coprotagonista, compu
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Roberto
Dec 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nord-america
Il romanzo è scritto prendendo spunto dalla storia realmente avvenuta dei fratelli Collyer, che, dopo una vita interessante e movimentata, si rinchiudono nel palazzo paterno, a Manhattan, dove accumulano in modo sconsiderato quantità spropositate di oggetti di tutti i generi fino ad avere sempre meno contatti con il mondo esterno, fino a rimanere sepolti all'interno.

Questa storia, anomala e quasi assurda, è narrata con molta tenerezza ed eleganza da Homer, il fratello cieco, che descrive le tant
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Xenia Germeni
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Δυο αδερφια μια χωρα και η ιστορία της μεσα στον 20ο αιωνα. Ο Doctorow ειναι ενα ξεχωριστό κεφαλαιο στην ιστορια της αμερικανικης λογοτεχνιας. Γραφει για ολους και σκιαγραφει με τοσο δυνατα στοιχεια τους ηρωες του που τα βιβλια του θυμιζουν σινεμα. Δεν βρισκω ψεγαδι στους ηρωες ουτε μπορεις να θυμωσεις με τις ατελειες τους, ο Doctorow περιγραφει αυτο που εχει ζησει, χωρις φοβιες με τρυφεροτητα και οχι μελοδραματικα. ΥΓ Να το διαβασεις, γιατι ειναι τοσο τρυφερο που θα αγαπησεις και τα δυο αδερφια ...more
Evi *
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
A volte mi chiedo se è meglio affrontare di petto un libro senza sapere nulla di ciò cui si andrà incontro o se conviene essere un minimo preparati, al momento non so ancora darmi una risposta.Nella fattispecie a fine lettura mi sono documentata un poco e, con mia grande sorpresa, ho scoperto che la storia di questi due bizzarri fratelli è un fatto di cronaca davvero occorso: il loro progressivo isolamento dal mondo la loro pervicace ossessione di accumulare cose fino a riempire in maniera stagn ...more
David Lentz
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
E.L. Doctorow is a wonder among living American novelists and in "H&L" he offers much to contemplate in his historical novel about the evolution of two wounded brothers and the New York in which they reside. Homer, as the classical name suggests, is a contemporary blind writer who relies upon his sighted brother Langley, wounded by mustard gas in WWI. They evolve into nearly total recluses living in a once stately manse across 5th Avenue from Central Park. The times, they are a-changing and ...more
Georgina Koutrouditsou
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Όταν τελειώνεις ένα τέτοιο έργο έχεις ανάμεικτα συναισθήματα..
Από τη μία είχες την ευκαιρία να μπεις στον κόσμο ενός σπουδαίου συγγραφέα,να τον δεις να ξετυλίγει μια μοναδική ιστορία με έναν εκπληκτικό τρόπο και γι'αυτό νιώθεις τυχερός & χαρούμενος και από την άλλη η θεματική του βιβλίου,οι ήρωες και τα βιώματά τους σου προκαλούν άθελά τους(;) μια θλίψη.

Ο Doctorow ήταν συνεχώς μπροστά μου:το όνομά του & τα βιβλία του τα συναντούσα σε συνεντεύξεις αγαπημένων συγγραφέων,το "Ragtime" είναι
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Derek
"People pass out of one's life and all you can remember of them is their humanity, a poor fitful thing of no dominion, like your own."

This is probably Doctorow's funniest novel I've read. It's not all out laugh out loud funny, but it's more chuckles than you can afford to expose in a quite cafe.
Oh my, Homer, Langley, their filial bond is a marvel. We never get to chose who out brothers are but at least we get a say in who we can call family. And these two Collyer brothers live up to this premis
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Dagio_maya
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stelle, americana
"Ho scelto d'interpretare il mito".

Così affermò Edgard L. Doctorow in un'intervista all'indomani dell'uscita di "Homer & Langley"(2010) .
Con questa affermazione intendeva sottolineare come la sua rielaborazione della famigerata storia di cronaca dei fratelli Collyer si fosse spostata dal mera cronaca del fatto ad una riscrittura ideologica.
Al mito, in senso stretto, ci riconduce innanzitutto il fratello maggiore Homer che, cieco come l'omonimo aedo greco, si presta ad essere voce narrante.

S
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Faye
Read: Nov 2016
Rating: 5/5 stars, best of 2016

I have always been oddly fascinated by hoarding and the mindset of people who pack their homes from floor-to-ceiling with all sorts of junk so this book has been one I have meant to read for a long time. I found it incredibly moving as well as entertaining.

The story is told from the POV of Homer, who goes blind in early adulthood. He lives with his brother Langley in their childhood home; an opulent mansion in a prestigious area of New York. Homer chr
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Laura
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
First Doctorow and I was impressed. I am getting better at enjoying first person points of view. It takes some time to get into the book but the storyline gains momentum. I don't think this book is for everybody. It's not intense, it's just really good storytelling by an unreliable narrator. Next from this author, Welcome to Hard Times, another book that influenced Donald Ray Pollock.
João Carlos
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: l2014

E. L. Doctorow (1931 - 21 de Julho 2015)

O escritor norte-americano E. L. Doctorow (1931 - 2015) publicou em 2009 o romance “Homer & Langley” baseado na história verídica dos irmãos Collyer, reclusos na sua mansão na Quinta Avenida, Nova Iorque, e que foram encontrados mortos e soterrados em mais de 140 toneladas de lixo e de outros objectos.


Mansão dos irmãos Collyer, na Quinta Avenida, Nova Iorque

Homer é o narrador, o irmão cego, que perdeu a vista lentamente no final da adolescência, - “foi
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Ste Pic
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amerikani
Il declino della casa Collyer

Doctorow, un autore scomparso recentemente e da me scoperto proprio su anobii, parte da una storia vera, ambientata nella New York dei primi decenni del novecento narrando la vita dei due fratelli Collyer eredi di una famiglia importante nella borghese e mercantile società statunitense, e li accompagna nel loro declino, dovuto principalmente alla non accettazione delle regole e convenzioni sociali del tempo e a una gravissima e inarrestabile sindrome da accumulo che
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Meg M
Mar 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book presses in on me. In a bad way, like walls closing in. I finished it an hour ago, tossed it on the nightstand and turned out the light. And I couldn't sleep; all I could think was how scary and wrong and inevitable the ending was. I close my eyes and see the world through Langley's mad eyes and then my own eyes fly open again. It's keeping me up tonight, this tale of two brothers. I didn't like the story. I didn't like the constant invasion of space that heaped up throughout the book. ...more
Bobparr
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Primo libro di Doctorow che leggo, spinto dalla sua recente scomparsa. Non è semplice parlare di questa lettura: in realtà, il suo sviluppo è lineare e facilmente comprensibile. Quando però si prende la trama e la si mischia con quella che è stata la cronaca, ne emerge un quadro tremendo, spaventoso. Ho inteso documentarmi solo verso la fine del testo e mai scelta fu più indovinata, perché solo così ho potuto leggere senza pregiudizi o immagini nella mia mente.
La chiusa del romanzo è forse una
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aPriL does feral sometimes
Two men blind to their life (one literally) accumulate stuff barely useful or actually totally useless to their actual purposes in New York City, where this takes place (view spoiler). Metaphor to our American way of life? A warning to change our frenzied collecting and mall-rat culture? A literary look at how a lifetime of collecting memories might weigh us down spirituall ...more
Joe
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This author’s books blend fact – usually, but not always New York history – with fiction, by vividly bringing to life, times, places and characters from the past - all tied together with an interesting storyline. Homer & Langley follows this formula, chronicling two NYC brothers through 50+ years of the last century, but unfortunately without an engaging tale.

Homer and Langley Collyer – real people - made national news in 1941 after their bodies were found inside their Harlem brownstone. The
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Mosco
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chi sono i folli? i due fratelli o il mondo là fuori? e quando un comportamento normale vira verso la malattia mentale? E' sottile il confine tra lucidità e paranoia, stravaganza e alienazione, libertà e prigionia dalla propria idea di libertà. Libro molto bello, profondo, scritto benissimo. Grazie all'amica dagio_maya che l'ha consigliato
Blake Fraina
Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very intrigued to discover that successful author E.L. Doctorow had written a novel about the infamous Collyer brothers. If you’re not familiar with their story, they were New York City socialites who became obsessive hoarders and recluses, eventually dying in the squalid remains of their once fabulous uptown townhouse.

The author plays fast and loose with the details of the Collyer’s lives – chiefly by letting them survive through almost the entire Twentieth Century - as opposed to chronic
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Jana
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Unbelievable. Truth is stranger than fiction in the case of the Collyer brothers. And in this novelization we get to imagine what it might have been like day after day, year after year for these eccentric brothers living on Fifth Avenue in that OH SO WEIRD existence. The book is written from the viewpoint of Homer, who for most of his life is blind. Really? Homer is the blind one? See truth is stranger than fiction. I found him ever so likable. And I loved the musical aspects of his life. His pi ...more
Frabe
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doctorow ricostruisce letterariamente la storia vera dei fratelli Collyer, nella New York del secolo scorso: Homer, il cieco, e Langley, il matto (forse solo eccentrico inizialmente: poi, dopo il ritorno dalla devastante esperienza della prima guerra mondiale, matto proprio, ogni giorno di più).
Il romanzo promette bene al primo approccio, ma ben presto la storia prende una piega prevedibile e procede come in lenta discesa, verso l'ovvio finale. La scrittura sempre curata di Doctorow - va anche d
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dianne
What a brilliant book. The very real Collyer brothers of NYC circa 1880 to 1947 are fictionalized and we are invited into their thoughts and private actions during the mysterious decades they spent secluded in their 4 storey brownstone mansion on Fifth ave. Doctorow gives them some extra fictional decades - letting them live until their 80s, thus surviving, to comment on & in their way, be a part of, those tumultuous years of American history.

They live a brilliant, codependent folie a deux;
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Mohsen.khan72
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
دومین کتابی بود که از دکتروف میخوندم و این هم عالی بود.
بعد از خوندن کتاب داستان ماجرای واقعی این رمان رو هم خوندم که متعجبم کرد. در هر صورت دکتروف یه نابغه ست و از اون نویسنده هایی که باعث میشه تشویق بشی و بري سراغ باقی کاراش.
داستان هم راجع به برادراني هست که از خانواده ثروتمندی هستند و توی زندگيشون کلی ماجرا واسشون پیش میاد و باعث میشه یه عالمه آت و آشغال توی خونشون جمع کنن و با مصیبتی زندگی کنن. هومر کوره و لنگلي هم آت و آشغال جمع کن.
Sera
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sera by: Jennifer
What a great book! I didn't realize that it was based upon a true story until today. The story is about two brothers who grew up in a privileged home on Fifth Avenue. One becomes blind (Homer); and the other, Langley, may or may not be crazy after he obtains an injury while fighting in WWI.

Similar to his other books (e.g., Ragtime and The March), Doctorow takes his characters and uses them to tell the story about what is happening in the world around them and to provide their perspectives in re
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Saleh MoonWalker
Onvan : Homer & Langley - Nevisande : E.L. Doctorow - ISBN : 1400064945 - ISBN13 : 9781400064946 - Dar 224 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2009
Stephen Gallup
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was pretty far into this beautifully told (and narrated) tale--about two highly eccentric brothers living in Manhattan, one blind from an early age and the other given to a kind of brutal nihilism as a consequence of being gassed during WWI--before suspecting that the characters might've been real people. A quick online search then revealed that a Homer and Langley Collyer did indeed lead infamously reclusive lives for many decades in a Fifth Avenue brownstone, until being found dead there in ...more
Jaksen
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wonderful book. Read it in a day.

I gave always been fascinated by 'hoarders' before I even knew what they were. There was a woman in a nearby town, whose house I often passed while driving, who kept a long row of 'stuff' down both sides of her front walkway. This stuff was covered by pieces of canvas, and I'd often see her walking up and down the front walk adjusting the canvas covers. I had no idea what was going on - I honestly thought she kept firewood out there, maybe. Then I saw her no mor
...more
Jeanne
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
E. L. Doctorow's Homer and Langley is the story of the infamous Colyer brothers. Homer and Langley Colyer grew up on Fifth Avenue and lived alone there until their deaths. When they were found, they were discovered to be world-class hoarders, having "25,000 books, 14 grand pianos, hope chests, toy trains, 13 ornate mantel clocks, fine violins, two organs, and ton after ton of papers, assorted bric-a-brac, and trash" or, as another writer described it, "52 tons of junk." Photos published here by ...more
Elizabeth
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: signed-firsts
When I was lamenting that I hadn't found a five-star book last year, a close friend insisted that I was wrong. She reminded me how much I loved this book. She's right. Homer and Langley Collyer were five-star characters for me. From the outside, Homer and Langley would appear to languish in the throes of mental illness, hoarding and isolation. But Doctorow manages to create meaning and poignancy out of out of the clutter, chaos and overwhelming darkness of the Collyer brothers' lives. These are ...more
Andy Weston
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Based around the story of the actual reclusive Collyer brothers who became a media sensation in 1947 when an arrest warrant was called for the capture of Langley after the body of his brother was found in the once-elegant Fifth Avenue Manhattan manse they had inherited. It was soon called off after Langley’s body was found next to his brother’s. But they were already famous, for their collection of various debris and their battles with utility providers for not paying bills.
Doctorow’s fascinati
...more
Elizabeth Tai
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a 25 page rule - if a book doesn't impress me by then, I'd DNF it and put it in the donate box. I was pretty sure this book would be part of the pile, but once in a while, my prediction will be wrong and I'd be swept up by the power of the book. this was the book! I read Homer and Langley in one sitting - that's saying a lot.

The book is based on the real-life story of the Collyer brothers who came from a wealthy family in New York sometime in the early 20th century. However, at the end of
...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 presidentia ...more
“There is music in words, and it can be heard you know, by thinking.” 88 likes
“I remember holding her in my arms and absolving God of meaninglessness.” 10 likes
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