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Homer & Langley

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  10,110 ratings  ·  1,795 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 dama
...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Random House
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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
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، 1390، در 21
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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
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Nikos Tsentemeidis
"Σκέφτηκα πως θα έχει εξαιρετική αυτοπεποίθηση για να αναλάβει να καθοδηγήσει έναν τυφλό και μετά από αυτή την καλή πράξη να καθίσει επιπλέον να μιλήσει μαζί του. Συνήθως οι άνθρωποι που βοηθάνε σπεύδουν να εξαφανιστούν."
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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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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Teresa
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-eua, e5, z-marsh
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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Bill
There is an elegiac tone to this fictionalized memoir of Homer Collyer, typed by him on a Braille typewriter shortly before his death, recalling lives of increasingly eccentric behavior and squalor he and his brother Langley led in the family home on Fifth Avenue across from Central Park, from the 1880s to the Vietnam War era. Although Doctorow based the novel on the real Collyer brothers, and in spite of the fact that he has them directly participate in a great deal of America's history for two ...more
°°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʜᴇʟᴇɴ Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° ★·.·´¯`·.·★ Ⓥⓔⓡⓝⓤⓢ Ⓟⓞⓡⓣⓘⓣⓞⓡ Ⓐⓡⓒⓐⓝⓤⓢ Ταμετούρο   Αμ
“..νεκροταφείο που ακολουθεί ένα σώμα σε ένα
φέρετρο - μια ανυπομονησία με τους νεκρούς,
μια λαχτάρα να επιστρέψει στο σπίτι όπου
κάποιος θα μπορούσε να συνεχίσει
με την ψευδαίσθηση ότι όχι ο θάνατος
αλλά η καθημερινή ζωή είναι
η μόνιμη κατάσταση. “

Έχουν και οι λέξεις μουσική που ακούγεται όταν σκέφτεσαι. Όταν σκέφτεσαι μια λέξη
ακούς τον ήχος της - οι λέξεις έχουν μουσική και αν είσαι μουσικός θα γράφεις για να τις ακούς.

Το βιβλίο «Χόμερ & Λάνγκλεϋ» του Doctorow είναι μυθιστοριογραφία βασισμέν
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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 coll
...more
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 trad
...more
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'S F
...more
ΠανωςΚ
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Η πληρότητα μιας αναγνωστικής απόλαυσης, που ξεκίνησε νωρίς το πρωί και τελείωσε το απόγευμα της ίδιας ημέρας, μόνο και μόνο γιατί, σελίδα τη σελίδα, δεν μπορούσα να το αφήσω από τα χέρια μου.
Selkie ✦ Queen
"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 pa
...more
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 made r
...more
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
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
...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
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
...more
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
...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 ακόμα στ
...more
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 stag ...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 the ...more
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
...more
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.

Strut
...more
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. ...more
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 uma
...more
Brandon
marked it as to-read
Mar 09, 2009
Lisa
added it
Apr 23, 2009
Taffnerd
rated it did not like it
May 27, 2009
jess
is currently reading it
Jun 08, 2009
James
marked it as to-read
Jun 14, 2009
Tim
Jun 16, 2009 rated it liked it
An interesting book with very unique main characters. The relationship between these two brothers, one blind the other eccentric, is intriguing. The idea of memory plays an important thematic role making it worth the read.
Stephanie
marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2009
Josh
rated it really liked it
Jun 26, 2009
Jo
marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2009
Virginia
rated it really liked it
Jun 28, 2009
Pashie
marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2009
Sherry
rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2009
Lorelai
Jun 30, 2009 rated it did not like it
The opening is strong and elegant in voice....but the more I read of this novel the less I liked it. It reads like a laundry list of events, the characters, the Collyer brothers deserve a more creative and imaginative rendering of their lives in fiction. I have always liked and always will enjoy E.L. Doctrow but this is not a novel I will return to.
Jennifer Defoy
marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2009
Jamie
Jul 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a great read! Although there are pauses and breaks, there are no chapter designations in the work, so the feel of reading it is like you are sitting down with a grandparent for the rare and invaluable experience of living life through their eyes. The narrator tells you the story of his own, and very personal, life in a constantly changing New York as if he were instructing a greatly cared-for grandchild in the ways of the world, explaining himself and his eccentricities with an astonishi ...more
Sara
Jul 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
So, after finally getting this book from the first reads, I dove in and couldn't put it down! What a great story! I really enjoyed it. Funny to read a book about two brothers that are compulsive hoarders, when I just finished Grey Gardens books. Great read!
Alicia
Jul 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I was lucky enough to receive this book from a first reads giveaway. Because I had no idea who Homer and Langley Collyer were, I decided to do a bit of research before reading this book, just to get an idea of the two men. They definitely seemly fascinating, though incredibly creepy and I was slightly wary of a book that went into their minds.

However, I loved this novel. I read The March by Doctorow and didn't like it half as much as I like Homer and Langley. This book was so full of character
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jul 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, read09
This is the story of two brothers, living in NYC through several decades right after World War I. It is spotty and disjointed but the characters were interesting. The ending was ... well, strange.

"And so do people pass out of one's life and all you can remember of them is their humanity."
ethan
marked it as to-read
Jul 01, 2009
Alison
Jul 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
I am completely fascinated by the idea of taking a real-life mystery and building a story around the hows, whats and whys. This is what E.L. Doctorow did with the story of Homer and Langley Collyer, two well-to-do New York City brothers, who were mysteries to the city for 30 years until they were found dead in their home...

I loved it.

To read more of my review go to: Alison's Book Marks
...more
Teri
I was fascinated with the story of the Collyer brothers after reading about them on Wikipedia. (I looked them up after winning this book). It is truly a jaw dropping tale. I was excited to read this book.
It was hard for me in the beginning. I knew it was a novel, but it bothered me that Homer was said to be the younger brother,(he was the older brother) and blind as a teenager(that happened much later).I was reading it like a biography which is dumb because it is fiction. Once I got past wanti
...more
Andrea Dowd
Jul 01, 2009 rated it it was ok
I haven't read any E.L. Doctorow since reading "Ragtime" in college. I thought "Homer and Langley" would be a great place to re-introduce myself to his writing, especially since I find the Collyer brothers so interesting.

Doctorow's writing and grasp of historical storytelling is still wonderful but his revisionist version of the Collyer brother's sad downfall into hoarding and eventual death is distracting. Instead of the Collyer brothers dying in the late 40s, Doctorow has them experiencing li
...more
Kelly
Jul 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I was lucky enough to recieve an advance copy of this book from the First Reads program here. I had never read anything by E.L. Doctorow before, nor had I heard of the Collyer brothers (yes, they were real people) so I went into this with a pretty open mind. It's a short novel, but it's packed with quirky characters, rich details and interesting musings about life and love. I couldn't help but be reminded of Forrest Gump from the way American history played out in the lives of the two brothers a ...more
Linda
rated it really liked it
Jul 01, 2009
Michele Harrison
rated it it was amazing
Jul 01, 2009
Erika
Jul 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I really liked this book a lot. Sorry this is so late coming, but a ton had gone on and I was out of town. When I got back I skimmed back over this book, furthering my good opinion. The thing that I liked best is you never knew what was going to happen next - I guess the randomness of the book appealed to me. The characters were exquisitely written, and it was a wonderful story.
Casey
rated it really liked it
Jul 02, 2009
Debra
Jul 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book was a Good Reads First Reads book. E. L. Doctorow tries to imagine what made the infamous Collyer brothers, Homer and Langley, become obsessive compulsive hoarders. Eventually they turned into recluses who booby trapped their home with all the clutter they collected.
Homer goes blind, both their parents die, and Langley comes home from the war supposedly damaged from mustard gas. Homer becomes completely dependent on Langley. Even as the brothers are turning away from society Doctorow
...more
Laura J. W.
The circumstances of the Collyer Brothers is a study in human behavior—it is stunning. I’ve wanted to read Homer & Langley since it first came out, and found a copy at a used book store back in May, so I adopted it as the pile of books in my arms kept growing. I’m slowly making my way through this pile of books…

The one thing that made my brain itch was Doctorow’s breaking from the known facts of the Collyer Brothers—it is understood that writers are allowed liberties while writing about historic
...more
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Oregon Public Lib...: Homer & Langley [July 2019] 1 1 Jun 17, 2019 03:48PM  
Scott County Readers: Book Talk 7 25 Oct 07, 2012 09:54PM  

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886 followers
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 presidentially ...more

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