Fabian's Reviews > Ragtime

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites

A ragin' feelin' 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 & 1915, aka the dawning of the 20th century, displaying an intrepid attitude that blazes, that accelerates.

It is incredible; an accessible, long meditation, like a panorama-portrait described with broad, lush strokes; accessible unlike Saramago or Garcia Marquez. It's funny, it's very clever with its use of scales, for everything in literature is worth a mention: from a simple shadow on the floor to the features of the general populace of the great American metropolis--this novel has it all. & when the scale becomes unfathomable, Doctorow maintains one singular strand in a huge tapestry that has many strands, it seems. He chooses to fix the novel past the faux-majesties of the new money set (where Gatsby existed) and the slum-wretched-poor (the days before the grapes of wrath) in a factual story of a black man robbed of his property, his basic human dignity, and consequently of his revenge on the white cowards. "Ragtime" is entertaining, wholesome, very educational, & I would urge every American History teacher to add it to the syllabus. It describes a macrocosm effectively & the factoids are invigorating. Plus, the prose, well, it's endearing, unforgettable, good-great-amazing.
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Reading Progress

March 12, 2015 – Started Reading
March 12, 2015 – Shelved
March 16, 2015 – Finished Reading
January 8, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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message 1: by Terri (new)

Terri I really liked it too.


Fabian Great read. My goodness, I am leaving already and I'm afraid I have neglected to set up a lunch or something. I feel rotten! Perhaps you can pencil me in when I come back during the summer? I cant wait to live in the Rockies! I still think of History class lessons--totally--and apply them to life, aka my way of thinking. So I just want you to know how much inspiration you've given me... soon I'll make (most of) my teachers proud. (Happy face/eye a-twinkle)


message 3: by Terri (new)

Terri Sure, we will get together then. Best of luck to you in Denver. You deserve all good things, my friend. :)


Fabian ...and if youre ever in Denver, Ill treat you to the best lunch of all. At the Cheesecake Factory!


message 5: by Terri (new)

Terri Sounds great!


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Great review, Fabian. I read this when it came out, and it started my love affair with Doctorow. Your review makes me think it's time for me to reread it. :)


message 7: by Don (new) - rated it 5 stars

Don One of the best historical novels I've ever read. Ragtime is an amazing book. I want to reread it again at some point.


message 8: by Jaline (new) - added it

Jaline Super review, Fabian! This is a book that escaped me somehow "back when" - I have added it so I hope to rectify that soon! :)


Nimet I read this book last year, its amazing book very informative historical but also very strange :)))


message 10: by Franky (new)

Franky Fabian, great review. I'll have to read this one of these days :)


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