David Carr's Reviews > Homer & Langley

Homer & Langley by E.L. Doctorow
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's review
Aug 28, 2011

really liked it
Read from August 28 to September 02, 2011

No brother, no sister, I find this novel about filial bonds to be almost exotic and inexplicable. But Doctorow, like Roth, gives us a life to read and it is, briefly, ours. (I have never met Mr. Doctorow, but I have in fact met his brother. Really.) This is a New York novel, but it is also a novel of obsessive collecting, and -- despite the openness of that city and the grandeur of a Fifth Avenue house -- it is about a life of claustrophobic nearness, mistrust, and disconnection from the world. Part of the world does come into the Collyer brothers' house, but it can never displace the irrationality and insularity of the two men who live there, among newspapers by the ton, multiple pianos, an automobile in the dining room, and an impenetrable dark. A fine book by one of America's greatest writers.
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