Debbiegordon's Reviews > Ragtime

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
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U 50x66
's review
Dec 11, 2011

really liked it

The only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars is that it is not a fantasy book. Only fantasy can be perfect. I read this because JD teaches it and Berklee is performing it (next week & we'll be there). I can absolutely see why both of those are true.
I doubt i'm the first to say this story creatively captures the essence period in a multitude of ways. ...without being terribly long or packed with details.
A ton of passages & moments stick with me but I'll share just three:
#1 p.263 referring to the young Jewish girl from the once poor immigrant family & the always wealthy young fair-haired boy: "...She left imprints in the sand of a street runner, a climber of dark stairs...She had relieved herself in wooden outhouses behind the tenements...He had never gone without a meal...He ran with his mind. He ran toward something..." The juxtaposition.

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#2 p. 282 Coalhouse responding to Booker T "...And that we both may be servants of our color who insist on the truth of our manhood and respect it demands."
#3 Not a passage but rather the image in my mind of Pierpont Morgan sleeping in the Great Pyramid and wanting to build a pyramid for himself. Excess, alienation, ridiculous behavior...
#4 I know I said three but a fourth would be the use of the plight & agony of Harry Houdini (his passages make me think of the Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Klay.
...and there are more. Great read for a book club. Would be great to discuss if you're into socio political historical fiction texts. Great discussion...
Yay for Easter weekend.

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