E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime. Wow. What a book. This is a page-turner (even with its unfashionably long paragraphs –some longer than a full page). We have an omniscient narrator fully in control of his material, a historical period (1910-14 or so) absolutely brimming with fascinating events and people (Magician Harry Houdini, Magnate JP Morgan, Architect Stanford White, Millionaire Freak Harry Thaw, Radical Emma Goldman, etc.) and fictional characters so well-understood, so engagingly described, that we almost don’t need a story. But there is a story, too! All written in terrific prose. Highly recommended, especially for readers interested in this period. Click on the title link to read a 1975 NY Times review by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt.
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