Customer Reviews for

Homer and Langley

Average Rating 3.5
( 99 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(30)

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(19)

2 Star

(16)

1 Star

(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

i loved it

its a story that blooms inside you. memorable characters. reading it was like chatting with an old friend and getting deep inside their personal ideology. the story tells of how the blind see deeply and how blind the sighted can be. definitely a permanent library book. ...
its a story that blooms inside you. memorable characters. reading it was like chatting with an old friend and getting deep inside their personal ideology. the story tells of how the blind see deeply and how blind the sighted can be. definitely a permanent library book. great piece of american literature.

posted by tamesthetic on September 21, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

???

Sorry to say that I could only get 50 pages into this book. Boring would be a kind description of the story.

posted by KenCady on September 7, 2009

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  • Posted September 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    i loved it

    its a story that blooms inside you. memorable characters. reading it was like chatting with an old friend and getting deep inside their personal ideology. the story tells of how the blind see deeply and how blind the sighted can be. definitely a permanent library book. great piece of american literature.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2009

    A masterpiece

    Doctorow has an incredible ability to bring his characters to life. He draws you into this story with his unique and poetic use of the language and one can't help but to get hooked by his prose.
    A must read!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2010

    E. L. Doctorow Has Written Another Gem!

    E. L. Doctorow's take on these historical brothers is masterful. He has crafted a story for the reader to understand how the two privileged Collyer brothers might have ended up reclusive and lonely. This epic tale encompasses wars, political movements, police corruption and advancing technology in a spellbinding way. The reader of this audiobook brilliantly made the pages come alive and the characters real. I highly recommend this book, which is in the class of Ragtime and Billy Bathgate.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2013

    Fascinating

    Kept engrossed right up to the heartbreaking ending. Narrator's voice is sharp and spellbinding. You can practically hear his closing words echoing through the house. I can nevet fault Doctorow. Who can criticize the genius who gave the world Ragtime?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2012

    Great Book

    Great book to read. In the beginning did not what to expect in the first few pages but the read was a pleasant surprise. Great book club book to discuss.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2010

    Vintage Doctorow

    This is a fascinating book about a very strange compulsive behavior. Doctorow does a masterful job in describing the relationship between these two brothers in a very implausable living situation. Highly recommend.

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  • Posted December 19, 2009

    Modern Historical Fiction with Psychological Intrigue

    I decided to purchase this book after hearing E.L. Doctorow read the first few pages at one of the "Writers on a New England Stage" events we enjoy here in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I was immediately pulled into the drama of the lives of the Collyer brothers, their privileged upbringing and the view of life from Homer, the blind brother and narrator of the story. However, Doctorow's reading of the first few evocative pages was only a taste of the fascinating tale to come. The story gets much more interesting when you discover Langley, who is a bright yet injured man with an obsessive-compulsive disorder of the hoarding variety. E.L. Doctorow said that he first became interested in the Collyer brothers when the New York City Fire Department had to go through the roof of the Collyer Mansion to reach the brothers because the home was otherwise inaccessible...and they lived on Fifth Avenue so it must have been quite a spectacle. The cover photograph is taken from Central Park and shows the mansion surrounded by taller buildings dwarfing the residence.

    The adventures of the brothers, who were orphaned when they were young men, are a reflection of the life and times in New York as well as the influence of the outer world on their increasingly insular world. As E.L. Doctorow stated, it is a historical novel. He took the skeletal framework of the facts of the two brothers lives and hung the story on that framework as a a dresser drapes clothing on a dress model. It is a lovely draping.

    There are events and changes that happened in the world over the years that managed to enter the brothers sphere and touch them profoundly. The brothers themselves are compelling. Homer, the blind musician, is an acute observer who seduces women easily into his later years. Langley, the damaged intellectual, is a miser who nevertheless becomes an extravagent collector of oddities until the end. One is stable, the other completely unpredictable, yet they both co-exist and depend upon each other in a world all their own.

    I liked this book because of the way the "world all their own" was drawn so beautifully by E.L. Doctorow's writing. There is nothing wasted in the writing, nothing peripheral or distracting in the story, and every word falls into place perfectly. As such, it is a fast and completely enjoyable read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2009

    Excellent; engaging. Magnificent writing style.

    I continue to think about the story of this book and find it difficult to disengage from the idea that it is historical rather than fiction. There are, for me, a lot of hidden meanings, metaphors, and politically-charged ideas. This is not a book that makes you feel good; it makes you want to meet the characters and engage them in conversation.

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  • Posted October 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Historical Fiction

    Intriquing and hearbreaking. A keen insight into two sad, isolated lives.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

    A Must Read!

    This was a fantastic book. I couldn't put it down. Vintage E.L. Doctorow at his best! Would highly recommend this!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

    Wonderfully written, with great plot and imagination.

    Same as headline.

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  • Posted October 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Maybe Doctorow's Best

    Such a beautifully written book -- like traveling thru the past 70 years from the unique perspective of the narrator, a blind but fully engaged man from a wealthy and prominent NY family. Excellent read, but a dark ending.

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    Posted January 12, 2010

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    Posted September 6, 2009

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    Posted February 9, 2010

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    Posted March 5, 2012

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    Posted September 3, 2009

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    Posted October 26, 2009

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    Posted October 30, 2010

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    Posted September 15, 2010

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