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Ragtime

Average Rating 4
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

No. 1 on my all-time reading list

When asked a few years ago to name my 10 favorite books, there was no hesitation in listing Ragtime first. Doctorow is without peer as a storyteller and a master wordsmith.

posted by MrBogey on December 28, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

In a word: Painful

This book was absolutely awful. It was slow, didn't make sense, choppy, bizarre, and plainly, in a word, painful.

Who was narrating the story? I was confused about this. This didn't make sense to me. Was it another member of "Younger Brother" and "Mother's" family? ...
This book was absolutely awful. It was slow, didn't make sense, choppy, bizarre, and plainly, in a word, painful.

Who was narrating the story? I was confused about this. This didn't make sense to me. Was it another member of "Younger Brother" and "Mother's" family? Was it some random person? What was this about? I still don't understand who was telling the story and why. It was very odd.

Secondly, what was the point of this book? The plot was terribly choppy and at times confusing, jumping from one place and one set of events to another randomly, switching from character to character to character. It was difficult reading about so many new characters in only the first part of the story. And the terrible plot is only accentuated by the painfully blunt and rather underdeveloped writing style Doctorow uses: short and simple to-the-point sentences that make his novel sound like a high school English student wrote it, and threw in random vocabulary all over the place for good measure.

Finally, the profanity of this book was really terrible. I am not one to agree on banning books; I'm all for reading 'banned' books like The Catcher in the Rye and other novels that people have frowned upon due to language and other "inappropriate" content. But this novel's sexual content was so awful it made me gag. Doctorow disgustingly writes of sexual encounters throughout the entire novel, frequently describes acts of sex (and possibly lesbianism) and masturbation. It's enough to make you put down the book for good. It's like a sexual overload. I don't know what statement Doctorow was trying to make in having almost all of his characters focus on sex so often. It's incredibly pointless. It doesn't convey that in the early 20th century American were becoming more sexual. It's just gross!

Overall, this book was completely terrible. I would not recommend it even to a high schooler because of all the awful sexual content. But the plot, which I guess Doctorow was inspired to write after reading some history book or something, is what really kills.

posted by FrenchBeats on September 3, 2010

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  • Posted September 3, 2010

    In a word: Painful

    This book was absolutely awful. It was slow, didn't make sense, choppy, bizarre, and plainly, in a word, painful.

    Who was narrating the story? I was confused about this. This didn't make sense to me. Was it another member of "Younger Brother" and "Mother's" family? Was it some random person? What was this about? I still don't understand who was telling the story and why. It was very odd.

    Secondly, what was the point of this book? The plot was terribly choppy and at times confusing, jumping from one place and one set of events to another randomly, switching from character to character to character. It was difficult reading about so many new characters in only the first part of the story. And the terrible plot is only accentuated by the painfully blunt and rather underdeveloped writing style Doctorow uses: short and simple to-the-point sentences that make his novel sound like a high school English student wrote it, and threw in random vocabulary all over the place for good measure.

    Finally, the profanity of this book was really terrible. I am not one to agree on banning books; I'm all for reading 'banned' books like The Catcher in the Rye and other novels that people have frowned upon due to language and other "inappropriate" content. But this novel's sexual content was so awful it made me gag. Doctorow disgustingly writes of sexual encounters throughout the entire novel, frequently describes acts of sex (and possibly lesbianism) and masturbation. It's enough to make you put down the book for good. It's like a sexual overload. I don't know what statement Doctorow was trying to make in having almost all of his characters focus on sex so often. It's incredibly pointless. It doesn't convey that in the early 20th century American were becoming more sexual. It's just gross!

    Overall, this book was completely terrible. I would not recommend it even to a high schooler because of all the awful sexual content. But the plot, which I guess Doctorow was inspired to write after reading some history book or something, is what really kills.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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