- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Liesl SchillingerWhen Homer, in a bid for empathy, asks, "What could be more terrible than being turned into a mythic joke?" readers caught up in Doctorow's tender, lushly drawn narrative may feel a pang, remembering Langley's Theory of Replacements and wondering what slot history has in store for them. Yet after the novel's spell ebbs, they will probably, guiltily, revert to the more instinctive response to Homer's plea. What's worse than being turned into a joke? Dying in your house buried under 100 tons of trash. The achievement of Doctorow's masterly, compassionate double portrait is that it succeeds for 200 pages in suspending the snigger, elevating the Collyers beyond caricature and turning them into creatures of their times instead of figures of fun.
—The New York Times