World's Fair

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Overview

"Something close to magic." The Los Angeles Times

The astonishing novel of a young boy's life in the New York City of the 1930s, a stunning recreation of the sights, sounds, aromas and emotions of a time when the streets were safe, families stuck together through thick and thin, and all the promises of a generation culminate in a single great World's Fair . . .

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New York NY 1996 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 288 p. Audience: General/trade. New, first Plume edition. Not a remainder. "Something close to magic, ... " Los Angeles Times. "a novel of rare warmth and intimacy, " People mag. Read more Show Less

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World's Fair: A Novel

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Overview

"Something close to magic." The Los Angeles Times

The astonishing novel of a young boy's life in the New York City of the 1930s, a stunning recreation of the sights, sounds, aromas and emotions of a time when the streets were safe, families stuck together through thick and thin, and all the promises of a generation culminate in a single great World's Fair . . .

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Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle
The resulting novel crackles with unexpected twists and some nifty surprises-it's like Patricia Highsmith with an extra shot of adrenaline.
School Library Journal
YA The 1930s was a turbulent time for America: the Great Depression, left-wing politics and the growing concern over the rise of Hitler in Europe. As seen through the eyes of nine-year-old Edgar Altshuler, these events provide a backdrop for the more intimate story of his own family and how they coped while living in the Bronx. They serve a symbolic purpose as well as a historical one. On his first visit to the fair, Edgar is enthralled by industry's vision of the futuresafe, secure and prosperous cities, speedy and cheap transportation and modern invention to make life easier. On his second visit, he sees that the exhibits are constructed of gypsum whose paint is peeling and that the displays are really toys. Reality has altered Edgar's perceptionshe is growing up. Edgar's chapters are randomly interspersed with his mother Rose's recollections and a few by his older brother Donald to give a seemingly simplistic view of life that is actually a rich narrative of history, political and personal values and points for discussion. A remarkable book for perceptive readers. Diana Hirsch, PGCMLS, Md.
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
When you finish reading E.L. Doctorow's marvelous novel, you shake your head in disbelief and ask yourself how he has managed to do it…you get lost in World's Fair as if it were an exotic adventure. You devour it with the avidity usually provoked by a suspense thriller.
The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452275720
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 7.92 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

E. L. Doctorow
E. L. Doctorow
Few writers have succeeded as E. L. Doctorow has at creating stories (largely based in 1930s New York) that evoke both warm, personal memory and a grander national portrait. Doctorow doesn't always promise historical veracity, but he captures our imagination of the past flawlessly.

Biography

E. L. Doctorow, one of America's preeminent authors, has received the National Book Critics Circle Award (twice), the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Edith Wharton Citation For Fiction, and the William Dean Howells medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has also published a volume of selected essays Jack London, Hemingway, and the Constitution, and a play, Drinks Before Dinner, which was produced by the New York Shakespeare Festival. He resides in New Rochelle, New York.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

Good To Know

Doctorow began his career as a reader for Columbia Pictures. He went on to work as an editor for New American Library in the early 1960s, and then served as chief editor at Dial Press from 1964 to 1969.

Critics assailed Doctorow for delivering a commencement address critical of President George W. Bush at Hofstra University in May 2004.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Edgar Lawrence Doctorow (full name; named for Edgar Allan Poe)
      Edgar Laurence Doctorow
    2. Hometown:
      Sag Harbor, New York, and New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 6, 1931
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      A.B., Kenyon College, 1952; postgraduate study, Columbia University, 1952-53
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 6, 2009

    Doctorow at his best

    An exploration of the 1930's in New York is the background for a Jewish family living in the Bronx. You will get to know each of the members of Doctorow's cast through many the daily experience of family life and many different perspectives. Growing up, family, love, death, are experienced in different ways through many different eyes. By the end of the book you will understand these people and likely think you actually know these people, or at least someone just like them. An enlightening book not to be ignored.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 11, 2010

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    Posted October 27, 2009

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    Posted January 25, 2014

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