Thursday, March 27, 2008
27. "Ragtime" - E.L. Doctorow
I'm not an "el doctoro" fan. The March drove me crazy.
But Ragtime was written in a different style. Set in the early 1900s to 1917, Doctorow uses real people (Houdini, Freud, Henry Ford, J.P Morgan, etc.) to tell a fictional story about one family's experiences with Coalhouse Walker, Jr., a ragtime piano player.
The family, conveniently named Mother, Father, and Mother's Younger Brother, represent the ideals and failures of that time in history when change was occurring so quickly (Ford's assembly line) right before World War I. In fact, it is the automobile that acts as another character in the novel, introducing Houdini to the family as well as initiating the main conflict in the later pages of the book.
My only gripe is the super short sentence structure (say that three times fast), though it fulfilled its purpose in propelling me through the pages. Sheesh, enough alliteration.
4.0 out of 5.0 Ragtimes.