Monday, February 24, 2014

"A Highly Original Experiment in Historical Fiction": Doctorow's Ragtime.

In 1975, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt of the New York Times is awed by E. L. Doctorow's novel, Ragtime:

"It works so well that one devours it in a single sitting as if it were the most conventional of entertainments. And the reviewer is tempted to dispense with heavy breathing and analysis and settle down to mindless celebration of the pure fun of the thing.... But Ragtime works--and works so effortlessly that one hesitates to take it apart. Still, the questions persist: How does it work? Why do these historical images--half documentary-half invented--seem truer than the truth? And the answer is, for one obvious thing, they reflect all that is most significant and dramatic in America's last hundred years or so...."

More in the Times:

Doctorow visits Albany to present his new novel, Andrew's Brain, this coming Thursday, February 27: