City of God: a novel

Front Cover
Random House, 2000 - Fiction - 272 pages
94 Reviews
In his workbook, a New York City novelist records the contents of his teeming brain--sketches for stories, accounts of his love affairs, riffs on the meanings of popular songs, ideas for movies, obsessions with cosmic processes. He is a virtual repository of the predominant ideas and historical disasters of the age. But now he has found a story he thinks may be-come his next novel: The large brass cross that hung behind the altar of St. Timothy's, a run-down Episco-pal church in lower Manhattan, has disappeared...and even more mysteriously reappeared on the roof of the Synagogue for Evolutionary Judaism, on the Upper West Side. The church's maverick rector and the young woman rabbi who leads the synagogue are trying to learn who committed this strange double act of desecration and why. Befriending them, the novelist finds that their struggles with their respective traditions are relevant to the case. Into his workbook go his taped interviews, insights, preliminary drafts...and as he joins the clerics in pursuit of the mystery, it broadens to implicate a large cast of vividly drawn characters--including scientists, war veterans, prelates, Holocaust survivors, cabinet members, theologians, New York Times reporters, filmmakers, and crooners--in what proves to be a quest for an authentic spirituality at the end of this tortured century. Daringly poised at the junction of the sacred and the profane, and filled with the sights and sounds of New York, this dazzlingly inventive masterwork emerges as the American novel readers have been thirsting for: a defining document of our times, a narrative of the twentieth century written for the twenty-first.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
23
4 stars
14
3 stars
23
2 stars
23
1 star
11

He is a funny, deep, creative writer. - Goodreads
MY THOUGHTS: I tried really hard to read this book. - Goodreads
It's also a bit of a mystery and love story. - Goodreads
This book is devoid of insight. - Goodreads
You are one fine person and brilliant writer. - Goodreads
With a plot that goes somewhere. - Goodreads

Review: City of God

User Review  - Kate - Goodreads

I stuck with this book because I enjoyed some of the story lines, but others were boring or nonsensical. I find myself skipping the large rambling parts about the universe. Read full review

Review: City of God

User Review  - Marge - Goodreads

I have loved several of Doctorow's books, but not so much this one. The obscure narration, the absence of chapters, the discursions into unrelated topics...I guess he was being experimental, but I didn't care for it. Guess I just prefer a straight narrative novel. Read full review

Contents

Section 1
6
Section 2
9
Section 3
20
Copyright

36 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2000)

E. L. Doctorow's work has been published in thirty languages. His novels include Welcome to Hard Times, The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, Loon Lake, Lives of the Poets, World's Fair, Billy Bathgate, and The Waterworks. Among his honors are the National Book Award, two National Book Critics Circle awards, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Edith Wharton Citation for Fiction, the William Dean Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal. He lives and works in New York.

Bibliographic information