Ragtime

Front Cover
Random House, 1975 - African Americans - 270 pages
674 Reviews
Published in 1975, Ragtime changed our very concept of what a novel could be. An extraordinary tapestry, Ragtime captures the spirit of America in the era between the turn of the century and the First World War. The story opens in 1906 in New Rochelle, New York, at the home of an affluent American family. One lazy Sunday afternoon, the famous escape artist Harry Houdini swerves his car into a telephone pole outside their house. And almost magically, the line between fantasy and historical fact, between real and imaginary characters, disappears. Henry Ford, Emma Goldman, J. P. Morgan, Evelyn Nesbit, Sigmund Freud, and Emiliano Zapata slip in and out of the tale, crossing paths with Doctorow's imagined family and other fictional characters, including an immigrant peddler and a ragtime musician from Harlem whose insistence on a point of justice drives him to revolutionary violence.

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5 stars
212
4 stars
237
3 stars
142
2 stars
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The prose style is punchy, and the pacing is rapid. - Goodreads
Thought it had an abrupt ending. - Goodreads
An intriguing novel and writing style. - Goodreads
Such a wonderfully pieced together plot. - Goodreads
Too bad the prose is so inelegant. - Goodreads
A great writer and an audacious story - Goodreads

Review: Ragtime

User Review  - Sean Barker - Goodreads

I was entertained and educated. A fantastic read. This book deserves its place among the classics. Beautifully written, well researched historical fiction. Read full review

Review: Ragtime

User Review  - Jarret Lovell - Goodreads

A very enjoyable read that presents a snapshot of the United States as it entered the 20th century. Far from a glossed over or sanitized depiction of the American Dream, Doctorow weaves the stories of ... Read full review

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Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
10
Section 3
13
Copyright

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About the author (1975)

Edgar Lawrence (E. L.) Doctorow was born January 6, 1931, in New York, New York. He received an A.B. in philosophy (with honors) in 1952 from Kenyon College and did graduate work at Columbia University 1952-1953. He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1953-1955. He began his career as a script reader at Columbia Pictures and as a senior editor for the New American Library, 1959-1964. He was editor-in-chief for Dial Press from 1964 to 1969, where he also served as vice president and publisher in his last year on staff. It was at this time that he decided to write full time. He has written novels, short stories, essays, and a play. His debut novel, Welcome to Hard Times, was published in 1960 and was adapted into a film in 1967. His other works include, Loon Lake, The Waterworks, The March, and Andrew's Brain. He won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1986 for World's Fair and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 1976 for Ragtime, which was adapted into a film in 1981 and a Broadway musical in 1998. Billy Bathgate received the PEN/Faulkner Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the William Dean Howells Medal in 1990. The Book of Daniel and Billy Bathgate were also adapted into films. He received the 2013 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters for his outstanding achievement in fiction writing.

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