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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by Cory Doctorow
by E.L. Konigsburg
by E.L. Tettensor
by Ralph Compton, E.L. Ripley
by Charles Dickens
by Evan S. Connell, James Salter
by Patrick O'Brian
"Doctorow does a fairly nice job reading his justly celebrated portrait of 1906 America. He has a sandy, pleasant, lightly accented voice and a fine sense of the dramatic--though he strangely mispronounces words, as, for instance, "lau-DEN-um" instead of "LAU-de-num." Neither has he the comic touch as a performer to match his comic touch as a writer. More importantly, this tape suffers from the same inevitable flaw of the film and musical versions. They cannot reproduce the original's principal achievement: the stunning conjuration of ragtime music. To hear that, one must read the book silently to oneself. Y.R. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine"
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