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Informative,
Difficult,
Interesting

4 reviews

Ragtime: A Novel
by E.L. Doctorow

Published: 2010-11-17
Kindle Edition : 258 pages
2 members reading this now
9 clubs reading this now
0 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 4 of 4 members
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

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.

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Introduction

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

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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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "An American classic"by scotlass66 (see profile) 07/16/16

Blending real-life people and fictional characters and events, sometimes to the point that it's hard to distinguish between fact and fiction. That may be one of the points of the book. Lots to discuss:... (read more)

 
by mariesusanne (see profile) 07/22/15

 
  "Ragtime"by rochellegridley (see profile) 07/22/15

One of the comments made at our meeting was that the reader had learned more reading this book than she had reading any one book for a long time. I found the allegorical style to be compelling. Not having... (read more)

 
  "Ragtime"by lovelisa (see profile) 10/19/14

It was a bit hard to get into the heart of the book from the start with so many characters, plots and stories but then it all came together. It was interesting the whole way through

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