Thursday, April 01, 2010

Ragtime

Woops, I totally forgot I was supposed to have a bookclub about Ragtime. (I finished way early and then forgot about it.) Did anyone else read it? Want to talk about it?

7 comments:

Dawn Simon said...

I put it on hold at the library just this afternoon. Eep! What happened to March?!

Sandra Gail Lambert said...

I did read it. It was especially fun for me, an Emma Goldman, fan. (Although the scene where Doctorow ruined a quite lovely, sensual moment between Emma and Evelyn by spewing - well you know what he spewed - made me pissed off for at least the next 50 pages.

But there was that moment early on, that moment when I'm reading a book (or watching a movie) and I know my time is not going to be wasted, that I can trust the author. In Ragtime it was the sentences "There were no Negroes." "There were no immigrants." The content along with the sentence structure did that perfect thing of letting you know the predjudices of the characters and at the same time that the author doesn't share them. It's hard to make this sort of silent communication between author and reader effective without causing the narrative to stumble.

moonrat said...

Sandra--I know EXACTLY what you mean. I agree.

I loved how much of it was real history. I was also pretty satisfied with myself that some of the history was ringing bells.

To be honest, I wish the little girl/Tateh story had been better pursued. Obviously Coalhouse Walker's story is the most important of the book, but once it came along all the other threads kind of dropped. I have been told, though, when I posted my review on thebookbook, that that's the point:

http://tinyurl.com/yfgtyoh

Judith Engracia said...

Mm haven't read it, but I'm intrigued by your little bio on the side. "Recovering" editorial assistant? What do you do now? Any advice for me, since I'm going to graduate in May and I've had 4 publishing internships so far, so I'm looking to be an editorial or literary assistant soon :)

Jane Steen said...

Could we just kind of go round and start the readalong again? I was looking at our much-neglected basement bookcases the other day and saw that we own a copy of Ragtime. Who knew. Must be the husband's, because I'm sure I've never read it. Anyhow, I took it as a Sign and was a little ticked because I was too late. Relaunch?

WendyCinNYC said...

I read it a number of years ago and loved it. I actually forced my husband (not a fiction guy at all) to read it and he enjoyed it so much he went out and bought Homer & Langley.

I agree with you, though, about the Coalhouse Walker story taking completely over. I liked the interweaving narratives in the first half of the book much more than the CW -dominated second part (although I did find that story interesting as well.)

Kerry said...

Read it a month or two ago for a bookclub and then couldn't make the meeting - I loved it! Would love a chance to revisit.