Homer & Langley

  • by E.L. Doctorow
  • Narrated by Arthur Morey
  • 7 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From Ragtime and Billy Bathgate to The Book of Daniel, World's Fair, and The March, the novels of E. L. Doctorow comprise one of the most substantive achievements of modern American fiction. Now, with Homer & Langley, this master novelist has once again created an unforgettable work.Homer and Langley Collyer are brothers - the one blind and deeply intuitive, the other damaged into madness, or perhaps greatness, by mustard gas in the Great War. They live as recluses in their once grand Fifth Avenue mansion, scavenging the city streets for things they think they can use, hoarding the daily newspapers as research for Langley's proposed dateless newspaper whose reportage will be as prophecy. Yet the epic events of the century play out in the lives of the two brothers - wars, political movements, technological advances - and even though they want nothing more than to shut out the world, history seems to pass through their cluttered house in the persons of immigrants, prostitutes, society women, government agents, gangsters, jazz musicians . . . and their housebound lives are fraught with odyssean peril as they struggle to survive and create meaning for themselves.Brilliantly conceived, gorgeously written, this mesmerizing narrative, a free imaginative rendering of the lives of New York's fabled Collyer brothers, is a family story with the resonance of myth, an astonishing masterwork unlike any that have come before from this great writer.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

What a Dump.....

Major disappointment.
Given the famously freakish source material; and the fact that the author MADE MUCH OF IT UP! This simply should have been so much better.

I am perhaps being unduly harsh because I mistakenly thought this a work of real historical biography. I had first heard about these famous reclusive brothers in my childhood and was excited to learn the "real story" about them. But from early on, this book hit so many inauthentic notes; both philosophical and "chronological" That I was prompted to STOP LISTENING and check it against the source material. It is here that I discovered the intended formula was anything but accurate or even meaningful, in my humble, snarky opinion.

Therefore, I confess my extreme disappointment comes from "flawed" expectations. I guess I'm writing mainly to forewarn any other potential listeners who may come to this book equally unprepared.

To be clear, I was aware of Doctorow's significant reputation - but only very indirectly through film adaptations of his earlier books. However, I would still argue that such a literally talent, under no pretentions of telling the "real story" could and should have made this a far more provocative or at least moderately entertaining story.
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- Steve A.


I barely made it through this book. Generally I'm a fan of small details when they lend authenticity & add a visual element to the story. This book did neither.
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- Diane

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-01-2009
  • Publisher: Random House Audio