I don’t typically read books narrated solely by males, not because I am sexist or think women narrators are better, but simply because I am much more drawn to a story I can relate to. I haven’t read any other books by E.L. Doctorow, so I don’t know what his typical writing style is, but if this book is any indication of what his other books are like, I may have to give them a try.
At first glance, this story might not seem to be very deep or meaningful, but once I was fully immersed in the lives of the characters, two brothers named, (you guessed it!) Homer and Langley Collyer, I was able to see that what may seem like a book about two guys who go around picking through trash cans is actually a whole lot more. This is a book about two old men who have seen a lot of history in their life, and what they have experienced has seeped deep into their lives and personalities.
When I read a book, I like to find one character that really sticks out to me, one that I can relate to and feel like I actually know. In Homer & Langley I didn’t particularly like one of the brothers better than the other, though I did feel a lot of sympathy for both. One is blind and the other seems to be going crazy, and to live with either of those afflictions can’t be easy. I did find that one of the brothers was more likeable to me than the other, as one of them seemed to have an infatuation with women and that was a little creepy to me. However, for a book about the lives of two old men, this was a story that kept me reading and reading. E. L. Doctorow put me under his spell, and it wasn’t lifted until the very last page.
Profanity/Language: 3 religious exclamations; 2 mild obscenities.
Violence/Gore: A man threatens children with a gun; verbal threats are made; a character is mentioned to be injured in a war; parents mentioned to have died from an illness; rape and murder are mentioned with no description.
Sex/Nudity: A sexual experience is mentioned with no detail; a brief sex scene between adults is described with no explicit detail; porn is mentioned with no description.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death, war, personal crises.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Adults smoke; adults drink.