Friday, November 18, 2011

Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow

I read City of God by E.L. Doctorow with my book club and didn't care for it. I had already bought Homer and Langley so I decided I better read it anyway. Luckily I did because it was so cool to read a story from a blind man's point of view.

Have you heard of the Collyer brothers? They were real people, known because they inherited a bunch of money from their parents and became reclusive hoarders. This is an almost completely fictionalized story about them; they live until the 1970s in the story instead of when they actually tragically died in the 1940s, and their birth order is reversed.

What E.L. does for us is take a fact, like that the chassis of a Model T was found in Homer and Langley's house after they died, and imagine the story of how it came to be there. We get to share in the glorious details of amassing a hoard. Ok, hoarding is an illness but in this story it doesn't seem so sad.

I love the characters and the journey we take with them through history. Fascinating story. E.L. Doctorow has been redeemed.

P.S. The Collyer Brothers is by James Lake.

P.P.S. This is 8th book out of 12 I've read for my TBR Challenge. It's been on my shelf since November 2, 2009, and it will remain on my shelf until someone borrows it.


Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Some how I'd never heard of these brothers before. Their story is crazy! It's like a male version of Grey Gardens.

Captain Nick Sparrow said...