Homer & Langley: A Novel

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Doctorow pp. Random House.

Imagining the inner lives of the packrat Collyer brothers.

Doctorow SEPT. News World U.

Book Summary

Politics N. Dressed only in an old bathrobe, his emaciated corpse sat bolt upright on the floor, surrounded on all sides by teetering ziggurats of junk.

Listen to Homer & Langley: A Novel by E.L. Doctorow at ehafezylyn.tk

One hundred and fifty tons of bric-a-brac would eventually be cleared from the rat-infested mansion, among it 10 clocks, 14 grand pianos, a 7ft tree limb, the jawbone of a horse and stacks of yellowing newspapers dating back 30 years. Only 10ft away from Homer, ensnared in an anti-intruder trap of his own making and hidden beneath some of the objects he had spent his life accumulating, lay his brother and carer, Langley. It would take police two weeks to find him. The account on the page is, ostensibly, a manuscript bashed out on a Braille typewriter during his final days as he looks back with both fondness and regret on the events of his life.

That world view expresses itself as a kind of kleptomania. The house becomes a haphazard memory bank for the inventions of a fast-moving century — celebrated on their first appearance, obsolete a decade later — a graveyard for the casualties of progress.

Homer Langley by Doctorow, Signed

Among its redundant treasures are a computer the size of a refrigerator, and a Model T Ford bought on the cheap after automobile fashions have moved on, then installed in the dining room. At this late stage, the book, initially so nimble and elegant, starts to drag disappointingly. Asked to take on more symbolic weight than it can bear, the whole edifice of the novel creaks and groans, as overburdened as the floorboards of the Collyer mansion.

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