Ragtime – Review

Before I get started on the review portion of this post I need to talk a little about why this book was read. As those of you who are regular reads of this blog you’ll know that I love E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime more than anything else. Or at least I bring it up a lot. This was my selection for the book club that got started at work with a great title To Read or Not to Read (I do work for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival so it’s quite fitting). So, we had our first meeting last night. With that being said I do need to heaps piles of shame on those that didn’t show up for the discussion. There were some with valid reasons for not being there but the majority I don’t even know why they didn’t show.

With that being said the true bibliophiles made their way to the meeting. Yvonne, Paul (who, I must note, came all the way from Cambridge for the meeting) and myself. Oh, and I should say Elisha was also there but was working (we met in a local bar).

ragtimeRagtime

By: E.L. Doctorow

Genre: Historical Fiction

One of the things that I like to do when holding a book club is have each person evaluate the book on a scale of 1-10. It’s often very telling. All three of us gave the book rather high marks 7,8, and 9. I was the one that gave the book a nine. I adore this book and I think I love it so much because it evokes so many emotions while reading it and because the every single character is flawed.

This book has obviously influenced a large number of people because it’s been made into a movie and a Broadway musical, despite the many differences in these three retellings of the story I have enjoyed all. The story of Coalhouse Walker Jr. is incredible and the comings and goings of some of the past centuries well know celebrates.

It’s been a while since I’ve read this book so it was great to have this opportunity to read it again. I was surprised to find this book as sexually charged as it is. I do remember the masturbation scene, but then again after reading it how could anyone forget it? This time around I was as upset with Coalhouse as I was the first time. I think this time I realized it was his only option, he did what he needed to do to help the others in his band. The first I read what happened I wanted to hurl the book, this time it was all good.

A Q&A with the author can be found here. He talks about Ragtime and why he wrote the book.

Kristin Dodge has a wonderful review of this book at (and I must say I love the title of her blog) Books for Breakfast.
http://books4breakfast.blogspot.com/2008/03/27-ragtime-el-doctorow.html

Jandy’s Reading Room is wonderful and puts many of us readers to shame, last year she read 200 books – wow!
http://jandysbooks.blogspot.com/2008/12/growth-change-and-racism.html

These are really the only posts I could find on fellow blogger sites. So I guess the question I need to pose is why aren’t you people reading this book? If you’ve read it and would a link here send me an email and I’ll add the link.