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Collyerin erakkoveljesten makaaberista kuolemasta 1947 tuli välittömästi amerikkalainen legenda mutta mitä tapahtui ennen sitä Tositarinaan perustuva romaani on havahduttava kuvaus eksentristen veljesten vaiheista materialismin mahdista ja 1900 luvun AmerikastaCollyerin veljekset eivät aina olleet erakkoja Vuo 4 stars Ah my brother don t you see The ultimate technological achievement will be escaping from the mess we ve made There will be none after that because we will reproduce everything that we did on earth we ll go through the whole seuence all over again somewhere else and people will read my paper as prophecy and know that having gotten off one planet they will be able to destroy another with confidence When I began reading this book I had no idea that Homer and Langley Collyer were real life hoarders and recluses living in Harlem in a Fifth Avenue brownstone during the first half of the 20th century They became legendary after their bodies were found in 1947 amongst nearly 120 tons of junk ranging from anything and everything from ceiling high stacks of newspapers to pianos to a Model T Ford planted right in the middle of their living uarters EL Doctorow takes these two eccentrics and fictionalizes and humanizes them to a degree that allows the reader to perhaps understand their motives as well as to possibly provide us with a warning as to what may happen in a society where we accumulate and to the point that we become blinded to reality and the world around us In Homer Langley Doctorow expands the life of these characters beyond their demise in 1947 and instead we get a view of them from their childhood and straight into the 1970 s In so doing the author allows us to get a broad overview of the historical events of this time period ranging from WWI to the Vietnam War We gain a perspective of these events through the two brothers and the people to whom they come in contact with throughout their lifetime In this story Langley is a victim of mustard gas in WWI and returns to his home and his brother not only as a troubled man but also one full of ideas and theories about mankind Langley begins a daily perusal of any and all newspapers he could obtain and begins to accumulate stuff in order to perhaps make sense of a world gone awryThis novel is actually told through the narration of Homer looking retrospectively at the lives of the two brothers I m Homer the blind brother I didn t lose my sight all at once it was like the movies a slow fade out For a person without sight Homer instead has a sharpened awareness through his other senses as well as keen insight into the world around him He and Langley encounter a motley assortment of persons throughout their time including gangsters prostitutes musicians immigrants and hippies They host parties they wrestle with the authorities including the electric and water companies and the health department they fend off the abuse of rude children At times the glimpse at life and its absurdities was almost comical While at the same time Homer s introspective viewpoint was intensely stirring Homer yearned for love I still had hopes of finding someone to love but felt as I had never before that my sightlessness was a physical deformity as likely to drive away a comely woman as would a hunch of the back or a crippled leg My sense of myself as damaged suggested the wiser course of seclusion as a means of avoiding pain sorrow and humiliation This was an engaging yet deliberate look at a couple of fascinating and uirky individuals EL Doctorow managed to capture a bit of the nostalgia of times gone by in an ever changing city Ultimately as Homer and Langley plunge further into their own private darkness they become and shut off from society It is interesting to reflect personally on our own lives In the end what is our legacy is it the objects that we have left behind How will we be remembered It is our story that perhaps matters the most Given who I am what is there to write about Exactly who you are Your life across from the park Your history deserving of the black shutters

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Homer Langley

Aikean kauniissa mestarillisessa romaanissa veljekset hautaava jätevuori rinnastuu sekä yhteiskunnallisen kehityksen voittokulkuun että järjestyksen tavoittelun turhuuteen Aika nielee lopulta meistä jokaisen kuin Collyerien romulabyrinttiThe Graphic Designer of the Cover ImageGraafinen suunnittelija Markko Tain There is an elegiac tone to this fictionalized memoir of Homer Collyer typed by him on a Braille typewriter shortly before his death recalling lives of increasingly eccentric behavior and sualor he and his brother Langley led in the family home on Fifth Avenue across from Central Park from the 1880s to the Vietnam War era Although Doctorow based the novel on the real Collyer brothers and in spite of the fact that he has them directly participate in a great deal of America s history for two recluses I wouldn t say that the book s appeal is really to fans of historical fiction Rather readers who enjoy oddball humor and seeing the world from a uirky point of view might like this think Annie Proulx s The Shipping News or Elizabeth Strout s Olive Kitteredge I also found Homer s reflections on his sensory experience of life which included his gradual loss of sight during high school and later loss of hearing and therefore his beloved music to be moving Doctorow offers some nice thought provoking turns of phrase as well And then there was that feeling one gets in a ride to a cemetery trailing a body in a coffin an impatience with the dead a longing to be back home where one could get on with the illusion that not death but daily life is the permanent condition

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Sisadan alussa he seurustelivat niin gangstereiden katutyttöjen siirtolaisten kuin New Yorkin kermankin kanssa Vähitellen sokea Homer ja sodan raunioittama Langley vetäytyivät kuitenkin omiin oloihinsa Lopulta luksusasuntoonsa linnoittautuneilla veljeksillä ei ollut muuta kuin toisensa – ja sata tonnia romuaH I was lucky enough to attend a lecture by E L Doctorow where he read from Homer and Langley and was interviewed onstage He joked that the story of the Collyer brothers had become an American myth and that as with all myths one does not need to research only interpret This book is essentially the rambling of an old blind man Homer as he reflects back on his life spent with his trusty brother Langley in their family s mansion in New York City The book doesn t have chapters or parts It s just one long retrospect flowing from one event to the next in a roughly chronological fashion Sounds pretty standard right What gives this book an edge is that these two main characters are bizarre compulsive hoarders Even interesting these characters their legendary accumulation of junk and their news worthy deaths are based on actual people and events Sure Doctorow took some liberties with the story remember he was interpreting but the basic premise in all its absurdity is true And honestly if the book did not have this anchor in reality I would have had a hard time surrendering to the story Most of the time I didn t know how to react to the text Sometimes I d take it seriously trying to understand Langley s theories Sometimes I was overwhelmed with pity because Doctorow does a great job of showing their gradual degradation and making these two weirdoes likeable Sometimes I remained judgmental of all the nonconforming behavior and filth Sometimes I just had to laugh while wondering if it was wrong to be laughing After joining the audience s laughter at several of Doctorow s jokes and witty comments I think this is what he intended especially when Langley assembles an actual car in the dining room Given all my conflicting engagements with the book I was eager for answers My number one uestion was about placing the book in a genre Alas Doctorow eschewed the interviewer s uestion about picking a genre for his works He said he doesn t like how people keep sticking adjectives in front of his title as a novelist It is fine he said if people want to describe him as a historical novelist a post modern novelist or whatever else But he s not going to help them in their categorization or even pay them much mind Overall his response was thoughtful but I am still vaguely unsatisfied Maybe I m just a labeling freakDoctorow also said that Homer s voice came very easily to him as he wrote It shows He does an admirable job of describing Homer s blindness and all the sounds of life I would say that this book does for sound what Patrick S skind s Perfume did for smell Since I am comparing books it also reminds me of Pete Hamill s Forever in that it shows the changing tides of New York City and even America Yet Doctorow s book is faster and enjoyable than Hamill sThankfully this is a very uick read Doctorow was wise to keep in short because I don t think I could have handled much it s hard to read about characters wasting away in complete grime and isolation And man what a great understated last paragraph Overall I appreciate the musical style of the writing and the uniue perspective it offers I only gave it three stars because I prefer plot driven stories over montages But I would recommend it to others


10 thoughts on “Homer Langley

  1. says:

    The bachelor Collyer brothers of a respected family were reclusive hoarders who lived in a Manhattan brownstone After their bodies were found in 1947 than a hundred tons of trash was removed from their house Doctorow has taken the historical pair and put them to other uses He looks at a wide swath of 20th century American history through th

  2. says:

    Homer Langley EL Doctorow Homer Langley is a novel by American author E L Doctorow published in September 2009 It imagines a version of the lives of the Collyer brothers of New York City notorious for their eccentricities as well as their habit of compulsively hoarding a plethora of various bric a brac newspapers books and other itemsتا

  3. says:

    4 stars Ah my brother don't you see The ultimate technological achievement will be escaping from the mess we've made There will be none after that because we will reproduce everything that we did on earth we'll go through

  4. says:

    Σκέφτηκα πως θα έχει εξαιρετική αυτοπεποίθηση για να αναλάβε

  5. says:

    I was lucky enough to attend a lecture by E L Doctorow where he read from “Homer and Langley” and was interviewed onstage He joked that the story of the Collyer brothers had become an American myth and that as with all myths one does not need to research only interpret This book is essentially the rambling of an old

  6. says:

    Doctorow vuelve a darnos una clase magistral de cómo recrear la historia Partiendo de un hecho verídico el del descubrimiento de los cuerpos de los hermanos Collyer en su mansión de la uinta Avenida en Manhattan Doctorow nos relata su versión de cómo podrían haber llegado a ese estado O más bien en palabras del propio autor Como mitos ue son los hermanos Collyer reuerían no ue se investigara sobre ellos sino ue

  7. says:

    Em 1947 foram encontrados os cadáveres dos irmãos Homer e Langley Collyer ue residiam numa mansão da uinta Avenida em Manhattan Langley ia a rastejar por um dos túneis de fardos de jornais para levar comida ao irmão cego e parali

  8. says:

    There is an elegiac tone to this fictionalized memoir of Homer Collyer typed by him on a Braille typewriter shortly before his death recalling lives of increasingly eccentric behavior and sualor he and his brother Langley led in the family ho

  9. says:

    داستان هومر و لنگلی زیباترین و بهترین کتابی بود که در عمرم خونده امهر 3 4صفحه ای که میخوندم مدام به عکس پشت جلد که عکس ن

  10. says:

    “νεκροταφείο που ακολουθεί ένα σώμα σε ένα φέρετρο μια ανυπομονησία με τους νεκρούς μια λαχτάρα να επιστρέψει στο σπίτι όπου