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City of God: A Novel

1 rating: 3.0
A book by E.L. Doctorow

You want ambition? E.L. Doctorow'sCity of Godstarts off not merely with a bang but with the big bang itself, that "great expansive flowering, a silent flash into being in a second or two of the entire outrushing universe." It doesn't, … see full wiki

Author: E.L. Doctorow
Genre: Fiction, Religious Fiction
Publisher: Random House
1 review about City of God: A Novel

A laborious route to a magnificent ending

  • Mar 21, 2000
Rating:
+3
I waited until I finished reading Doctorow's "City ofGod" before reading any reviews of this book - not sure why Imade that choice but once made I was thankful I had. If you're looking for his usual mix of historical fact with fascinating fiction, don't try this work. Work? Yes, that is exactly what this book is. And after wading through alot of pages that begged editing, I started over. City of God takes us back to college days, when we wandered from Philosophy to Religion to History to Psychology to Physics and to Biology classes. None of it pulls together until all the courses are finished THEN the magnificence of Doctorow's mind is appreciated. There is a good novel buried in this book, but the true rewards are found in Doctorow's philosphical excursions. His exploration of the beginning of the universe, his mingling the various philosophies that address man's condition and his search for meaning in a abusively chaotic cosmos, his paring down the tennants of Jewish and Christian thought - all these are done with enormous skill and read even better when approached a second and third time. Sometimes he is out of his territory - as when he maligns us with the oh-so-corny reinterpretations of banal songs. But Wow! this man's mind is impressive. And for those hardy readers who commit to finishing this literary task the retrospective gratification is magnificent!

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