0639 | City of God | E. L. Doctorow

fiction

If you’re after a pacy novel with a great storyline and memorable characters that zips you from A to B in a rush of finely written prose, you’ll need to get through this quick so that you can get yourself something that fits your bill. This novel isn’t it.

What it is though is a series of sketches that, together, give you an impression of contemporary New York and bits and pieces of WW2 Europe and what being Jewish means in both contexts. Bear in mind though that people who are Jewish absolutely love writing about being Jewish. People who live in New York also love writing about New York. Combine this and, well, you get writing that is entirely self-absorbed.

Was it worth it? I’m not really sure, and that shows that this novel is probably for people who consider themselves to have more literary intelligence than myself.

Either that or actually this is pretty terrible. Of course, that is a distinct possibility. If you want to judge a book by what you can take away from it, then this is going to make very little impact on your scale of judgment.

As for me, I took so little away from it that, when I came to write this review, I could remember absolutely nothing about it. Even the cover didn’t help me. I had to head to the web and get a summary and, while reading it, memories of the grind that it was to read came flooding back.

So, take all that for what it’s worth. After all, who am I?

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