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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Review: Homer & Langley by EL Doctorow

Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 7, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0812975634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812975635

  • This is the story of the Collyer brothers as told by Homer Collyer.  Homer is blind and Langley is disabled to a degree from mustard gas in WWI.  Over the years, they become notoriously reclusive in their Fifth Avenue home.  The were considered eccentric and they were often in raging disputes with Con Ed and others to which they owed money.

    In addition, they because hoarders over time.  Langley collected all daily newspapers for a project he wanted to create (a sort of super paper), then it started being junk, musical instruments, a model T Ford in their dining room and so it grew.  People did come and go through their lives (including mobsters and hippies), but eventually, both brothers died in the house, with rescue workers having to fight booby traps and years of hoarding to find their bodies. 

    This is a fictionalized account of their sensationalized true story, trying to give their thoughts and emotions to understand their actions and how they ended up as they did.  It is sad and lonely and yet fascinating at the same time.


    1 comment:

    1. This does sound like a fascinating story that would tug on your heartstrings for their loneliness.

      Thoughts in Progress