This book was selected by Cornell University for the 2011 Reading Project. Incoming Freshman read the book and can attend 6 lectures on it during Orientation. Other students, faculty and alumni are also invited to read the book. Addicted to audio books, I was delighted to find this on Audible. It did not disappoint.
The author brings to light the logic of these two illogical brothers. His prose is compelling and beautiful. The march of history through the living of their lives is informative. I especially enjoyed the philosophical observations that come out of the telling of this tale by the youngest brother, Homer.
The narration is a bit monotone but completely fits the character of Homer and only adds to the feeling of the book.
Here is why it was chosen by Cornell:
Homer and Langley provides a fictionalized redaction of the lives of the renowned Collyer brothers, whose story became a New York urban legend. In Doctorow’s words, “I was a teenager when the Collyer brothers were found dead in their Fifth Avenue brownstone. Instantly they were folklore. I didn’t know at the time I would someday write about them, but even then I felt there was some secret to the Collyers. There was something about them still to be discovered under the piles of things in their house—the bales of newspapers and the accumulated detritus of their lives.”
In today’s world, the phenomenon of over-accumulation has even become fodder for television reality programs. How about taking a look at the subject from a literary angle? Sound intriguing to you? Homer and Langley generates a variety of topics for discussion and exploration including major events of 20th-century America, from Prohibition to flower children, the modern media phenomenon of “reality,” the significance of community, the psychology of hoarding and the claims of family, as well as sustainability, news, rebellion and autarky, or self-sufficiency.
If all of this is too cerebral for you - just read it for the entertainment value
This is the most interesting and compelling book I have read since Cutting For Stone, my all time favorite, ever. There are many reader reviews that express discomfort with the rougher parts of the author's life. This is certainly understandable but don't let that stop you from enjoying this finely written and exquisite memoir. The professional reviews attached to the publisher's summary are all right-on. Read and enjoy!
My adventure of reading books about the recent financial melt down began with a free first chapter that Audible sent out months ago (No One Would Listen by Harry Makopolis). I have no patience to sit and read a non-fiction book, but audio books opens up this world to me. They allow me to multitask and rewind to my heart's content to catch things I miss. When I ordered Boomerang, I had already read the Markolpolis book, as well as All The Devils are here and Too Big To Fail. (I will review these books separately.) However, they have all contributed greatly to my understanding of our current financial crisis. When Audible featured Boomerang, I eagerly bought it. It is an important compliment to the other books in the genre as it fills in the international piece of the debacle. It is an enjoyable and easily digested book about an otherwise arcane subject. I chuckled out loud as the author described Icelanders, the Irish and the Greeks and their roles in the melt down. I was less amused by his description of the Germans. I'm sure that is because I'm a descendant of hard working and admirable German immigrants. Only because of this bias did I give this a 4 start rating. The knowledge you will get from this and other books of its kind is all 5 star.
If you hold a mortgage, or vote, or invest in the stock market I encourage you to read any and all books about the causes of this financial crisis. Only by being educated ourselves can we expect to elect better leaders to fix this mess and prevent future disruptions in our economy and our lives. Go forth and read, read, read - uh - I mean listen, listen, listen.
Either Lee Child has written one too many Reacher mysteries or I've read one too many. This book was a big disappointment. The inconsistencies are maddening. Child spends a lot of ink describing the close bond between Jack Reacher and his former Army MP buddies. Then he makes a lie of this premise with banter between them that is snide, snarky, condescending and competitive. It was painful to listen to. Child also describes Reacher's female colleagues as incredibly strong, gifted and successful. Yet one of them (the most successful in civilian life) defers to Jack in the most obsequious of ways. If you have enjoyed the strong feminine characters in other Jack Reacher novels, they are MIA in this one. Dick Hill may have narrated one too many Reacher novels too. His reading of this book makes the writing flaws so much worse.
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