Literature E.L. Doctorow City of God: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780812985894

City of God: A Novel

Valutazione media 3,4
( su 2.246 valutazioni fornite da Goodreads )
 
9780812985894: City of God: A Novel

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
With brilliant and audacious strokes, E. L. Doctorow creates a breathtaking collage of memories, events, visions, and provocative thought, all centered on an idea of the modern reality of God. At the heart of this stylistically daring tour de force is a detective story about a cross that vanishes from a rundown Episcopal church in lower Manhattan only to reappear on the roof of an Upper West Side synagogue. Intrigued by the mystery—and by the maverick rector and the young rabbi investigating the strange act of desecration—is a well-known novelist, whose capacious brain is a virtual repository for the ideas and disasters of the age.
 
Daringly poised at the junction of the sacred and the profane, filled with the sights and sounds of New York, and encompassing a large cast of vividly drawn characters including theologians, scientists, Holocaust survivors, and war veterans, City of God is a monumental work of spiritual reflection, philosophy, and history by America’s preeminent novelist and chronicler of our time.
 
Praise for City of God
 
“A grander perspective on the universe . . . a novel that sets its sights on God.”The Wall Street Journal
 
“Dazzling . . . The true miracle of City of God is the way its disparate parts fuse into a consistently enthralling and suspenseful whole.”Time
 
“Blooms with humor, and a humanity that carries triumphant as intelligent a novel as one might hope to find these days.”Los Angeles Times
 
“Radiates [with] panoramic ambition and spiritual incandescence.”Chicago Tribune
 
“One of the greatest American novels of the past fifty years . . . Reading City of God restores one’s faith in literature.”The Houston Chronicle
From the Hardcover edition.

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Review:

You want ambition? E.L. Doctorow's City of God starts 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, to be sure, remain on this cosmic plane throughout. There's a mystery here, along with a romance, a chilling Holocaust narrative, and a deep-focus portrait of fin-de-siècle Manhattan--not to mention cameo appearances by that Holy Trinity of contemporary mythmaking: Albert Einstein, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Frank Sinatra. But while the author of Ragtime and Billy Bathgate is no slacker when it comes to entertainment, he has more in mind this time around. Even the title, with its Augustinian overtones, tips us off to the author's preoccupation with belief, human consciousness, and "our wrecked romance with God."

Let's return, however, to that mystery. In the early pages of the novel, an enormous brass cross is pilfered from a church on the Lower East Side. Father Thomas Pemberton of St. Timothy's promptly sets off in search of it, dubbing himself the Divinity Detective. Yet he suspects from the start that this is no ordinary theft, with no ordinary solution:

So now these people, whoever they are, have lifted our cross. It bothered me at first. But now I'm beginning to see it differently. That whoever stole the cross had to do it. And wouldn't that be blessed? Christ going where He is needed?
Where He seems to be needed is the opposite side of the ecumenical aisle. The cross turns up on the roof of the Synagogue for Evolutionary Judaism, a tiny Manhattan institution to which Pemberton has clearly been led by fate. His encounter with the synagogue's rabbinical duo--a husband-and-wife team struggling to reclaim a pre-scriptural state of "unmediated awe"--transforms his life. It also destroys what's left of his conventional Christian belief. Augustine's spin on original sin, for example, now strikes him as "a nifty little act of deconstruction--passing it on to the children, like HIV." And as his relationship with Judaism deepens, he discards the clerical collar altogether and embarks upon a penitential exploration of the Holocaust--which in turn allows Doctorow to loop his narrative back and forth between several generations of (mostly) Jew and Gentile.

Astonishingly enough, the foregoing only scratches the surface of City of God. This marvelous hybrid also includes a metafictional framework (i.e., an author-as-character with a rather Doctorovian resume), an ongoing rumination on city life, and a dozen other major strands and minor players. There are, not surprisingly, a number of misfires. For example, Doctorow has long been interested in the power of American popular song--in the way that, say, Gershwin's work has come to function as a kind of secular hymnal. Yet the author's postmodernist variations on the standards, which appear at regular intervals throughout the novel under the ominous rubric of "The Midrash Jazz Quartet Plays the Standards," are jaw-droppingly awful. One might also argue that the book is too centrifugal, too devoted to the storytelling principle of the big bang. Still, there is an undeniable power to the way Doctorow makes his fictional worlds collide, setting off all manner of historical and philosophical conflagrations. At one point he imagines "the totality of intimate human narrations / composing a hymn to enlightenment / if that were possible." A tall order, yes. But despite its occasional longueurs, City of God suggests that it's possible indeed. --James Marcus

From the Inside Flap:

Read by John Rubenstein
Three cassettes, Approx. 5 hours

In the autumn of 1999 the large brass cross behind the altar of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in lower Manhattan disappears and mysteriously reappears on the roof of the Synagogue for Evolutionary Judaism on the Upper West Side.  The church's maverick rector and the young rabbinical couple who lead the synagogue set about attempting to learn about the vandals who have committed this strange double act of desecration.

A writer, alerted to the story by a newspaper article, befriends the priest and the rabbis and finds that their own struggles with their respective traditions are relevant to the case.  As the narrative broadens, more and more people are implicated in what may be the elusive prophesy of a new American culture.  Daringly poised at the junction of the sacred and profane, the story opens into a multi-voiced narrative that finally incorporates the monumental historical events and predominating ideas of our age.

Filled with the sights and sounds of New York, and with a cast of vividly drawn characters that includes scientists, war veterans, prelates, Holocaust survivors, cabinet members, theologians, New York Times reporters, film actors and crooners, this dazzling, inventive masterpiece emerges as the American novel of our time--a narrative of the 20th century written for the 21st.

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Descrizione libro Random House Trade, United States, 2014. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER With brilliant and audacious strokes, E. L. Doctorow creates a breathtaking collage of memories, events, visions, and provocative thought, all centered on an idea of the modern reality of God. At the heart of this stylistically daring tour de force is a detective story about a cross that vanishes from a rundown Episcopal church in lower Manhattan only to reappear on the roof of an Upper West Side synagogue. Intrigued by the mystery and by the maverick rector and the young rabbi investigating the strange act of desecration is a well-known novelist, whose capacious brain is a virtual repository for the ideas and disasters of the age. Daringly poised at the junction of the sacred and the profane, filled with the sights and sounds of New York, and encompassing a large cast of vividly drawn characters including theologians, scientists, Holocaust survivors, and war veterans, City of God is a monumental work of spiritual reflection, philosophy, and history by America s preeminent novelist and chronicler of our time. Praise for City of God A grander perspective on the universe . . . a novel that sets its sights on God. The Wall Street Journal Dazzling . . . The true miracle of City of God is the way its disparate parts fuse into a consistently enthralling and suspenseful whole. Time Blooms with humor, and a humanity that carries triumphant as intelligent a novel as one might hope to find these days. Los Angeles Times Radiates [with] panoramic ambition and spiritual incandescence. Chicago Tribune One of the greatest American novels of the past fifty years . . . Reading City of God restores one s faith in literature. The Houston Chronicle From the Hardcover edition. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780812985894

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Descrizione libro Random House Trade, United States, 2014. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER With brilliant and audacious strokes, E. L. Doctorow creates a breathtaking collage of memories, events, visions, and provocative thought, all centered on an idea of the modern reality of God. At the heart of this stylistically daring tour de force is a detective story about a cross that vanishes from a rundown Episcopal church in lower Manhattan only to reappear on the roof of an Upper West Side synagogue. Intrigued by the mystery and by the maverick rector and the young rabbi investigating the strange act of desecration is a well-known novelist, whose capacious brain is a virtual repository for the ideas and disasters of the age. Daringly poised at the junction of the sacred and the profane, filled with the sights and sounds of New York, and encompassing a large cast of vividly drawn characters including theologians, scientists, Holocaust survivors, and war veterans, City of God is a monumental work of spiritual reflection, philosophy, and history by America s preeminent novelist and chronicler of our time. Praise for City of God A grander perspective on the universe . . . a novel that sets its sights on God. The Wall Street Journal Dazzling . . . The true miracle of City of God is the way its disparate parts fuse into a consistently enthralling and suspenseful whole. Time Blooms with humor, and a humanity that carries triumphant as intelligent a novel as one might hope to find these days. Los Angeles Times Radiates [with] panoramic ambition and spiritual incandescence. Chicago Tribune One of the greatest American novels of the past fifty years . . . Reading City of God restores one s faith in literature. The Houston Chronicle From the Hardcover edition. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780812985894

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Descrizione libro Random House Trade, United States, 2014. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER With brilliant and audacious strokes, E. L. Doctorow creates a breathtaking collage of memories, events, visions, and provocative thought, all centered on an idea of the modern reality of God. At the heart of this stylistically daring tour de force is a detective story about a cross that vanishes from a rundown Episcopal church in lower Manhattan only to reappear on the roof of an Upper West Side synagogue. Intrigued by the mystery and by the maverick rector and the young rabbi investigating the strange act of desecration is a well-known novelist, whose capacious brain is a virtual repository for the ideas and disasters of the age. Daringly poised at the junction of the sacred and the profane, filled with the sights and sounds of New York, and encompassing a large cast of vividly drawn characters including theologians, scientists, Holocaust survivors, and war veterans, City of God is a monumental work of spiritual reflection, philosophy, and history by America s preeminent novelist and chronicler of our time. Praise for City of God A grander perspective on the universe . . . a novel that sets its sights on God. The Wall Street Journal Dazzling . . . The true miracle of City of God is the way its disparate parts fuse into a consistently enthralling and suspenseful whole. Time Blooms with humor, and a humanity that carries triumphant as intelligent a novel as one might hope to find these days. Los Angeles Times Radiates [with] panoramic ambition and spiritual incandescence. Chicago Tribune One of the greatest American novels of the past fifty years . . . Reading City of God restores one s faith in literature. The Houston Chronicle From the Hardcover edition. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780812985894

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