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Billy Bathgate by E. L. Doctorow

Billy Bathgate (1989)

by E. L. Doctorow

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Whoa--intense and fast-paced. Typical Doctorow in many ways, especially, I think, in his somewhat limited treatment of female characters, but still I like Doctorow's style and focus on historical fiction. ( )
  AlisonLea | Jan 10, 2015 |
An absolutely brilliant mix of fact and fancy. The story of the downfall of the Dutch Schultz gang as told by a young hanger-on who manages to insinuate himself into the club. Excellent full characterizations, intricate plot and wonderful use of the English language. After reading it, I looked at the real story of Dutch Schultz on Wikipedia. Doctorow did a fabulous job of using the known details and weaving Billy's story into it. Excellent story and writing. ( )
  AliceAnna | Aug 9, 2014 |
Billy Bathgate features Doctorow's distinctive narrative style at its best, plus a riveting plot and a thought-provoking ending. ( )
  KayMackey | Jan 7, 2014 |
A much better read 20 years later. ( )
  bontley | Aug 24, 2013 |
I read this book because it won the Book Critics Circle fiction award for 1989. It is the 27th such winner I have read. It is laid in 1935 and tells of the ingratiating way that Billy, age 15, worked his way into the Dutch Schultz gang by being "capable" and doing what he was told. It read easily and is of interest as an insight into gangsterdom in that era. The story skips around some, telling of the death of a character--dumped into the ocean after having his feet encased in cement--and then telling of what lead up to that murder--although just why Bo was murdered is not spelled out. One of course cannot admire the central character, except that he was making himself agreeable to the mammon of iniquity, as Scripture suggests.. ( )
  Schmerguls | May 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
E. L. Doctorowprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toorn, Willem vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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He had to have planned it because when we drove onto the dock the boat was there and the engine was running and you could see the water churning up phosphorescence in the river, which was the only light there was because there was no moon, nor no electric light either in the shack where the dockmaster should have been sitting, nor on the boat itself, and certainly not from the car, yet everyone knew where everything was, and when the big Packard came down the ramp Mickey the driver braked it so that the wheels hardly rattled the boards, and when he pulled up alongside the gangway the doors were already open and they hustled Bo and the girl upside before they even made a shadow in all that darkness.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0394525299, Hardcover)

In the Bronx of the 1930s, 15-year-old Billy Bathgate hooks up with a legendary mobster, Dutch Schultz. Schultz becomes an unlikely surrogate parent to the boy, introducing him to the ways of the world and training Billy to follow in his footsteps. After Billy falls for Schulz's latest girlfriend, he begins to question the actions of the mob he was so eager to join. As he seeks to protect the young woman, he gains strength in following his own heart and makes a courageous passage from boyhood to adulthood. E.L Doctorow won the 1990 PEN/Faulkner Award for this novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:27 -0400)

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The story of Billy Bathgate, a boy who has insinuated himself into the inner circle of the notorious Dutch Schultz gang to become apprentice and protege to one of the great murdering gangsters.

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