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Billy Bathgate (1989)

by E. L. Doctorow

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,012275,692 (3.69)87
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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English (25)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (27)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Gangster youth turns into successful business may - very strong Dickensian vibes for me with solid rough-and-ready American gangster. ( )
  brakketh | Mar 9, 2020 |
A gripping account of the gangster life of Dutch Schultz, fictionalized but still close to what actually happened. The narrator also does very well bringing the words to life. ( )
  charlie68 | Jun 11, 2019 |
started to read it. didn't like it
  AnnKelly | Apr 27, 2019 |
I really like this one, even if there were some disturbing scenes that had me starting to second guess why I wanted to read this, my first exposure to E. L. Doctorow's novels. What worked for me is the well drawn setting and the pitch perfect voice of our young Billy. Boy, does Billy think fast on his feet and grow up fast for a street smart middle teen kid from a fatherless, East Bronx childhood! I get that the Depression era was a hard scrabble on its own. Add in a strong, gangster element as Doctorow has done here, and the end result is a fast-reading peerless (and perilous) coming-of-age story. Doctorow provides enough detail about 1930s New York life (from the view of the city's notorious underground crime economy) that it was easy for me to visualize life in those times, from that perspective.

What can I say... an easy flowing, captivating read, with some interesting jolts along the way. ( )
  lkernagh | Oct 28, 2018 |
Doctorow delivers a wild ride on the dark side. ( )
  nlgeorge | Nov 10, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
E. L. Doctorowprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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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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