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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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English (24)  Finnish (1)  All languages (25)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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 |
Wonderful historical fiction about New York during the years of "Dutch" Schultz, the notorious Jewish gangster who ruled the Bronx in the late 1920s and early 1930s until his assassination by Lucky Luciano. The novel is narrated by Billy, a young man who is initiated into Schultz's gang roundabout 1934, just as Schultz begins his decline into paranoia and isolation from the other New York gangs. Billy's language is brooding and beautiful--Cormac McCarthy-esque--and the novel is absolutely riveting, even terrifying at times as Schultz is prone to exploding into unthinkable violence. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
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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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First words
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:36 -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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