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Loon Lake (1980)

by E. L. Doctorow

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
725522,242 (3.24)37
It is the Great Depression of the 1930s, and a passionate young man from Paterson, New Jersey, leaves home to find his fortune. What he finds, on a cold and lonely night in the Adirondack Mountains, is a vision of life so different from his own that it changes his destiny, leading him from the side of a railroad track to a magical place called Loon Lake. From the Paperback edition.… (more)

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» See also 37 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
Doctorow makes you think. This is not a quick read, you have to read digest and contemplate. Words and paragraphs are disruptive. The pace is uneven from what you expect in a novel to hitting a stone wall of change characters abruptly change and evolve. Is this all good or is it bad. That is for the reader to decide. The ratings of this novel are all over the board and, being a fan of Doctorow, it is what I would expect. I have found that his writings, especially the experimental ones like this, are not the easiest read but when you take the time and commit to the to the story and the writing they can be very rewarding. So often what can be perceived as a disruption is creating a deeper feeling of the uncertainty relevant to the story at that moment. Other times we are being taken within a particular character to depth many other writers will not take us nor in a manner that is expected. It feels like there are times Doctorow strives to develop characters we must know intimately if the story is to work. While I did enjoy the journey I was taken on do not believe this is his best work. Possibly if I read this first, without knowing him and his style, I might not have become a fan. For anyone who wants to explore very creative writing or truly enjoys a novel that forces you to think, to digest and understand the meaning of every paragraph, every sentence, every word and puts great importance in character development they should definitely give this novel a chance. ( )
  can44okie | Aug 28, 2020 |
Another of the boys own adventure style novels. This one didn't grab me like [Billy Bathgate]. ( )
  brakketh | Apr 13, 2020 |
I love Doctorow, but this really wasn't what I expected. Whenever I thought I knew what was going on, I didn't really, and some of the scenes are hideously graphic, but at times it was the best, most inspired thing I'd ever read.

Reader Beware: I created a long-needed "weird" bookshelf after reading this one. ( )
  StefanieBrookTrout | Feb 4, 2017 |
A drifter finds himself on a summer home of an industrialist. But it wasn't engaging. The Doctorow flare for fast paced story telling didn't emerge from this mass. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Mar 5, 2014 |
It is rare that I am left without words in trying to describe how utterly bad a book is, and the horrible taste that it has left in its' wake. I am not sure that I have an adequate enough vocabulary to give this book the scathing review it so richly deserves. I found all the characters to be just repugnant, and I could care less about any of them, or any of the events that happened to them. The plot was confusing and I wasn't sure whether it was the author, or whether the editors and publishers really messed up how this book was put together. The story would relate one event and then several chapters later relate the same event again, only from a slightly earlier time. The character development was non existent and the characters themselves were shallow, uninteresting sub-humans and I found their actions to be putrid. I have often thought that even if I did not like a book, I should be willing to give the author a second chance. I don't see that happening here. if someone wanted to borrow this book, more than likely, I would refuse that request. I cannot emphasize strongly enough to pass on this book, even if it means reading a mediocre book for the third or fourth time. ( )
1 vote morryb | May 15, 2008 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Doctorow, E. L.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Diamond, DonnaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toorn, Willem vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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It is the Great Depression of the 1930s, and a passionate young man from Paterson, New Jersey, leaves home to find his fortune. What he finds, on a cold and lonely night in the Adirondack Mountains, is a vision of life so different from his own that it changes his destiny, leading him from the side of a railroad track to a magical place called Loon Lake. From the Paperback edition.

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