Billy Bathgate: A Novel

Sold by Random House
34
Free sample

To open this book is to enter the perilous, thrilling world of Billy Bathgate, the brazen boy who is accepted into the inner circle of the notorious Dutch Schultz gang. Like an urban Tom Sawyer, Billy takes us along on his fateful adventures as he becomes good-luck charm, apprentice, and finally protégé to one of the great murdering gangsters of the Depression-era underworld in New York City. The luminous transformation of fact into fiction that is E. L. Doctorow’s trademark comes to triumphant fruition in Billy Bathgate, a peerless coming-of-age tale and one of Doctorow’s boldest and most beloved bestsellers.
Read more
Collapse

About the author

E. L. Doctorow’s works of fiction include Welcome to Hard Times, The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, Loon Lake, World’s Fair, Billy Bathgate, The Waterworks, City of God, The March, Homer & Langley, and Andrew’s Brain. Among his honors are the National Book Award, three National Book Critics Circle awards, two PEN/Faulkner awards, and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, honoring a writer’s lifetime achievement in fiction, and in 2012 he won the PEN/ Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, given to an author whose “scale of achievement over a sustained career places him in the highest rank of American literature.” In 2013 the American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded him the Gold Medal for Fiction. In 2014 he was honored with the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.
Read more
Collapse
4.0
34 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Dec 1, 2010
Read more
Collapse
Pages
336
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9780307767387
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Literary
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
NPR Pick for Best Book of the Year: A love story and an epic tale of scientific history that “richly conveys an abiding sense of time and place” (Booklist).
 
In upstate New York, at the confluence of the Hudson River and its mighty tributary the Mohawk, came the creation of a new world of science. In 1887, Thomas Edison moved his Edison Machine Works here and a few years later, it became the headquarters of a major manufacturing company, giving the town its nickname: Electric City. Then, in 1919 came Charles Proteus Steinmetz, a brilliant mathematician and recent arrival from Ellis Island. Allied with his Mohawk friend Joseph Longboat and his adopted eleven-year-old granddaughter Midget, he would make advancements in Electric City that, quite simply, changed the world.
 
Now, in the autumn of 1965, Sophie Levine is the daughter of one of the many scientists working at The Company, whose electric logo can be seen from everywhere in town. Her family escaped Europe just before World War II, leaving behind annihilation and persecution. Ensconced in Electric City, Sophie is coming of age just as the town is gasping its last breaths.
 
America is on the cusp of great instability, enduring blackouts and social unrest over Vietnam. Into Sophie’s orbit drifts Henry Van Curler, the favored son of one of Electric City’s founding Dutch families, as well as Martin Longboat, grandson of Joseph Longboat. This new generation will face both the history of their town and their own uncertain future, struggling to bridge the gap between the old world and the new.
 
“Rosner at her best yet, a book that leaves the reader hungering for her next.” —Chicago Tribune
 
“Beautiful.” —Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
 
“A heady mix of world-changing history (Thomas Edison and Charles Steinmetz) coupled against a bewitching love triangle ignites Rosner’s gorgeously written exploration of the way inventions transform cities, hearts, and lives, sometimes with a terrible cost . . . Electrifyingly original.” —Caroline Leavitt, author of Pictures of You
The central figure of this novel is a young man whose parents were executed for conspiring to steal atomic secrets for Russia.

His name is Daniel Isaacson, and as the story opens, his parents have been dead for many years. He has had a long time to adjust to their deaths. He has not adjusted.

Out of the shambles of his childhood, he has constructed a new life—marriage to an adoring girl who gives him a son of his own, and a career in scholarship. It is a life that enrages him.

In the silence of the library at Columbia University, where he is supposedly writing a Ph.D. dissertation, Daniel composes something quite different.

It is a confession of his most intimate relationships—with his wife, his foster parents, and his kid sister Susan, whose own radicalism so reproaches him.

It is a book of memories: riding a bus with his parents to the ill-fated Paul Robeson concert in Peekskill; watching the FBI take his father away; appearing with Susan at rallies protesting their parents’ innocence; visiting his mother and father in the Death House.

It is a book of investigation: transcribing Daniel’s interviews with people who knew his parents, or who knew about them; and logging his strange researches and discoveries in the library stacks.

It is a book of judgments of everyone involved in the case—lawyers, police, informers, friends, and the Isaacson family itself.

It is a book rich in characters, from elderly grand- mothers of immigrant culture, to covert radicals of the McCarthy era, to hippie marchers on the Pen-tagon. It is a book that spans the quarter-century of American life since World War II. It is a book about the nature of Left politics in this country—its sacrificial rites, its peculiar cruelties, its humility, its bitterness. It is a book about some of the beautiful and terrible feelings of childhood. It is about the nature of guilt and innocence, and about the relations of people to nations.

It is The Book of Daniel.
©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.