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Ragtime
By E.L. Doctorow

'I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps,' sang Frank Sinatra. The book to match the song is E.L. Doctorow's fabulous fictional vision of New York at the turn of the century. Interweaving a host of different stories and characters, Doctorow creates a huge tapestry of the city. The beginning of movies, the wonder of the automobile, the crassness of wealth, the spirit of early feminism and the exuberant music of ragtimeā€”it's all here. I read it just after my first-ever visit to New York and found its energy, like the city's, infectious and boundless.

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