2008: 57. The Book of Daniel


“Daniel Lewin thumbed his way from New York to Worcester, Mass., in just under five hours.”

The Book of Daniel, E.L. Doctorow

This is the second book I’ve ever read by Doctorow, after Ragtime which is one of my favorite books of all time.  This book has a great premise - it concerns Daniel Lewin and his sister Susan, who are children of the most famous executed criminals in America, executed for their alleged roles in a treason plot - (i.e. a fictionalized Rosenbergs).  What a great premise for a story, right? The Rosenberg issue is fascinating, as is the idea of what it would be like to be a child of such a family.  Doctorow’s version is pretty bleak (more bleak than real life, I think, since the real Rosenberg sons went on to be pretty successful professors and such, and wrote some books themselves), but credible - you believe that such an event could create the kind of people he’s written about.  It took me a while to get into the story - at the beginning it jumps around in time and from first to third person, but the end (which tells of their history - the arrest, the prison visits, the execution) is so good and compelling that its worth slogging through the first bit.  I really enjoyed this book (which I found in the leave a book pile a work), and want to read more Doctorow, as well as more about the Rosenbergs.

Date/Place Completed: 4/1//08; D.C.

Categories: Fiction; Commuting Book

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017