Top positive review
on March 15, 2002
This is the first book of Doctorow's I have read. Looking at his other books, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. But it certainly wasn't this. Doctorow's work has the feel of Kerouac, Burroughs, Heinein's Starship Troopers, Kesey, and Kafka. He takes an incident from one of the most turbulent and trying times in our nation's history and spins a story of a young man trying to understand the life and death of his parents (executed for treason). Doctorow takes on religion, Disney, and the political and social attitudes of America. And he does it well. Daniel is a man who is both confused and very knowing. He's a radical but not like any you've seen before. Doctorow's style is a little disconcerting the first few pages (he jumps between first and third person, both from Daniel's point-of-view, sometimes in mid-sentence), but after you adjust to it, it seems the only way this story could be told. This is a book you have to read. I didn't put it on my list of "best ever", but it was definitely short-listed for it.