The Book of Daniel (Picador Books) Paperback – 10 Dec 1982
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
" A ferocious feat of the imagination . . . Every scene is perfectly realized and feeds into the whole- the themes and symbols echoing and reverberating." - Newsweek " A nearly perfect work of art, and art on this level can only be a cause for rejoicing." - Joyce Carol Oates " This is an extraordinary contemporary novel, a stunning work." - San Francisco Chronicle " The political novel of our age . . . the best work of its kind." - New Republic " Remarkable . . . One of the finest works of fiction." - Minneapolis Star Tribune " Stirring, brilliant, very moving." - Houston Post "From the Hardcover edition."
The classic novel of an America inflamed by Cold War hysteria. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Daniel's communist parents, based on the real-life Rosenbergs, have been executed for passing secrets to the Soviet Union at the height of the 1950s McCarthyite fever when America seems to have lost the plot. And he has survived growing up without them. Barely. Hardly more stable than his hospitalised sister, his story-telling steers you straight into choppy waters. The stiff narrative breeze rarely slackens, veering wildly from one era to another and from Daniel in `journal' mode to a more distant third person . When you finally reach dry land, don't be hard on yourself if you feel a little disoriented, exhilarated and queasy in equal measure, much as if you have been pushed overboard after daring to question whether anyone has a firm grip on the democratic-capitalist rudder.
The book's destabilising atmosphere is undoubtedly one of its successes. The boot-strapping legal system that seems to admit circular arguments as evidence, the confusion of children so casually picked up by the state that has made their parents vanish, the inadequacy of the mental health system and the non-content of the anarchist, anti-system rhetoric: all make it harder to get one's bearings.Read more ›
Doctorow's novel is a fictionalised account of the trial and execution of the Rosenbergs, an American communist couple who were found guilty of conspiracy to overthrow the U.S government by disclosing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. The fictional counterparts to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are Paul and Rochelle Isaacson. Apart from some minor differences, the events of the novel largely reflect those of the Rosenberg case. The Isaacsons, like the Rosenbergs, are put to death at the end of the novel, by means of electric chair.
Like the inevitable eruption of Vesuvius in Robert Harris's 'Pompeii', the impending doom of the Isaacsons is inevitable, and the tension is slowly elevated as the plot slowly unravels to this grisly denouement. Although we know throughout that the Isaacsons can not and will not be saved, the importance of the novel rests in how the novel's protagonist Daniel, the son of Paul and Rochelle, attempts to come to terms with the events of a case which becomes one of the most important political events of the 20th Century. The Isaacsons becomes objects in a political tug-of-war; to those on the right they are traitors to their nation, to the communists they become martyrs. Doctorow constantly reminds of this conflict between the human and the political; that the Rosenbergs were not just political symbols; they were human beings, and most importantly, parents.Read more ›
moving in its account of the aftermath of the execution of the parents upon the children.
gripping, even though as it's based, loosely, on fact and you know what's going to happen - or some of what's going to happen.
surprising and deft in its jumping between time frames, which are never obscure or confusing.
brilliant in its writing, in the phrases, the beauty of the language and the grit of it.
there are some memorable analyses of the society in which the events unfold, and some unforgettable phrases.
on of my favourite paragraphs is when the narrator lists various "traitors" to the american ideal, putting at the top edgar allan poe who he describes as:"the master subversive who wore a hole in the parchment (of the constitution) and let the darkness pour through...."
the rest of the passage is too long to quote, but is brilliant ending:"it's poe who ruined us, that scream from the smiling face of america."
i would read this if i were you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although this novel is very much of its time - the 1970s, it is a superb, fictionalised account of the torments endured by the children of alleged soviet spies in the U.S.A. Read morePublished on 23 Feb. 2014 by Cassander
There is some dark, grim, violent content in this book that I found bordered on the gratuitous, so I'm afraid I opted out. Read morePublished on 7 Feb. 2014 by Mr. J. McGuirk
Powerful and compelling story. Full of anger and trauma. Excellent analysis of USA and it's political system. Compassionate account of the terrible period in history.Published on 15 Nov. 2013 by secretriver
This is the best book I've read for some time, which is partly a reflection of the difficulty I've had lately of finding really good books to read. Read morePublished on 30 Nov. 2011 by Phil O'Sofa
I read The Book of Daniel by E.L Doctorow with interest. I find it so absorbing, gripping and emotionally touching. Read morePublished on 15 Jun. 2006 by Mr. P. Datta