Extended Audio Sample

Download Ragtime Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Ragtime (Unabridged) Audiobook, by E. L. Doctorow
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (14,496 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: E. L. Doctorow Narrator: E. L. Doctorow Publisher: E. L. Doctorow Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2008 ISBN:
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Ragtime, a classic work of historical fiction first published in 1975, details the lives of three families in early 20th-century New York. The novel interweaves fictional characters with actual historic events and figures.

The story opens in 1906 in New Rochelle, New York, at the home of an affluent American family. One lazy Sunday afternoon, the famous escape artist Harry Houdini swerves his car into a telephone pole outside their house. Almost magically, the line between fantasy and historical fact, between real and imaginary characters, disappears. Henry Ford, Emma Goldman, J. P. Morgan, Evelyn Nesbit, Sigmund Freud, and Emiliano Zapata slip in and out of the tale, crossing paths with Doctorow's imagined family and other fictional characters, including an immigrant peddler and a ragtime musician from Harlem whose insistence on a point of justice drives him to revolutionary violence.

A rich tapestry, Ragtime captures the spirit of America in a unique historic context.

Time magazine included the novel in its Time 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923-2005. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 D.A. | 2/20/2014

    " I read it when I was 13, and I still think it's one of the finest American novels. I've read and enjoyed a few of Doctorow's books since then, but none compares to this, my first love. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aurelie | 2/18/2014

    " I read this back in college and I've been meaning to pick it up again. I remember it being really interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caleb | 2/8/2014

    " This was a really fabulous read. I don't know what I can really say about it. Certainly Doctorow has skill. I suppose it's unremarkably remarkable. Which is a good thing. Mostly. In any case, an enjoyable read. Entertaining. Pick it up. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah santana | 1/31/2014

    " The book was kind of interesting, although it really did not catch my attention and i did not look forward to continuing reading "ragtime". Some chapters kept me locked in waiting for the conclusions,whereas other chapters were so boring and i felt as though the chapters dragged and went on forever "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Izzy | 1/14/2014

    " I read this as an assignment in my first english class in college. I loved the way E. L. Doctorow wove history with a fictional story and had it run together so seamlessly. I really enjoyed this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Terry Schuster | 1/10/2014

    " I loved it. Extremely entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christopher | 1/9/2014

    " While the writing is like a journalistic report, the way the stories intersect is what makes this a great novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 12/30/2013

    " As Jameson suggested, Doctorow treats history as a plaything. JP Morgan being humbled by his nose and meeting with racist Ford was golden, the meltingpot family at the end was hokey. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sidik Fofana | 12/26/2013

    " SIX WORD REVIEW: America as narrator. Historical characters alive. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alan | 12/22/2013

    " Good historical fiction with a mix of real and made-up characters in turn of the century (early 1900s) New York. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Faith Weldon | 12/10/2013

    " I learned about life in the NY City area at the turn of the 20th century through the colorful characters in the novel. Very original. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul Coogan | 12/10/2013

    " Great book. I love how he is able to put you deep in the minds of the characters. I also like the lack of quote marks. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teresa Savage | 10/27/2013

    " One of my top ten novels of all time - a fabulous book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rianna | 4/2/2013

    " flowing ideas with rich imagery . . . so comfortable to read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brady | 3/12/2013

    " I enjoyed this book almost as much as I enjoyed the musical. I could hear the music in the background as I read certain lines from the novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Justin | 3/8/2013

    " i mean, he's a fantastic writer, and i a pleasure to read, mostly. still, something overwhelming here that wasn't the case with his later work as much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erik Graff | 12/15/2012

    " To date this is my favorite Doctorow novel. I read it, then, impressed, immediately proceeded to read Billy Bathgate. Both books succeed in credibly capturing the feeling of a bygone era--an era which brought to mind my paternal grandmother, Ljala, and what her youth may have been like. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig | 11/9/2012

    " Very well written and engaging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Geoff | 9/21/2012

    " A beautiful work of historical fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J. Shepard | 9/16/2012

    " Great sweeping twenties and thirties novel about sexuality, revolution, etc. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom Holehan | 6/30/2012

    " One of my all-time favorites. I looked at this again, recently, and was reminded about the thrilling blend of history with fictional characters. And, although the film version was quite good - nothing equals the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathryn | 6/3/2012

    " My first introduction to Doctorow. He's a masterful novelist, and this book is completely absorbing in the ways in which he links human drama to the politics and social milieu of the early twentieth century. I totally recommend! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elena Yurievna | 5/16/2012

    " Very unusual novel, as for me, but I liked it. The accurate description of that time. Sometimes it was hard enough to concentrate because of many different stories being told simultaneously but nevertheless this book is worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elliot Kass | 12/2/2011

    " The true story of this country told with artistry, perspicacity and great humor. Probably the best book I've ever read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Richard G | 12/2/2011

    " Thankfully, I remember little of this novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jscorse | 11/2/2011

    " Good read but something missing for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Delorian | 5/11/2011

    " A very slow read at first, but it gains momentum fast. Learning about the Harlem Renaissance, it brought a lot of insight that even I, a Harlem native, would find entertaining. For a pick up and read, i wouldn't recommend but as a book to learn about the time, i highly recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sukamol | 5/6/2011

    " This book is very interesting. It is a book about life was during the old days. I would recommend this book because it was catch your attention. I had a great time reading Ragtime and comparing it to one of my school's field trip. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Justin | 5/2/2011

    " i mean, he's a fantastic writer, and i a pleasure to read, mostly. still, something overwhelming here that wasn't the case with his later work as much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter | 5/2/2011

    " Certainly one of the finest books I've ever read. Doesn't happen very often. Not long ago I read a book called Carter Beats the Devil: that was very good, and it wants to be this book when it grows up. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lindsey | 5/1/2011

    " One of the best novels I've read in a long time. Packs so much about race, class, gender, ethnicity and more into a relatively short book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aziza | 4/24/2011

    " Still reading it and so far I like the book. "

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About the Author

E. L. Doctorow (1931–2015) was known internationally for his works of historical fiction, including Ragtime, World’s Fair, and Billy Bathgate. He was honored with the National Book Award, three National Book Critics Circle awards, two PEN/Faulkner awards, the William Dean Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal.