Homer and Langley was a gift from my wife. Marie, the amazing woman who takes the plunge in giving me books and music I haven't even asked for, is my muse. Sure, I love getting a gift card but Marie is the one willing to look for stuff on her own, and I am forever grateful.
Homer and Langley are brothers living in Manhattan. This is a story that is both warm and chilling at the same time, wonderfully written and wonderful to read, but with an ending that left me filled with reflections on our fleeting lives.
No spoiler from me. I'll just mention that Homer's descent, if that is what it is, begins with the gradual disappearance of his hearing as a youngster, while Langley's is brought on by the traumas of World War I combat, and its subtle development as full-blown mental illness. The two are lifelong friends and companions who try to fend off isolation in their big old house.
I recommend the book and plan to re-read Doctorow's Ragtime, followed by investigation of his other work. Thanks again to my muse, my own friend and companion, my lifelong lover Marie for such an incredible gift. How does she do it?