All the Time in the World

EL Doctorow

All the Time in the World

A wedge is driven between a husband and wife when a mysterious stranger arrives, claiming to have grown up in their home. After agreeing to marry a beautiful, headstrong Russian immigrant in exchange for a promotion, a bus boy turned waiter finds himself entangled in a web of organized crime. A strange confluence of circumstances at the end of an ordinary workday causes a man to go off the grid, living off what he can forage in the same affluent suburb where he once lived comfortably with his family. These and the other mesmerizing works of short fiction in this collection are resonant with the mystery, tension, beauty, and insight that distinguish E. L. Doctorow's novels. Containing six new stories that have never appeared in book form, and a selection of previous Doctorow classics, All the Time in the World affords us another opportunity to savor the genius of this American master. 3.4 out of 5 based on 7 reviews
All the Time in the World

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre Short Stories
Format Paperback
Pages 304
RRP £12.99
Date of Publication July 2011
ISBN 978-1408703533
Publisher Little, Brown
 

A wedge is driven between a husband and wife when a mysterious stranger arrives, claiming to have grown up in their home. After agreeing to marry a beautiful, headstrong Russian immigrant in exchange for a promotion, a bus boy turned waiter finds himself entangled in a web of organized crime. A strange confluence of circumstances at the end of an ordinary workday causes a man to go off the grid, living off what he can forage in the same affluent suburb where he once lived comfortably with his family. These and the other mesmerizing works of short fiction in this collection are resonant with the mystery, tension, beauty, and insight that distinguish E. L. Doctorow's novels. Containing six new stories that have never appeared in book form, and a selection of previous Doctorow classics, All the Time in the World affords us another opportunity to savor the genius of this American master.

Read an extract from the book on the New York Times website

Read The Omnivore's roundup for HOMER AND LANGLEY.

Reviews

The Washington Post

Michael Lindgren

“All the Time in the World” serves as a handy index of the great man’s themes, as the contests with the world depicted here turn on insanity, sexual perversity, murder, sacrilege and other gothic horrors, all conveyed in his orotund prose. His writing has always had an almost European sense of world-historical sobriety, conveying something fatalistic and weighty and dark-toned.

15/06/2011

Read Full Review


The Sunday Times

David Grylls

[A] variety of modes: black comedy, dry irony, philosophical reflection ... At the end of his best stories, one feels not only “How surprising!” but also: “How true — how appropriate!”

17/07/2011

Read Full Review


The Spectator

Andrew Rosenheim

Ragtime’s depiction of America had darker undercurrents vying with the promise that brought people to the country in the first place, but in these more contemporary stories, there is an overwhelming post-lapsarian sense of extinguished hope.

20/08/2011

Read Full Review


The Los Angeles Times

David L. Ulin

Here we have the point of any new and selected volume, but in this instance, it's complicated because Doctorow has never published much short work. His stories, then, exist as analogues to his longer fiction, set pieces more than symphonies.

20/03/2011

Read Full Review


The Daily Telegraph

Tim Martin

The stories in All the Time in the World, his latest volume, seem to confirm that Doctorow works best not only in the long form, but when he has a definite historical mould into which to pour his inspiration.

10/08/2011

Read Full Review


The New York Times

Jess Row

A great short story has to function like a black hole, demanding our entire attention, drawing all available light into itself, but Doctorow’s energies are too diffuse and variegated to achieve that effect often ... As a title, “All the Time in the World” is, in this sense, exactly wrong: these stories never have the breadth and breath — the expansiveness of novelistic time — they need. Which makes this book, as record collectors say, for completists only.

01/04/2011

Read Full Review


The Independent

Stuart Evers

Many of these stories feel like truncated novels: line drawings that would work better as vast frescos ... When Doctorow clearly sets out to write something specifically for the form, his stories are wonderfully deft, tightly constructed and gloriously dark ... Ultimately, however, All the Time in the World is not consistent nor committed enough to rival novels such as Ragtime and The Book of Daniel.

20/07/2011

Read Full Review


©2013 The Omnivore