Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The Collyer Brothers
I saw today that E.L. Doctrow has a new book out called "Homer and Langley" and its reviewed here by the NY Times.
I wasnt sure what it was about until I started reading the review and I saw its about the 2 infamous packrat brothers from New York City. I first found out about them while randomly picking out a year in wikipedia and checking out all the articles for that particular year. In this case I was looking at 1947 and saw a story about the Collyer Brothers. Having no idea who they were I of course had to read it and see what was so important about them in 1947. Seems as though they had both died in 1947 and their once posh NY brownstone house was basically a death trap and filled from top to bottom with everything imaginable. The brothers had developed a type of OCD that became compulsive hoarding disease and was named after them and led to their deaths. Both brothers were found dead in the home after police and fire departments raided the house.
Another good article on the brothers I found here.
The book by E.L. Doctrow is a mix of fact and fiction in the way he did previous books like the bestseller Ragtime, World's Fair and Billy Bathgate.
Its a strange, tragic story but very fascinating.