All the Time in the World

by E L Doctorow Fiction

  • US & Canada Random House (March 2011, Ed. Kate Medina, 272 pages)
  • UK & Comm Little, Brown & Company (Ed. Richard Beswick)

From Ragtime and Billy Bathgate to World’s Fair, The March, and Homer & Langley, the fiction of E L Doctorow comprises a towering achievement in modern American letters.

Now Doctorow returns with an enthralling collection of brilliant, startling short fiction about people who, as the author notes in his Preface, are somehow “distinct from their surroundings — people in some sort of contest with the prevailing world”.

A man at the end of an ordinary workday, extracts himself from his upper-middle-class life and turns to foraging in the same affluent suburb where he once lived with his family. A college graduate takes a dishwasher’s job on a whim, and becomes entangled in a criminal enterprise after agreeing to marry a beautiful immigrant for money. A husband and wife’s tense relationship is exacerbated when a stranger enters their home and claims to have grown up there. An urbanite out on his morning run suspects that the city in which he’s lived all his life has transmogrified into another city altogether.

These are among the wide-ranging creations in this stunning collection, resonant with the mystery, tension, and moral investigation that distinguish the fiction of E L Doctorow.

Containing six unforgettable 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.
All the Time in the World
This short story collection gives us a sense of breadth, of movement, of the scope of Doctorow's career.

LA Times

The mystery, tension and shock Doctorow is known for are all here in this collection.

Craig Wilson USA Today

Like iron trellises wreathed with flowering vines, Doctorow's complex and masterful tales of the strangeness, pain, and beauty of life are wise and resplendent


The new and previously published stories in All the Time in the World are a reminder that, for decades, Mr. Doctorow has been a first-rate artist in the short form

Wall Street Journal

Wonderful descriptions [and] gorgeous sentences... seem to fall effortlessly from Doctorow's fingertips

Chicago Tribune

Distinctive, sharply focused, glistening with crisp language

Miami Herald

Egoless, frank, spontaneous and altogether wonderful

San Francisco Chronicle

All the Time in the World gives us a sense of breadth, of movement, of the scope of Doctorow's career

L.A. Times

As ever, Doctorow has captured the mood of our time and rendered it in compelling fiction

Philadelphia Inquirer

He reveals the quirks of our society in the kind of stories others can only aspire to write

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Tales of dysfunction, disintegration tempered with wit

Portland Oregonian

All the Time in the World feels, more often than not, like a haunting collection of ghost stories

Richmond Times Dispatch

Once you immerse yourself in these stories, you'll wish you had all the time in the world

NPR All Things Considered