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This brilliant sentence and a lot of other really excellent ones compose Lethem's engaging fifth novel, Motherless Brooklyn. Lionel Essrog, a detective suffering from Tourette's syndrome, spins the narrative as he tracks down the killer of his boss, Frank Minna. Minna enlisted Lionel and his friends when they were teenagers living at Saint Vincent's Home for Boys, ostensibly to perform odd jobs (we're talking very odd) and over the years trained them to become a team of investigators. The Minna men face their most daunting case when they find their mentor in a Dumpster bleeding from stab wounds delivered by an assailant whose identity he refuses to reveal--even while he's dying on the way to the hospital.
Detectives? Brooklyn? Is this the same Lethem who danced the postapocalypso in Amnesia Moon? Incredibly, yes, and rarely has such a departure been pulled off with this much aplomb. As in the "toothbrush" passage above, Lethem sets himself up with the imposing task of making tired conventions new. Brooklyn accents? Fuggetaboutit. Lethem's dialogue is as light on its feet as a prize fighter. Lionel's Tourette's could have been an easy joke, but Lethem probes so convincingly into the disorder that you feel simultaneously rattled, sympathetic, and irritated by the guy. Sure, the story is a mystery, but Motherless Brooklyn could be about flower arranging, for all we care. What counts is Lionel's tic-ridden take on a world full of surprises, propelling this fiction forward at edgy, breakneck speed. --Ryan Boudinot --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
For a Brooklyn guy, that's enough to pull you through this strange but intensely human detective story, whose Tourette's-victim protagonist eventually tic's his way into your mind... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Bruce A. Mcallister
A great story well written. This was a different take on the usual private eye story in that the protagonist has Tourette's syndrome. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Edmundo el Profundo
Really good writing. I look forward to checking more of Jonathan Lethem's works!Published 2 months ago by Timothy L. Sulka
The inimitable narrative voice of Lionel Essrog grabs the reader from page one and never lets go. We are moved to equal parts laughter and tears by this Tourette's afflicted... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Skywalker
It took me a little time to really get into this story but, once I did, I had to keep going. The protagonist, Lionel Essrog, is a very likeable character - an orphan whose... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Buster Kitten
This book was above my expectations. i only read it because i heard my boy Ed Norton was making a movie about it. It's very smart and funny, it will keep you hookedPublished 3 months ago by danny b the honest reviewer