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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.
Oh yeah, and the book's so fun to read you don't want it to end, either.
Jonathan Lethem does a great job creating a fascinating character in Lionel Essrog, and he has a real talent for plot and pacing as well.
I crave books which have unique storylines and characters and follow that with clever writing and an engaging plot.
This is a solid novel written from a very interesting perspective. Sheds light on Tourette's while entertaining at the same time.Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
I love Jonathan Lethem and I loved this book. Fortress of Solitude will always be my favorite Lethem book, but Motherless Brooklyn can definitely compete. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Colleen Gore
Great insight into what it means to have a major problem with communicating. I loved this book. Normally I would be uncomfortable with a person having this problem, but this book... Read morePublished 2 months ago by L. Pease
Fantastically brilliant! Such a good combo of noir, comedy and detective! Simply loved it!Published 2 months ago by valentina nazarova
Having lived in Brooklyn for a little more than 2 decades -- and spent most of my life in the greater met area -- there is little that rings "true. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Arthur F