Okay, I'm reasonably impressed. Gonna read more of Lethem's work pronto.Lethem, Jonathan. Motherless Brooklyn. 1999. New York: Vintage Contemporaries, 2000.Summary
: The Tourette's Syndrome-plagued Lionel Essrog is the human "freakshow" of the Minna Men, but when their boss Frank Minna is murdered, it's up to Lionel to find out why. Turns out that Frank and his brother Gerald were skimming off the top of a powerful Japanese corporation, and Gerald double-crossed him.Comments
: I LOVEDLOVEDLOVED Lionel with his countless impulsive wordplays, obsessive compulsions, and "half a fag" touching and groping. It's so instantly convincing that you'll find yourself believing that the author has had up-close-and-personal experience with the disorder. He was, without a doubt, the best part of an otherwise atmospheric yet forgettable detective novel taking place along the East Coast (and mostly in New York City). In fact, Lionel's human freakshow could've been placed in virtually any story type for a dash of extra pizazz...though of course what makes it all so amusing is that his lack of self-control is what makes him a good detective when the classic literary detective, from those of Poe and Doyle, are epitomes of controlled body and mind. Even so, I was more interested in reading about Lionel falling in love than getting the bad guy (and the actual truth of matters was so convoluted that it lacked any particular revelatory impact). Naturally, he gets one great night of sex with the girl before she dumps him. At least he, unlike others of his genre type, would've been forever faithful to her if she had wanted him that way. *sighs* An intellectually pleasurable read but not a viscerally gripping one--Lethem may be using the detective novel formula, but it's for his own ends, and, as such, the rewards are elsewhere. Notes
: trade paperback, 12th printingRating
- Such intelligent humor and amazing characterization that you forget how boring the story itself actually is.