Motherless Brooklyn

Motherless Brooklyn

Book - 2000
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Lionel Essrog has always respected Frank Minna, who helped him out when he was young, and when Frank is found dead, Lionel and his friends, the Minna Men, scour the streets of Brooklyn in search of the killer.
Publisher: New York :, Vintage Contemporaries :, Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc.,, 2000.
Edition: First Vintage Contemporaries edition.
ISBN: 9780375724831
Branch Call Number: FIC LETH
Characteristics: 311 pages ; 21 cm


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Oct 07, 2020

It's enjoyable as a Rabelaisian tour through some grimy locales in New York. Lethem writes vivid prose for the most part; the Tourette's meme is not essential but has some funny aspects.

Jul 05, 2020

I listened to the audiobook version of this work. I'm glad I did as the narrator does a terrific job with the pressured speech of Tourette's. It had the potential to be a dreary storyline but was not. I liked the writing and the way this story unfolded. It was just the right length. I will seek out more from this author.

multcolib_susannel Dec 31, 2019

Is Lionel Essrog responsible for the murder of Frank Minna? Using the wild creativity of his Tourette brain, Lionel is determined to find out.

Nov 12, 2019

A group of NYC orphan boys are recruited as young teens by Frank Minna, a small-time Brooklyn hood. Frank gives them jobs, purpose, and a sense of belonging. The novel opens with Frank's murder and Lionel "Freakshow" Essrog, one of the Minna Men, is determined to get vengeance on whoever killed his beloved father figure. Very cleverly written - funny, full of pathos, exciting, unusual. Lionel has Tourette's Syndrome and Lethem does an amazing job of getting the reader into Lionel's head. I was sure this was going to receive at least 4 stars from me for most of the book, but I really didn't like the full chapter at the end, full of exposition and history, and so focused on Julia, a non-character through most the book.

Nov 20, 2018

Lethem like an Oscar winning actor possesses the ability to tell stories across various genres, often blending them when the mood strikes. Having recently finished "Fortress of Solitude", an amazing story in itself, Motherless is entirely unique. Lionel's Touret tics are often hilarious, a side of Lethem we don't see in Fortress. He weaves interesting plots, unique characters and the essence of life in Brooklyn into a plot that is far from predictable, another trait of a master storyteller. Diverse, unique and original Lethem's work is remarkable. I plan to read all his books as a result.

PickyReader May 08, 2014

Wonderful narration, very off-beat version of noir for folks who don't usually like that genre: flawed detective/hero, mysterious woman, innocent woman, dark criminal masters, semi-criminal/semi-innocent associates of hero, 'realistic' ending. All with a plot and voice that twist it around so you don't realize it's there, beneath the wonderfully jumpy surface of this fabulous tale. A read and a half.

Apr 19, 2014

This book is simply fabulous. It chronicles the lives of some good ol' boy gumshoes exploring the world in all it's post-coming-of-age dreariness. Lethem is always a fantastic wordsmith, but his writing is at its best here.

Aug 14, 2012

This is one of my favorite Lethem books. Very interesting characters and storyline. Well worth the time investment!

lilylibrarian Mar 28, 2012

Four teenaged orphans are recruited by mafioso-wannabe Frank Minna and molded into devoted "Minna Men." When Frank is killed during one of the Men's assignments, the piper must be paid. Did I mention the narrator has Tourette's Syndrome?

jplynch25 Apr 19, 2011

Surprising, interesting peculiarly arresting.


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