Motherless Brooklyn - Jonathan Lethem

Motherless Brooklyn

By Jonathan Lethem

  • Release Date: 2000-10-24
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Motherless Brooklyn book review score

4 Score: 4 (From 171 Ratings)

Motherless Brooklyn Jonathan Lethem Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

A complusively readable riff on the classic detective novel from America's most inventive novelist

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times Notable Book

"Utterly original and deeply moving." Esquire


Brooklyn's very own self-appointed Human Freakshow, Lionel Essrog is an orphan whose Tourettic impulses drive him to bark, count, and rip apart our language in startling and original ways. Together with three veterans of the St. Vincent's Home for Boys, he works for small-time mobster Frank Minna's limo service cum detective agency. Life without Frank Minna, the charismatic King of Brooklyn, would be unimaginable, so who cares if the tasks he sets them are, well, not exactly legal.

But when Frank is fatally stabbed, one of Lionel's colleagues lands in jail, the other two vie for his position, and the victim's widow skips town. Lionel's world is suddenly topsy-turvy, and this outcast who has trouble even conversing attempts to untangle the threads of the case while trying to keep the words straight in his head. 

Motherless Brooklyn is a brilliantly original, captivating homage to the classic detective novel by one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation.

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