'Motherless Brooklyn'--A masterpiece--now 1 of my favorite living authors

May 9, 2019

Motherless Brooklyn is now one of my four favorite books written in my adult lifetime--joining Jesus' Son, Visit from the Goon Squad, and A Manual for Cleaning Women.

The writing is extraordinary, and something I aspire to. It's all so vivid, and the details capture little insights about this world and our world every other sentence. Just amazing.

Also, the story was thoroughly captivating--quite the page-turner.

The characters were really wonderful, too. I have to admit that when he introduced the narrator with Tourette, why first reaction was, "Well that's really interesting, BUT--that's going to get old, really fast." Felt like it might be a gimmick that would wear through quickly. Nope. Fascinating to see the world through his eyes, to live his experience for awhile--and to see so many connections to how other elements of life can be like that.

That's one of the things so mesmerizing about Lethem as a writer--he's not just a great writer, he's a great thinker. He's taking a concept like Tourette and finding all these other aspects of life with elements like that, giving me a new perspective on them, connections between the most unlikely things, that have always been right there.

I had been hearing about this book for years, and not sure why I put it off. I guess I got the impression it was some hipster thing about Brooklyn. Nothing of the sort.

When I approached the end, I started asking for recommendations on social media, and began amassing a pile of Lethem books to read. I feel so lucky to have discovered another master writer still working. I dove right into Chronic City, and loving that, too.

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