RARA-AVIS: Motherless Brooklyn

From: billha@ionet.net
Date: 13 Jul 2001

Hugh Lessig wrote:
> As for Motherless Brooklyn, I found the language addictive. After reading
> the first five pages, I wasn't sure I could finish it. "This kid's
> annoying," I'm thinking. Then I began to anticipate those machine-gun bursts
> of conversation, then I began to look forward to it.

Agree completely. Apart from the pure fun with words and phrases, the inevitability of the outbursts builds tension in certain scenes, such as the ceremonial gathering or just about any scene with a woman. You're rooting for the guy to come through. And sometimes he can actually use the outbursts to his advantage.

Still, I'd hate for Lethem to attempt a "defective detective" series with the character. Even though it may not have been entirely realistic, I appreciated the fact that the "machine-gun bursts" were more under control in the latter parts of the novel. Lethem seems to know when enough is enough.

Bill Hagen

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