RARA-AVIS: Motherless Brooklyn

From: Carrie Pruett ( pruettc@hotmail.com)
Date: 23 Jul 2002

I'm currently reading "Motherless Brooklyn" by Jonathan Lethem, about two-thirds through. I think it's a very engaging story, quite funny in some places, hard-boiled in subject matter, and I love Lethem's language. On the other hand - I'm not sure I buy the language of the novel as the voice of the character. The narrator grew up in an orphanage in Brooklyn and dropped out of high school to go work for a small time hood. We're told that he read every book in the library of the orphanage, but I don't think that quite justifies the "book smart" language of the narration. The character has Tourette's syndrome and suffers extreme verbal tics, and I guess that the author is drawing a contrast between his very fluid use of language when he's writing and the difficulties he has in speech. But even his speech when he's not tic-cing seems a little off for this character. Lethem can clearly write convincing colloquial speech because many other characters in the book use it. So I'm not sure exactly what's going on here. Still, enjoying the book a lot. Lethem has a great eye for little details; probably the only chase scene in history that's disrupted because the chasee has an EZ Pass for his car and the chaser doesn't.


- Pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick and wicked - Jane Austen

_________________________________________________________________ Join the world's largest e-mail service with MSN Hotmail. http://www.hotmail.com

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# majordomo@icomm.ca.  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 23 Jul 2002 EDT