dave eck's Reviews > Motherless Brooklyn

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
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May 21, 07

Read in May, 2007

This is a book that Slavoj Zizek, in my little imagined world, wishes he had written, wishes each time he rereads it in obsessive delight. Motherless Brooklyn entails the little imagined world of Lionel Essrog, a tourettic orphan become tourettic detective. Essrog isn't your classic hero, nor is he a pitiful anti-hero.

As a first-person narrative, Motherless Brooklyn throws its story at you as you walk into the story with Essrog's mouth full of a greasy White Castle burger. Dietary as well as political sensibilities are unsettled in Motherless Brooklyn. This first-person narrative--told on the move, filled with and limited by the tourretic tics of Essrog--moves against a prominent progressive sensibility of today. The political sensibility in question--the one that calls for a diversity of voices in order to discover an unbiased truth--is the sensibility of New Age spirtualists, the one that praises oneness with Nature, peace with everything. Essrog, though, has a difficult enough time being "one with anything." Neither Essrog or Zizek will be joining a Zen Buddhist temple anytime soon and indeed might convince you not to.

Motherless Brooklyn is gripping and funny. What more can you ask for?
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by S (new) - rated it 5 stars

S love this book! i saw the cover at the library and picked it up simply because i spent much of my childhood in brooklyn. it's fabulous and i'm glad you gave it 5 stars too!


message 2: by Xandra (new)

Xandra Zizek!

(But I haven't actually read this book...so I probably don't belong in this review discussion.)


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