Motherless Brooklyn

A Novel

Vintage Contemporaries

by Jonathan Lethem

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Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.
A compelling and complusively readable riff on the classic detective novel from America's most inventive novelist.
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.
A New York Times Notable Book.

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Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Kindle Book

  • Release date: April 20, 2011

OverDrive Read

  • ISBN: 9780307789129
  • Release date: April 20, 2011

EPUB eBook

  • ISBN: 9780307789129
  • File size: 2255 KB
  • Release date: April 20, 2011


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Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.
A compelling and complusively readable riff on the classic detective novel from America's most inventive novelist.
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.
A New York Times Notable Book.

Expand title description text