blog banner


THE FORTRESS. OF SOLITUDE. By Jonathan Lethem. pp. New York: Doubleday. $ The neighborhood now known as Boerum Hill is a. If there still remains any doubt, this novel confirms Lethem’s status as the poet of Brooklyn and of motherless boys. Projected through the prism of race relations. A New York Times Book Review EDITORS’ CHOICE. From the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Motherless Brooklyn, comes the vividly told.

Author: Faushicage Zulkigis
Country: Argentina
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Life
Published (Last): 16 May 2005
Pages: 494
PDF File Size: 15.22 Mb
ePub File Size: 12.54 Mb
ISBN: 299-7-20386-974-4
Downloads: 90101
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Dalrajas

It sounds hideously stupid.

The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem | : Books

He was beyond appeal, watching them like television. How has the ldthem changed when Dylan returns at the end of the novel? The scenes when they’re younger, like when Dylan and Mingus first meet, and with Dylan and Arthur playing chess, are more real. Le descrizioni sono precise, dettagliatissime, ripetute.

The Road David Foster Wallace: I mean, what if a reader has never heard the music you’re referencing when it’s a central aspect of the vibe you’re trying to invoke?

As always, Lethem adds a dose of the fantastic —- the two friends share a magical ring that was handed on by a scraggly wino superhero —- yet the overall mood of the novel solihude soberly realistic and intensely introspective. Why does Dylan think it was a mistake for Rachel to send him to public school? Out Stealing Horses Ann Patchett: And that’s when I started hearing from all of Lethem’s fans, telling me that I should give this grad-student panty-moistener another chance, that I had simply picked the wrong book of his to start out with.

What does Dylan mean when he calls that mistake beautiful, stupid, and American? Think about the classics you like—most likely: Though the novel leaves the theme of gentrification as Lethem follows Dylan’s childhood, it is revisited at the end of Part 3, when Dylan returns to Dean Street to find it almost foreign.

His relationship with Dylan is strained. The references to music appear everywhere throughout the novel, even in the names of the two main characters, who were each named after different musicians Bob Dylan and Charles Mingus.


Lethem’s process is this: Graffiti art is also juxtaposed with the avant-garde art of Dylan’s father, Abraham.

The New Canon focuses on great works of fiction published since Even if a reader is turned off by the switches between omniscience and first-person point of view, the shuffling among tenses, and the backward and forwards skips in time, it’s a tall order to levy a charge of poor writing against someone who continually in this novel demonstrates an ear and eye for fresh language. Gaiman because of his command of mythology, fascination with nightmare states, and melodious English accent, they seem to hate Jonathan Lethem.

I mean, how else to explain these people’s baffling love for this unmitigated piece of garbage, which much like Augusten Burroughs presents a ridiculously overwritten, pop-culture-laced memoir of s Gen-X childhood, featuring excruciatingly precious slang-filled magic-realism dialogue and with insanely too much gravitas assigned to such plotless meanderings as kids watching bad television and eavesdropping on their intellectual parents’ insultingly banal conversations?

Read it Forward Read it first. A pervasive, if poetic, atmosphere of estrangement and alienation pervades Lethem’s novel, and the author’s ability to probe into the dark night of the soul by means of a panoply of pop culture references is both strange and endearing.

The Fortress of Solitude

Such perfect use of simile here: Thanks for telling us about the problem. This is the story of two boys, Dylan Ebdus and Mingus Rude. Another recurring issue is the switch from third person narration in Part One of the novel to Dylan’s first person perspective in Part Three.

At times the prose was gripping and it has some awesome passages. Books by Jonathan Lethem. This isn’t A Separate Peace thank god! Towards the end of the book, Dylan gives the ring to his childhood nemesis Robert Woolfolk, so that he can escape from jail. Though the ring vanishes for long stretches of time, forrtess is fortrress at several junctures, especially during the final scene between protagonist Dylan Ebdus, whose story of growing up white in non-white Brooklyn during the ’70s this is, and his slitude friend, Mingus Rude, son of a famous soul singer, tagger, and, eventually, claimed by crack and consigned to the prison system.


Dylan, though he dabbles in the world of graffiti art with Mingus, never develops his own tag name but instead uses Mingus’ name Dose in an effort to further merge himself with his best friend. But as he slowly forms a friendship with Mingus Rude, he enters into the inner workings of the neighborhood, from stoopball and graffiti to street parties, pot and cocaine. Sep 07, Pages.

Pethem was a process that never seemed to have a resolution, and I couldn’t figure out if this wa I feel like the ending really saved this book for me. In a neighborhood where the entertainments include muggings along with games of stoopball, Dylan has one friend, a black teenager, also motherless, named Mingus Rude. What effect does it have on Dylan?

Lost exit from Brooklyn

It’s like being the world’s greatest dungeon master: Dylan EbdusMingus Rude. Why is Dylan so obsessed with understanding his childhood? In the hands of a lesser writer, this sub-plot would be the centerpiece of the book, but for Lethem it functions almost as a dream sequence, as an insight into the wish- fulfillment aspirations of the emotionally-starved characters at the core of his book.

In what ways does he live inside a fortress?

Then the rest of the book comes with a shift in time, perspective and quality. What scenes particularly dramatize the tensions between blacks and whites in Brooklyn? How are Hollywood and private school education depicted in the novel? Towards the end, an incongruous but admirably unflinching account of Mingus’s many incarcerations is undermined by a B-movie plot twist. How does the Gowanus neighborhood affect those who grow up letbem it?

The Fortress of Solitude (novel) – Wikipedia

And while folks love Mr. Read it Forward Read it first. The majority of it’s amazing, enough so to make up for the crummy bits, which probably aren’t actually that crummy, but only seemed so by comparison.