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The Comedown by Rebekah Frumkin

The Comedown (edition 2018)

by Rebekah Frumkin (Author)

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503330,318 (3.5)1
Title:The Comedown
Authors:Rebekah Frumkin (Author)
Info:Henry Holt and Co. (2018), 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:tbr, apr 17

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The Comedown by Rebekah Frumkin



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This is a great sweeping literary novel in which every chapter is from a new character's perspective, which is innovative and fun, but also a lot to remember. All the characters are bound together by two yellow suit cases filled with money (supposedly), but could just as easily be filled with bricks and packing peanuts. When Leland Sr. walks off the top of a building he leaves behind two families and lots of questions. They've all heard the lore about the suitcases, but where are they? Set in the underbelly of Detroit this saga covers decades, fleshing out the plot story by story. Ultimately, it was a little too literary for me. There was times I just couldn't get into it even though the writing was superb. Interesting, just not always compelling for me. ( )
  ecataldi | Jun 11, 2018 |
This book surprised me. In a good way. In the beginning, I thought it was one type of book, but it ended up being another.

It is a book about family and friends, but in a way you won't expect. It has it all, from the grade school days to adult trials, and wow did they have some, and yet you want to follow and you want to know what comes next. I appreciated the telling from the aspect of various characters as it rounded out the action being addressed as well as filling in some questions.

Great writing, good story. I would recommend this book to those who like honest writing and honest characters. It encompasses coming of age, a few love stories, good guys/bad guys, and more.

This book was provided to me through NetGalley. ( )
  Bonnie.Franks | Apr 21, 2018 |
The Comedown by Rebekah Frumkin is a recommended intergenerational family drama following three generations of two interconnected Cleveland families, one black, one white, from the 1970s to 2009.

The drama centers on a 1973 drug deal gone bad and is concerned with a missing suitcase that may contain a quarter of a million dollars. Leland Bloom-Mittwoch, a drug addict, witnesses the shooting of his dealer, Reggie Marshall. Leland takes off with a suitcase full of cash. The story is then told from the multiple viewpoints of members of both Leland’s and Reggie’s families for the next 30 years.

The novel is less of a mystery with members looking for the suitcase, than it is a compilation of character studies. Each character has a chapter to discuss their formative years and a crucial event during that time that other characters share. Since the novel opens with two pages of family trees, that fact that it is a heavily populated novel shouldn't be a surprise. Frumkin places her various characters in the same historical events from different points-of-view. She has her characters throwing blame for their misfortune on the other family. Her flawed characters deal with mental illness, secrets, self-delusions, addiction, poverty, and racism.

The Comedown is an ambitious debut novel with a complex plot set in a well-researched historical context. It is also a novel that didn't completely work for me. The individual stories are very strong, engrossing character studies, but there are an overabundance of characters, several of which didn't need to be a part of the novel. There didn't need to be quite so many characters because, at the end, there was a lack of a coherent connection between all of the characters and a plethora of loose ends never addressed. As a reader, this bothers me. I was also not a great fan of the style in which the novel is written. The quality of the writing is quite good, however, which places Frumkin as a novelist I will watch for in the future. Many people liked the novel much more than me, so I'm sure that my issues with it are more a matter of personal preference.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Henry Holt & Company.
http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2018/04/the-comedown.html ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Apr 12, 2018 |
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A dazzling epic that follows two very different families in Cleveland across generations, beginning with their patriarchs. Scrappy, street smart drug dealer Reggie Marshall has never liked the simpering addict Leland Bloom-Mittwoch, which doesn't stop Leland from looking up to Reggie with puppy-esque devotion. But when a drug deal goes dramatically, tragically wrong and a suitcase (which may or may not contain a quarter of a million dollars) disappears, the two men and their families become hopelessly entangled.… (more)

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