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The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
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The Fortress of Solitude (edition 2004)

by Jonathan Lethem

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3,635632,459 (3.86)96
This is the story of two boys, Dylan Ebdus and Mingus Rude. They are friends and neighbors, but because Dylan is white and Mingus is black, their friendship is not simple. This is the story of their Brooklyn neighborhood, which is almost exclusively black despite the first whispers of something that will become known as "gentrification." This is the story of 1970s America, a time when the most simple human decisions—what music you listen to, whether to speak to the kid in the seat next to you, whether to give up your lunch money—are laden with potential political, social and racial disaster. This is the story of 1990s America, when no one cared anymore. This is the story of punk, that easy white rebellion, and crack, that monstrous plague. This is the story of the loneliness of the avant-garde artist and the exuberance of the graffiti artist. This is the story of what would happen if two teenaged boys obsessed with comic book heroes actually had superpowers: They would screw up their lives. This is the story of joyous afternoons of stickball and dreaded years of schoolyard extortion. This is the story of belonging to a society that doesn't accept you. This is the story of prison and of college, of Brooklyn and Berkeley, of soul and rap, of murder and redemption. This is the story Jonathan Lethem was born to tell. This is THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE.… (more)
Member:jSummer
Title:The Fortress of Solitude
Authors:Jonathan Lethem
Info:Vintage (2004), Edition: 3rd Printing, Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem

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» See also 96 mentions

English (61)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (63)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
This book was a long way to go for not enough. There are plenty of beautiful and difficult moments well captured, but as a novel the thing just doesn't quite hang together for me. There seems to be an assumption that everything that is true about Brooklyn is interesting. Also, a thirty year jump needs a real excuse. It all seemed grand without real insight, which I think is called tedious. A serious attempt, but not a great achievement. ( )
  Eoin | Jun 3, 2019 |
He's written three of my all time favorite books (Motherless Brooklyn, Gun With Occasional Music and Chronic City)so I'm surprised and disappointed (with myself, I think) that I just can't get into this one. I'm sick and it's melancholy, so maybe it's just a bad combination right now.
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
I chose this book because I was considering Lethem’s most recent novel (“A Gambler’s Anatomy”) and one reviewer wrote that if you read one Lethem book, it should be this one. It was great. Semi-autobiographical. Dylan, son of idealistic but clueless hippies, desperately tries to survive his childhood in the late 60s and early 70s as the only white boy growing up in Boerum Hill in Brooklyn. He befriends Mingus, son of a once great but now drug addled soul singer. The relationship of these two motherless boys, both named after their parents’ musical heroes, and their inevitable split when Dylan goes to Stuyvesant, is the axis around which the novel turns. There’s so much in this book. Entertaining and insightful treatment of race, teenage social angst, crime, graffiti, hip-hop, drug culture, prison culture, neighborhood gentrification, art and commercialism (Dylan’s father is a talented painter who forgoes sacrifices commercial success for an obscure personal artistic obsession). Tons of musical references, many of which were lost on me. But l got lots of other cultural references because Dylan is almost exactly my age. ( )
  davidel | May 10, 2018 |
Non so perché ma, semplicemente, non vado avanti. Giace sul comodino da troppi mesi, ormai: è addirittura coperto da un leggero strato di polvere. Credo non sia il momento adatto per questo libro, molto semplicemente.
  Eva_Filoramo | May 3, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
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Like a match struck in a darkened room: Two white girls in flannel nightgowns and red vinyl roller skates with white laces, tracing tentative circles on a cracked blue slate sidewalk at seven o'clock on an evening in July.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the story of two boys, Dylan Ebdus and Mingus Rude. They are friends and neighbors, but because Dylan is white and Mingus is black, their friendship is not simple. This is the story of their Brooklyn neighborhood, which is almost exclusively black despite the first whispers of something that will become known as "gentrification." This is the story of 1970s America, a time when the most simple human decisions—what music you listen to, whether to speak to the kid in the seat next to you, whether to give up your lunch money—are laden with potential political, social and racial disaster. This is the story of 1990s America, when no one cared anymore. This is the story of punk, that easy white rebellion, and crack, that monstrous plague. This is the story of the loneliness of the avant-garde artist and the exuberance of the graffiti artist. This is the story of what would happen if two teenaged boys obsessed with comic book heroes actually had superpowers: They would screw up their lives. This is the story of joyous afternoons of stickball and dreaded years of schoolyard extortion. This is the story of belonging to a society that doesn't accept you. This is the story of prison and of college, of Brooklyn and Berkeley, of soul and rap, of murder and redemption. This is the story Jonathan Lethem was born to tell. This is THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE.

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