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The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem

The Fortress of Solitude (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Jonathan Lethem

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Title:The Fortress of Solitude
Authors:Jonathan Lethem
Info:Vintage (2004), Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem (2003)


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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.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
I got very bored with this book, and it took me months to read. I liked Lethem's writing about his life at home and in school, but i found the rest uninteresting. i do not know enough about music to be interested in the details he presents, and i did not care for the magic realism. i felt he did not develop most of the characters well. ( )
  suesbooks | Aug 2, 2015 |
Libro non facile, lettura a volte fluida, a volte intimista, a volte così piena di citazioni che solo uno nato a Brooklyn potrebbe capire. Nel complesso, un testo importante e impegnativo. Trama affascinante, che rivela i tanti aspetti caratteriali del dover essere bambini e giovani in un luogo che non ti ama – e nel quale il sentimento è ricambiato. Pochissime note e scene allegre, tante descrizioni di allegria sintetica. Rimane, tra l'altro, un bel libro sui rapporti – a volte inconsistenti, a volte dannosi, sempre difficili - tra padri e figli, nonché sulle dinamiche interne delle tribù urbane giovanili, con sottofondo americano di miseria, razzismi e ingiustizie.
Poi un sacco di musica, fumetti, graffiti. E uno strano superpotere. ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
Tolgi l'orrore dalle fogne di Derry e inala l'archeologia hip hop. Ripuliamoci pure la bocca, ma dietro i malincochic newyorkesi ci sono clown e mostri bavosi che un tempo stavano alla corte del re.
  lauraparigi | Oct 15, 2014 |
Race And Friendship In America

This the story of Dylan Ebdus, a white kid growing up in then-mostly African-American and Hispanic Brooklyn, and Mingus Rude, a mixed-race (white mom, black dad) kid who is his neighbor and best friend. The author uses their friendship to explore race relations (and a number of other topics) in this genre-blending magic-realist literary superhero novel, and while his intent is serious, I found this to be an engrossing, entertaining, and frequently funny read. If you grew in the 1970s, you will almost certainly be entranced by Lethem's near-photographic recollection of the popular culture of that era, as I was. If not, your mileage may vary, but if my brief review has piqued your interest, then I would say that THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE is at least worth a look. ( )
3 vote artturnerjr | Jul 31, 2014 |
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For Mara Faye
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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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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375724885, Paperback)

The Fortress of Solitude is the story of Dylan Ebdus growing up white and motherless in downtown Brooklyn in the 1970s. It’s a neighborhood where the entertainments include muggings along with games of stoopball. In that world, Dylan has one friend, a black teenager, also motherless, named Mingus Rude. As Lethem follows the knitting and unraveling of their friendship, he creates an overwhelmingly rich and emotionally gripping canvas of race and class, superheros, gentrification, funk, hip-hop, graffiti tagging, loyalty, and memory. The Fortress of Solitude is the first great urban coming of age novel to appear in years.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:22 -0400)

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This book follows the adventures of two friends from a Brooklyn neighborhood, a black boy and a white boy, in late-twentieth-century America.

(summary from another edition)

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