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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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3,043451,863 (3.89)82
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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Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
I really, really loved the first 300 pages of this novel. I think that's a common refrain. Lethem manages to capture Brooklyn in the 70s and the way it feels to be a kid. Its as beautiful as the sunsets you remember from being 8 years old. It's a little crazy too - but mostly it's just a terrific, terrific read. Slow burn that builds up and suddenly before you know it you're totally swept away. And then it comes to a crashing, stuttering, 200-page sputter out. The second half of the novel isn't BAD, not really, but it's so disappointing compared to what came before. It's disjoint and messy and doesn't really fit with what came before. Where the first part was harmonically attuned like the most gorgeous chord you've ever heard, this one just sounds like a kid trying to recreate it on a slightly out-of-tune guitar in his garage. It doesn't ruin the novel or anything - but keeps it from perfection, for sure.

More at RB: http://wp.me/pGVzJ-qB ( )
  drewsof | Jul 9, 2013 |
If you already like Jonathan Lethem this book is pretty good. Don't read it first is my advice. ( )
  anderlawlor | Apr 9, 2013 |
Lethem is a really great writer. His prose is observant and nuanced. He creates characters and settings so realized, I felt I could touch them and see them while I was reading. The book is mostly heartbreaking and I was left just wanting to take everyone in this story under my wing in an attempt to keep them all safe. In fact, I sort of want to give Lethem a hug. ( )
  DawsonOakes | Apr 5, 2013 |
Loses a tiny bit of momentum 2/3 of the way through with an abrupt shift in time and person, but gets it back in time for the end. Terrific book. ( )
  AlCracka | Apr 2, 2013 |
I enjoyed this novel. The writing is excellent. The characters are interesting and well-drawn. The plot is compelling. The setting is vivid and alive. I am moving away from reading literary fantasy (probably because I can't find enough), and my one complaint with this book is that the fantastic element is too easy. So, as a literary novel it is excellent; as a fantasy it is okay. ( )
  malrubius | Apr 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:58 -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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