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The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem

The Fortress of Solitude (2003)

by Jonathan Lethem

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3,278531,673 (3.88)94

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Lethem gives us a fabulous evocation of 70s-era Brooklyn, complete with graffiti and the birth of punk and hip hop, then asks the question,"Now what would happen if a superhero came to the neighborhood?" ( )
  Mrs_McGreevy | Nov 17, 2016 |
Another motherless Letham. Another Brooklyn ramble, fully populated and lost.
Another beautiful effluence of words that flood a neighborhood and float you along. Dylan White and Mingus Not-So-White come of age amid the writer's verbiage and his knowledge black funky music. Any plot summary sounds like a growing-up-urban cliché, but Letham writes the two boys alive and hurt and sometimes beautiful(the last not too often).
The book' second half shifts into a shape-changer fiction that has a power ring, strange lands (Berkeley and LA), and super powers, too. Lord of the Projects. Lord of the Prison. Flying for Beginners. ( )
  kerns222 | Aug 24, 2016 |
Good, but over-praised. ( )
  richardross79 | Jun 1, 2016 |
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 |
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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 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.

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