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New Meetup: Hip and Well Read: Motherless Brooklyn Part 2

From: Michelle
Sent on: Monday, August 16, 2010 9:56 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for Hip & Well Read!

What: Hip and Well Read: Motherless Brooklyn Part 2

When: Wednesday, November 3,[masked]:30 PM

Price: $2.00 per person

Where: The Cafe
2011 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Hey Hipsters and Bibliophiles,

For our October meetup, by your vote, we will be reading Motherless Brooklynl by Jonathan Lethem.

Motherless Brooklyn/i] by Jonathan Lethem

Hard-boiled crime fiction has never seen the likes of Lionel Essrog, the barking, grunting, spasmodically twitching hero of Lethem's gonzo detective novel that unfolds amidst the detritus of contemporary Brooklyn. As he did in his convention-smashing last novel, Girl in Landscape, Lethem uses a blueprint from genre fiction as a springboard for something entirely different, a story of betrayal and lost innocence that in both novels centers on an orphan struggling to make sense of an alien world. Raised in a boys home that straddles an off-ramp of the Brooklyn Bridge, Lionel is a misfit among misfits: an intellectually sensitive loner with a bad case of Tourette's syndrome, bristling with odd habits and compulsions, his mind continuously revolting against him in lurid outbursts of strange verbiage. When the novel opens, Lionel has long since been rescued from the orphanage by a small-time wiseguy, Frank Minna, who hired Lionel and three other maladjusted boys to do odd jobs and to staff a dubious limo service/detective agency on a Brooklyn main drag, creating a ragtag surrogate family for the four outcasts, each fiercely loyal to Minna. When Minna is abducted during a stakeout in uptown Manhattan and turns up stabbed to death in a dumpster, Lionel resolves to find his killer. It's a quest that leads him from a meditation center in Manhattan to a dusty Brooklyn townhouse owned by a couple of aging mobsters who just might be gay, to a zen retreat and sea urchin harvesting operation in Maine run by a nefarious Japanese corporation, and into the clutches of a Polish giant with a fondness for kumquats. In the process, Lionel finds that his compulsions actually make him a better detective, as he obsessively teases out plots within plots and clues within clues. Lethem's title suggests a dense urban panorama, but this novel is more cartoonish and less startlingly original than his last. Lethem's sixth sense for the secret enchantments of language and the psyche nevertheless make this heady adventure well worth the ride.

I had no problems finding this at the local independent bookstore.

Motherless Brooklyn is available on, however, I encourage you all to support your local independent book store or library:
City Paper's List of Independent Bookstores
Google Map/Listing of Independent Bookstores in Philly

You will notice that that if you RSVP "Yes," you'll be charged to attend. This is to help me cover my costs as Organizer and reduce the number of no-shows we have at meetings. Please keep in mind I'm only giving refunds if the meeting is canceled or rescheduled, not if you change your mind about attending.

Thinking about coming when the Meetup is FULL? Read/click here.

Happy Reading!


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