I read Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem years ago. I think it was published in 2000. I came across it again recently and was reminded of how much I enjoyed it. I can’t compare it to anything else because I’ve never read anything quite like it before or since.
This gripping detective novel is clever, humorous, beautiful and sad. A group of orphans from the St. Vincent Home for Boys are employed by a Brooklyn small time mobster. He tutors them and grooms them to perform various odd jobs, not always within the confines of the law.
The ragtag group is devastated and rudderless when their mentor is murdered. The main character, Lionel Essog, suffers from tourette’s syndrome. He is determined to find out who killed their boss. His compulsion to bark, count or swear at the most inopportune moments presents interesting and somewhat comical challenges to his quest.
Originally published on Bubblews