Motherless Brooklyn is a Jonathan Lethem novel published in 1999. It is ostensibly a detective story set in Brooklyn. However, Lethem's protagonist suffers from Tourette syndrome, a disorder marked by involuntary vocal tics. The novel is written from the point of view of someone with Tourette syndrome. Jonathan Lethem is a novelist, whose work encompasses a variety of genres and styles. ... Tourette syndrome â also called Tourettes syndrome, Tourette Spectrum (TS), Tourettes disorder, or Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. ...
Jonathan Lethem'sMotherlessBrooklyn is great fun, a rousing private eye novel and a classic quest story, complete with a reluctant hero who must go face-to-face with "monks and crooks and mooks alike" to solve the murder of his mentor.
But it's in an older Brooklyn where he found his identity and purpose, "a placid ageless surface alive with talk, with deals and casual insults, a neighborhood political machine with pizzeria and butchershop bosses and unwritten rules everywhere.
In MotherlessBrooklyn, Lethem quotes from Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon and Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep, and his playing with the genre shows an amused and loving respect for its traditions and conventions.
Lionel Essrog is Brooklyn's very own Human Freakshow, an orphan whose Tourettic impulses drive him to bark, count, and rip apart language in startling and original ways.
When Frank is fatally stabbed, Lionel's world is suddenly turned upside-down, and this outcast who has trouble even conversing attempts to untangle the threads of the case, while trying to keep the words straight in his head.
MotherlessBrooklyn is a compulsively involving and totally captivating homage to the classic detective tale.
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