The Fortress of Solitude

The Fortress of Solitude

A Novel

Book - 2003
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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. This is the story Jonathan Lethem was born to tell. This is THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2003
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385500692
Characteristics: 511 p. ; 25 cm


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Nov 06, 2018

A master storyteller, Jonathan Lethem's talent shines through a story about friendship, challenge and most importantly, change. Growing up in a rough neighborhood, the most unlikely of friends find commonality that lasts in spite of the difficulties. One black, the other white NY is tough no matter what area, they both lack a mother's touch. The narrative shifts back and forth, as we see them mature, the central character finding his 'beat', while his best friend falls prey to his surroundings. Lethem's phrasing is much like a jazz musician, his choice of words and colloquialisms real. My first exposure to this author, I will likely read others he's written and recommend those who seek great story, characters and compelling word smith-ing, read his work.

Jun 25, 2016

A fairly nostalgic, moderately well written, loosely plotted yarn about kids growing up in Brooklyn when this was a different planet .... set at the moment of change.

michaelhohl Apr 25, 2016

Excellent. I liked this the most of any of Lethem's novels I've read. Highly recommended.

Apr 27, 2014

A slow start, yes, but worth the read.

Aug 14, 2012

This book was painfully slow for me in the beginning. I tried to start it a handful of times, always getting bored and finding something else to read. I eventually made myself get through it since I bought it and felt like I had to get my money's worth. Eventually things picked up and got more interesting. Not my favorite Lethem read, but I did enjoy it!

Jul 19, 2010

Be patient. It starts slow but gets better and better. Well worth reading.


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