Created by Jonathan Lethem
When we last encountered author Jonathan Lethem in the P.I. waters, he was amusing us with various pistol-packing marsupials in Gun, With Occasional Music (1995), a wide-open sci-fi spoof/parody/tribute of the private eye genre, featuring private inquisitor Conrad Metcalf.
Now he's back with another intriguing private eye, LIONEL "FREAKSHOW" ESSROG. Lionel's a Brooklyn P.I. suffering from Tourette's Syndrome, tracking down the killer of his boss, friend, mentor and father figure Frank Minna. Seems enterprising hood Minna recruited Lionel, and his orphan friends when they were teenagers living at Saint Vincent's Home for Boys, and took them under his wing, using them to move stolen goods and other odd jobs, eventually training them to become investigators. When Minna's bleeding body is found in a dumptster, it's time to repay some debts.
The general consensus is that Lionel's quite a character, annoying and endearing, pitiful and inspiring, as he battles Tourette's as well as the usual P.I. stuff, in this literary tour-de-force that is already causing quite a buzz. Lordy lordy, but that Lethem can write....
In fact, Motherless Brooklyn won the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and the CWA/Macallan God Dagger For Fiction.
Not too shabby at all.
-- Ann from Overbooked
-- Yvonne Klein on MysInDepth, April 2000
Famous Writers Who Have Dipped Their Toes in the P.I. Pool
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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