Books like Motherless Brooklyn

Motherless Brooklyn

2000, Jonathan Lethem


Motherless Brooklyn is a novel by Jonathan Lethem that was first published in 1999. The story is set in Brooklyn, and follows Lionel Essrog, a detective who has Tourette's, a disorder marked by involuntary tics. Essrog works for Frank Minna, a small-time neighborhood owner of a "seedy and makeshift" detective agency. Together, Essrog and three other characters—Tony, Danny, and Gilbert—call themselves "the Minna Men".

The novel won the 1999 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction and the 2000 Gold Dagger award for crime fiction.

Albert Mobilio of The New York Times wrote:

Under the guise of a detective novel, Lethem has written a more piercing tale of investigation, one revealing how the mind drives on its own "wheels within wheels." Unlike the stock detective novel it shadows, the thriller in which clarity emerges on the final page, Motherless Brooklyn immerses us in the mind's dense thicket, a place where words split and twine in an ever-deepening tangle.

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