An extraordinary journey into the world of a teenager as he attempts to navigate the conflicts between reality and fantasy, between gang life on the streets of Brooklyn and expectations and pressures from parents. I was hooked by the first chapter.
An absorbing, never-really-coming-of-age novel which traces the intertwined lives of two young boys in pre-gentrified Brooklyn. Heartbreaking insights into just what exactly the "school of hard knocks" knocks into people.
This is one of the most emotionally jarring books I have ever read. A true coming of age novel that ends beautifully. Each page is dripping with vivid description, Lethem really knows of which he rights, and this is most certainly his semi-autobiographical offering.
One critique, I had an especially hard time with it in the beginning. Don't expect a page-turning plot. He spends a lot of time describing the thoughts and mood of pre-gentrified 1970s Brooklyn. Don't get discouraged. If you let it, this book will absorb you and you will be left thinking about it for weeks.
I picked this book up since I really loved his first book "Motherless Brooklyn" which was funny, well written, and vivid. What a dissappointment "Fortress of Solitude " was in comparison. Though Fortress accurately captures the Brooklyn vibe of growing up in a rough area during the 1970s, it was a tougher read and not as engaging.
I absolutely LOVE Lethem, and this might be my favorite. So much packed into this complex novel. Not the happiest of stories, but then happy is not my type of book! If you like Lethem then by all means, read this book. If you don't know Lethem, by all means, read this book. Get to know him.