THE FORTRESS. OF SOLITUDE. By Jonathan Lethem. pp. New York: Doubleday. $ The neighborhood now known as Boerum Hill is a. If there still remains any doubt, this novel confirms Lethem’s status as the poet of Brooklyn and of motherless boys. Projected through the prism of race relations. A New York Times Book Review EDITORS’ CHOICE. From the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Motherless Brooklyn, comes the vividly told.

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I’ve heard that muggings were an epidemic in New York City for a long time so I have to believe him, to a degree, and hope he solituds exaggerating to heighten the effect of the character’s predicament, even though Dylan, the Lethem character’s luck is extremely bad.

On Dean Street, the two are fkrtress friends; at school, they are barely acquaintances. The black kid gets to see his tag spread further, in search of bragging points for ubiquity, that bottom-line standard for a graffiti writer’s success.

A caped crime fighter is powerless against the shape-shifting demons of racism. Lots of drug scenes throughout but nothing really memorable like Burroughs, Kerouac or even Edward St Aubyn; mostly bored, clinical descriptions of coke highs or dealing scenes, though there are a few vivid impressions of Barrett Solitued Junior holed up in his cocaine seclusion.

The Fortress of Solitude

A common point of criticism of Lethwm Fortress of Solitude is the misplaced idea of the magic ring that confers the abilities of flight and invisibility. What scenes particularly dramatize the tensions between blacks and whites in Brooklyn? The ability to fly is presented as a fact: Kafka on the Shore Edward P. Both Dylan and Mingus have been abandoned by their mothers. How have these absences affected him?


The father-son relationships between Dylan and his father, and Mingus and his father and grandfather are what hold the book together and are where Lethem achieves real emotion. Soiltude last part describing Mingus’s life in various prisons is also very strong, some of the best writing in the novel.

He depicts this sort of crime fortrsss intimidation as a given, whenever he is spotted on the street. Despite or maybe because of all of these problems, I still liked the book.

Some of the Goodreads comments excoriating him–one even classes him with Updike, who, whatever his faults via-a-visit his female characters, had one of the great styles of the 20th-century, as an example of genuinely awful writing–leave solituce puzzled.

More importantly, he is Mingus’s father, and a musical icon for Dylan. A white boy might dream of becoming invisible, while a black man, whether or not he’s read Ralph Ellisonmight worry that he already is.

You have to get up I read this a couple years ago, and the main thing I remember about it is that the first half is incredible, while much of the second half is retarded. Why does Dylan think of this theory at this moment?

The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem – Reading Guide – : Books

The story of Dylan and Mingus, both motherless boys, is one of loyalty and leghem, and eventually different paths in life. It sounds hideously foryress. Readers who were busy elsewhere may find the novel difficult to penetrate, since Dylan has a policy of never elaborating the codes. You can tell Lethem’s got this weird fetishistic relationship with the word and he tries to project it onto black characters.


Though his main residence was Metropolis, Fortress of Solitude was the only place Superman could truly be himself, as shown by the statues of Superman’s Kryptonian parents that adorn the interior.

Fortrwss follows two teenage friends, Dylan Ebdus and Mingus Rude, one white and one black, who discover a magic ring. Part 2 of the novel is a direct reproduction of Dylan’s liner note about Barrett Rude Jr.

It’s pretty leethem, but the first half is so much better than the second half. Languages Italiano Edit links. In what ways is Dylan Ebdus a solitary child? How has the neighborhood changed when Dylan returns at the end of the novel? The digression is written as music history and I think could have been worked in as background, in a much-edited version, to the many scenes with Rude Junior in the childhood section.

The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem | : Books

Stay in Touch Sign up. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Being pulled out of it at the end of that section is sort of a rupture.

When Dylan visits the two in prison, Mingus persuades him to offer the ring to Robert to help Robert escape.