MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN - Scarce Fine Copy of The First Hardcover Edition/First Printing: Signed by Jonathan Lethem
1st Printing. Signed. 311 pages. Published in 1999. The author's breakthrough fifth novel. Now considered a contemporary classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Jonathan Lethem's "Motherless Brooklyn". His single most popular and beloved creation, his finest and most moving achievement thus far. In Lionel Essrog, Lethem has created one of the most unforgettable characters of contemporary American fiction, the "Human Freakshow", afflicted with Tourette's Syndrome. "The best novel of the year. Utterly original and deeply moving" (Esquire Magazine). "A wunderkind who in a scant five years has produced five aggressively original works of fiction. One waits eagerly to learn where Lethem will take us next" (Kirkus Reviews). An absolute "must-have" title for Jonathan Lethem collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Jonathan Lethem. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. Laid-in is a pristine copy of the Souvenir Announcement Leaflet of the event during which his signature was obtained. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of very few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. We have not seen a more beautiful signed copy of a book that is often available online with major flaws. A scarce signed copy thus. Winner of the Crawford Award for Best Fantasy Novel and the Locus Award for Best First Novel in 1994 for "Gun, With Occasional Music". Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1999 for "Motherless Brooklyn". Selected as one of the "Best Books of The Year" by the New York Times in 2003 for "Fortress of Solitude". Winner of the MacArthur Genius Grant in 2005. One of the most brilliant new voices in American literature. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JONATHAN LETHEM TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0385491832. Bookseller Inventory # 17230
About this title:
St. Vincent's Home for Boys, Brooklyn, early 1970s. For Lionel Essrog, a.k.a. The Human Freakshow, a victim of Tourette's syndrome (an uncontrollable urge to shout out nonsense, touch every surface in reach, rearrange objects), Frank Minna is a savior. A local tough guy and fixer, Minna shows up to take Lionel and three of his fellow orphans on mysterious errands: they empty a store of stereos as the owner watches; destroy a small amusement park; visit old Italian men. The four grow up to be the Minna Men, a fly-by-night detective agency-cum-limo service, and their days and nights revolve around Frank, the prince of Brooklyn, who glides through life on street smarts, attitude, and secret knowledge. Then one dreadful night, Frank is knifed and thrown into a Dumpster, and Lionel must become a real detective.
As Lionel struggles to find Frank's killer--without letting his Tourette's get in the way--he's forced to delve into the complex, shadowy web of relationships, threats, and favors that make up the Brooklyn world he thought he knew so well. No one--not Frank, not Frank's bitter wife, Julia, not the other Minna Men--is who they seem. Not even The Human Freakshow.
All of the Lethem touches that have thrilled critics are here--crackling dialogue, sly humor, dizzying plot twists--but they're secondary to wonderfully full, tragic, funny characterizations, and a dazzling evocation of place. Indeed, Brooklyn--with its charming folkways and language, its unique style of bad-guy swagger and sentimentality--becomes itself a major character.
Motherless Brooklyn is a bravura performance: funny, tense, touching, extravagant. This novel signals the coming of age of a major American writer.
Review: Pop quiz. Please complete the following sentence: "There are days when I get up in the morning and stagger into the bathroom and begin running water and then I look up and I don't even recognize my own _." If you answered face, then your name is obviously not Jonathan Lethem. Instead of taking the easy out, the genre-busting novelist concludes this by-the-numbers string of words with toothbrush in the mirror.
This brilliant sentence and a lot of other really excellent ones compose Lethem's engaging fifth novel, Motherless Brooklyn. Lionel Essrog, a detective suffering from Tourette's syndrome, spins the narrative as he tracks down the killer of his boss, Frank Minna. Minna enlisted Lionel and his friends when they were teenagers living at Saint Vincent's Home for Boys, ostensibly to perform odd jobs (we're talking very odd) and over the years trained them to become a team of investigators. The Minna men face their most daunting case when they find their mentor in a Dumpster bleeding from stab wounds delivered by an assailant whose identity he refuses to reveal--even while he's dying on the way to the hospital.
Detectives? Brooklyn? Is this the same Lethem who danced the postapocalypso in Amnesia Moon? Incredibly, yes, and rarely has such a departure been pulled off with this much aplomb. As in the "toothbrush" passage above, Lethem sets himself up with the imposing task of making tired conventions new. Brooklyn accents? Fuggetaboutit. Lethem's dialogue is as light on its feet as a prize fighter. Lionel's Tourette's could have been an easy joke, but Lethem probes so convincingly into the disorder that you feel simultaneously rattled, sympathetic, and irritated by the guy. Sure, the story is a mystery, but Motherless Brooklyn could be about flower arranging, for all we care. What counts is Lionel's tic-ridden take on a world full of surprises, propelling this fiction forward at edgy, breakneck speed. --Ryan Boudinot
Title: MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN - Scarce Fine Copy of ...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Doubleday
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: 1st Edition
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