The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
Synopsis: Dylan Ebdus is a white, motherless boy growing up in Brooklyn in the 70s- where it really isn’t easy to be growing up as a white, motherless boy. When Dylan befriends Mingus Rude, he becomes somewhat protected in his street life. The story covers their unique and somewhat turbulent relationship from adolescence through adulthood.
Thoughts: Good lord that was a struggle to get through. I can’t even pinpoint exactly what it was that I didn’t like about this book – I just had the most difficult time connecting with it. And when you’ve got a 500 page book on your hands, that lack of connection can become a little tiresome. The characters weren’t particularly bad, but I just didn’t fall in love with, or really even like, any of them. I suppose it was also about 100 pages too long, but that’s never been the kiss of death before…
I think the thing that turned me off was the superhero aspect. We were going along fine with a nice story about a white kid growing up in the ghetto, and then all of a sudden, this superhero plot point comes completely out of left field. Then we’re back to the normal story like nothing happened…and then it happens again…and again…and again. I just think this would have been a lot stronger without all the fluff.
Overall Grade: D
Up Next: The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp