Motherless Brooklyn

Lethem, Jonathan

Book - 1999
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Motherless Brooklyn
A black comedy in New York's criminal underworld. The twitching hero--he suffers from Tourette's syndrome--is one of four misfits who were rescued from an orphanage by a man who gave them jobs in his detective agency. Now the man has been killed and the boys intend to get the killer.

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c1999
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385491839
Branch Call Number: FIC L
Characteristics: 311 p. ; 25 cm.


From Library Staff

Author: Jonathan Lethem
Areas Featured: Downtown Brooklyn, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Cobble Hill

An inventive take on the whodunit made playful with Tourettes-inspired language and loving descriptions of downtown Brooklyn, Motherless Brooklyn earned Jonathan Lethem the National Book Criti... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

May 08, 2014
  • PickyReader rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Wonderful narration, very off-beat version of noir for folks who don't usually like that genre: flawed detective/hero, mysterious woman, innocent woman, dark criminal masters, semi-criminal/semi-innocent associates of hero, 'realistic' ending. All with a plot and voice that twist it around so you don't realize it's there, beneath the wonderfully jumpy surface of this fabulous tale. A read and a half.

Apr 19, 2014

This book is simply fabulous. It chronicles the lives of some good ol' boy gumshoes exploring the world in all it's post-coming-of-age dreariness. Lethem is always a fantastic wordsmith, but his writing is at its best here.

Aug 14, 2012
  • kellibaker rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is one of my favorite Lethem books. Very interesting characters and storyline. Well worth the time investment!

Mar 28, 2012
  • lilylibrarian rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Four teenaged orphans are recruited by mafioso-wannabe Frank Minna and molded into devoted "Minna Men." When Frank is killed during one of the Men's assignments, the piper must be paid. Did I mention the narrator has Tourette's Syndrome?

Apr 19, 2011
  • jplynch25 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Surprising, interesting peculiarly arresting.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Find it at NYPL


Other Formats

Buy It Now

Support your library, keep it forever!

View Purchase Options Learn more about this program

Your Cart

Hello! We noticed you have the following items in your cart right now:

If you'd still like to purchase the items you have in your cart, you can do that now.

You'll be able to purchase your eBook after you have checked out your current cart.

Motherless Brooklyn
Lethem, Jonathan
Motherless Brooklyn

To continue with your eBook purchase immediately, you can clear your cart by clicking below.

All items will be removed from your cart.

I'd like to keep browsing! I'll decide later.

Explore Further

Browse the Shelf

Subject Headings