Jonathan Lethem is the writer I love to hate. hmm. maybe that's a bit strong. I suppose I just have some residual ill feeling because I was forced to read Motherless Brooklyn for an English seminar. today, years later, I guess [b:Motherless Brooklyn|328854|Motherless Brooklyn|Jonathan Lethem|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348254729s/328854.jpg|1971553] was a 3 and [b:Girl in Landscape|16719|Girl in Landscape|Jonathan Lethem|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348075057s/16719.jpg|587400] was a 4--although I have the two switched round in that respect. kinda just vaguely remember mildly not despising Landscape. but in any case, I can't see the author as getting more than two 3's and one 4 under any circumstances... maybe this is all splitting hairs?
the central question of rating this book is whether it's social value (deconstructing and subverting racial relations in Brooklyn, 1970s) outweights long stretches of subpar prose. (admittedly there are some classic moments)... for a lot of people, this book politics vs. book quality question apparently tilts yes. 3.8 off thousands of ratings. but I don't know if I can forgive. if a book takes 4 cups of caffeine merely to work through another 50 pages, I pull off the fourth star.
3/5. value to new yorkers. value to race relation thinkers. politically correct. I can justify not lowering the 4th star on Ian Fleming's [b:Live and Let Die|3763|Live and Let Die (James Bond, #2)|Ian Fleming|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327953982s/3763.jpg|171188]. another new york novel. to that degree related to Egan; riff off manhattan books everywhere (however brooklyn this setting)
similar-- franzen, filipacchi, egan,