Brooklyn Crime Novel

Brooklyn Crime Novel

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Gabi's Review

Brooklyn Crime Novel is a love letter to New York, one of the most famous multicultural cities in the world, focused on one of its most colourful districts, Brooklyn. Set in the 1970s, the novel creates vivid images of domestic life, community centres, shops, and the streets where charismatic characters and neighbours interact. The edge is the centre in this book, depicted in vignettes describing street ball games, summer fire hydrant fountains, active community groups and gardens, multicultural street parties and ritual muggings.

Over time, bodegas and shoe repair stores are replaced with pediatricians’ offices, while brownstones become coveted, faithfully restored and unaffordable to most of Brooklyn’s original inhabitants. In this way, Lethem shows how an evolving population becomes a facsimile of the borough's vibrant past. Brooklyn Crime Novel  is not  a conventional work of crime fiction, although it does include everyday offences such as muggings, kidnapping and assault. But perhaps the most serious crime of all, one that will radically change the nature of the neighbourhood, is the ousting of working-class residents by the cashed up, well-heeled middle-class.

The novel doesn’t have a conventional narrative arc; instead, reading it is like watching a collection of homemade super 8 film reels that together create a compelling picture of a particular social history in a particular time and place. Highly enjoyable, and highly recommended. 

Publisher's Review

From the bestselling and award-winning author of The Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn comes a sweeping and prismatic story of community, crime, and gentrification, tracing over fifty years of life in one Brooklyn neighbourhood.