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Publisher Description

A complusively readable riff on the classic detective novel from America's most inventive novelist

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times Notable Book

"Utterly original and deeply moving." Esquire

Brooklyn's very own self-appointed Human Freakshow, Lionel Essrog is an orphan whose Tourettic impulses drive him to bark, count, and rip apart our language in startling and original ways. Together with three veterans of the St. Vincent's Home for Boys, he works for small-time mobster Frank Minna's limo service c*m detective agency. Life without Frank Minna, the charismatic King of Brooklyn, would be unimaginable, so who cares if the tasks he sets them are, well, not exactly legal.

But when Frank is fatally stabbed, one of Lionel's colleagues lands in jail, the other two vie for his position, and the victim's widow skips town. Lionel's world is suddenly topsy-turvy, and this outcast who has trouble even conversing attempts to untangle the threads of the case while trying to keep the words straight in his head. 

Motherless Brooklyn is a brilliantly original, captivating homage to the classic detective novel by one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation.

Mysteries & Thrillers
October 24
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Penguin Random House Canada

Customer Reviews

Fogeyyogi ,

Motherless Brooklyn

Simply brilliant, not to be missed! Masterful and magical language immerses one in the tangled world of the main character Lionel Essrog. Viewing life through the Essrog lens is an entirely unique unforgettable experience. Laugh out loud funny, poignant and tender, ruthless and edgy. Loved every word.

Slkusz ,


I didn’t love it or hate it. Its interesting at times and there’s a bit of humour thrown in but mostly I found the story needed less talk and more action

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