12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Fortress of Solitude (Paperback)
Expecting a coming of age type story, I must say that I really enjoyed this in-depth and, at times poignant story featuring a Brooklyn neighbourhood, the people who lived there and life during the 70s and 80s. It’s a powerful book that reads much like a documentary about growing up in Brooklyn at that time, the difficulties faced by single parent families and, not only racial divisions, but the class distinctions and their effects. It’s as much about survival as it is about living.
What I found a little disappointing was the feeling that very little was achieved by the time I reached the end of the book. There were no life-altering realisations or achievements of any note, in particular, the characters didn’t seem to grow or change much.
Set in two distinctive halves, the book first chronicles the lives of 2 boys, Dylan Ebdus and Mingus Rude growing through their formative years, and then there is a fast-forward to today and a look at what they have made of themselves. Along the way, we are treated to a myriad of unusual pursuits. We get a peek at graffiti artist mentality, comic book collecting, pop-art and the life and dedication of an experimental film-maker. We are even treated to an unexpected touch of the fantastic.
Although the odd crime is committed in the book, it’s not a crime book, not a mystery. What it is is a terrific story of life in the 1970s that came across as very much real-life. I also thought the main characters were very sympathetic and believable making reading it a most rewarding experience.