The Fortress of Solitude

  • by Jonathan Lethem
  • Narrated by David Aaron Baker
  • 18 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This is the story of two boys, Dylan Ebdus and Mingus Rude. They are friends and neighbors, but because Dylan is white and Mingus is black, their friendship is not simple. This is the story of their Brooklyn neighborhood, which is almost exclusively black despite the first whispers of something that will become known as "gentrification."This is the story of 1970s America, a time when the most simple human decisions - what music you listen to, whether to speak to the kid in the seat next to you, whether to give up your lunch money - are laden with potential political, social and racial disaster. This is the story of 1990s America, when no one cared anymore.This is the story of punk, that easy white rebellion, and crack, that monstrous plague. This is the story of the loneliness of the avant-garde artist and the exuberance of the graffiti artist. This is the story of what would happen if two teenaged boys obsessed with comic book heroes actually had superpowers: They would screw up their lives. This is the story of joyous afternoons of stickball and dreaded years of schoolyard extortion. This is the story of belonging to a society that doesn't accept you. This is the story of prison and of college, of Brooklyn and Berkeley, of soul and rap, of murder and redemption.This is the story Jonathan Lethem was born to tell. This is The Fortress of Solitude.


What the Critics Say

"Glorious, chaotic, raw. . . . One of the richest, messiest, most ambitious, most interesting novels of the year. . . . Lethem grabs and captures 1970s New York City, and he brings to it a story worth telling." (Time)
“The finest novel of the year, by far, and likely of the past five. . . . Better than a movie, better than a symphony, better than a play, and better than a painting, because it is all of them.” (Austin Chronicle)
"A tour de force . . . Belongs to a venerable New York literary tradition that stretches back through Go Tell it On the Mountain, A Walker in the City, and Call it Sleep." (The New York Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A smorgasbord of language

Some of the sentences in this book are so well crafted, they actually made me whisper "wow" outloud alone in my car.

I've phoned people to make them listen to a single passage.

The reader has it down pat.

This book isn't a thriller, and sometimes runs a little slow. This isn't a drawback as long as you don't go in expecting a rollercoaster. Listen to this book when you feel like contemplating life in general, and your own life specifically.
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- Jonathan

A Perfect title for a very sad story

Perfectly crafted sentences......yeah, if you carry a dictionary with you. The writer likes to use words that make the sentences flowery and beautiful....but what did he say?
I walked away after listening to this book with a very sad feeling. The book was about being depressed .......passing through life without any meaning.....wasting time.....being a victim...I wish I had never read this.

The author was able to keep my attention for the entire book but I felt very let down at the end with the absurd fantasy of a jail entry.

Maybe I missed something. But, I can't recommend this title to anyone.
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- Jon

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-03-2003
  • Publisher: Random House Audio