Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude deserved the rave reviews it got back in 2003 when it first came out. I think it was a review in The Believer (although I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in Nick Hornby’s sometimes-entertaining “Stuff I’ve Been Reading” column) that prompted me to order a used copy via Amazon. I loved this book so much that of course I offered it up to Ricotta Parks, who apparently doesn’t read anything longer than a soup label anymore. Never fear, RP, I procured a nice cheap copy at the local B&N yesterday afternoon.
This book has it all: two main characters named after music legends, a magic ring, numerous Brian Eno references, gentrification, a Stan Brakhage-like filmmaker, 1970s Marvel comic books, confused sex, Brooklyn’s pre-hiphop hiphop culture, and a pretty cool Beatles archetype theory. Here is the Beatles archetype theory:
“‘Everything naturally forms into a Beatles, people can’t help it.’
‘Say the types again.’
‘Responsible-parent genius-parent genius-child clown-child.’
‘Okay, do Star Wars.’
‘Luke Paul, Han Solo John, Chewbacca George, the robots Ringo.’”
Biblioklept’s turn: Cheney Paul, Rove John, Condi Rice George, Bush Ringo.