A mystery written by critically acclaimed author Jonathan Lethem, this is a classic whodunit with a twist. Our hero, an aspiring private detective named Lionel Essrog, suffers from Tourette’s syndrome. The condition plays havoc with Lionel’s attempts to communicate with both the good and the bad people he runs into in his search for a murderer. However, this self-educated, intelligent man who is viewed as a good-for-nothing by many succeeds in the end.
Lionel grew up in a Brooklyn orphanage, a loner until small-time crook Frank Minna selects him and three other orphans and entices them to carry out various semi-illegal jobs with the lure of twenty dollar bills as rewards. The years pass and the orphans now are in their twenties and settled in their work for Frank. When Frank is murdered, Lionel charges into an investigation that connects him to a couple of Mafia big shots, some Japanese businessmen involved in inscrutable dealings, a Zen Buddhist commune in the middle of Manhattan, and more. Expect equal parts classic detective novel and hilarity when you read this book.