Hi everyone, recently I have read the “Motherless Brooklyn” by Jonathan Lethem, and me personally I found that book really funny, well I do not know if you read it. Anyways, the book has many funny moments, but today I want to mention the ones that stayed in my mind. So, the main character is Lionel who has Tourette’s and he is trying to find the killer of his boss, and of course this gets him into trouble.
At a certain point in the book he is “caught” by four guys that try to scare him so he stops his investigation. I found quite funny the stupidity of those guys, and their awkwardness. They just wanted to scary Lionel, but they were not sure how to do it:
“Take the drive,” he said.”
“Tell him take the East Side Drive.”
“Where are we going?”
“I want to be on the highway.”
“Why not just drive in circles?”
“My car is parked up here,” I said. “You could drop me off.” (145)
Moreover, Lionel is kinder telling them what to do, when he has to be the scared one. The author uses escalation to make us readers understand the absurdity and the stupidly of the four guys that want to look tough, but their actions tell us something else. Finally, they did not scary Lionel they just made fool of themselves.
The chain of funny moments continue, the main character gets into different situations, but somehow he manages to overpass them with humor. In one moment in the novel Lionel is in the street talking on the phone, and next to him a passer-by made a comment about his talk, saying: “Fucking people talking to themselves in a public place like they got some kind of illness!” (163). Which is an irony, because the main character has an illness and often he talks to himself, shouts weird words and expressions in most inappropriate contexts.
Irony and Sarcasm come into my mind when this specific moment “flashes”, the moment when Tony makes fun of the homicide detective. The Detective is trying way too hard to gather some information from Tony and Lionel, but all he gets is irony and sarcasm:
“I do not think the old guys are home anymore,” said Tony.
“Oh yeah? Where’d they go?”
“They went through a tunnel in the basement,” said Tony. “They had to get back to their hideout, since they ‘ve got James Bond – or Batman, I can’t remember which – roasting over a slow fire.” (191)
They make fun of the detective, they for sure do not take him seriously even if he is holding a gun.
Thank you. Hope you enjoy it.