I'm seduced by the first sentence, as always. Only this leads me further into seduction, with the first few sentences drunkening me to love this work:
"Context is everthing. Dress me up and see. I'm a carnival barker, an auctioneer, a downtown performance artist, a speaker in tongues, a senator drunk on filibuster. I've got Tourette's. My mouth won't quit, though mostly I whisper or subvocalize like I'm reading aloud, my Adam's apple bobbing, jaw muscle beating like a miniature heart under my cheek, the noise suppressed, the words escaping silently, mere ghosts of themselves, husks empty of breath and tone. (If I were a Dick Tracy villain, I'd have to be Mumbles.)"
Now finished and I loved it all the way through. EatmeBailey!
Lionel Essrog has Tourette's, and likens everything to the disease. Wheels within wheels. Frank Minna the neighborhood hood, loosely connected to the mob, who grabs the 4 white boys from the orphan home and makes them into Minna Men. Frank gets killed while Lionel is providing backup, listening to the bugged conversations, and Lionel goes on a mad search for the killer, the giant. The author tips his hat to Ross MacDonald toward the end, but I'd have to say that Ross never made me laugh like Lethem did. Good writing, good story, what's not to like?