A book review: The Brooklyn Follies


by Tania Moreno Santana

Last Christmas I read the book called The Brooklyn Follies. The voice of the novel is Nathan Glass, a 59-year-old retired insurance salesman. He is recently divorced, estranged from his daughter and in remission from lung cancer. At the beginning of the novel his life is at its end and he is just “looking for a quiet place to die” so he decides to return to Brooklyn, where he was born but left at the age of 3. He has no plans or ambitions, and all he desires is “a silent end to my sad and ridiculous life.” Glass settles into this state with only his project, “The Book of Human Folly,” to keep him company. The project first entails making a list of “every blunder” in his life, but soon he begins “recording the follies of my fellow human beings.” By Glass’s own admission he is not the central character of the novel, because that distinction goes to his nephew Tom Wood, whom Glass accidentally encounters one day working in a neighborhood used-book store.

The author tries to defend the idea that it is important to have some dreams even if you think that your life has no sense, because that´s what will help you to face up your problems.

One phrase that really had a profound impact on me was “I was looking for a nice place to die”. It is the first sentence of the book and it shows the author´s intention. For me the rest of the book is so easy to understand because it has an easy language.

The paragraph that represents the novel is the last one when Nattan says: “But for now it was still eight o´clock, and as I walked along the avenue under that brilliant blue sky, I was happy, my friends, as happy as any man who had ever lived”. It could be strange because the first one was “I was looking for a nice place to die”, but it shows how you life can change in a few month or weeks. That´s what I really liked about this book.

The book is interesting and easy to read, I didn´t find much difficulty to understand it and personally I recommed this book to those people who are depressed or who have some health problems because it could help them to see another point of view in their lives.

The book has about 315 pages and while I was reading the book I consulted the Oxford Dicctionary.

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