A dazzling epic that follows two very different families in Cleveland across generations, beginning with their patriarchs, who become irrevocably intertwined one fateful night
A blistering dark comedy, Rebekah Frumkin's The Comedown is a romp across America, from the Kent State shootings to protest marches in Chicago to the Florida Everglades, that explores delineating lines of race, class, religion, and time.
Scrappy, street smart drug dealer Reggie Marshall has never liked the simpering addict Leland Bloom-Mittwoch, which doesn’t stop Leland from looking up to Reggie with puppy-esque devotion. But when a drug deal goes dramatically, tragically wrong and a suitcase (which may or may not contain a quarter of a million dollars) disappears, the two men and their families become hopelessly entangled. It’s a mistake that sets in motion a series of events that are odd, captivating, suspenseful, and ultimately inevitable.
Both incendiary and earnest, The Comedown steadfastly catalogs the tangled messes the characters make of their lives, never losing sight of the beauty and power of each family member’s capacity for love, be it for money, drugs, or each other.
|Publisher:||Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.|
|File size:||2 MB|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Well, I have to say, this book is unique. The tale basically revolves around a suitcase and what it may, or may not, contain. So, of course, every character wants this suitcase. A drug deal, which went horribly wrong, sets off a series of events and this entangles two men and their families for years. There are too many characters in this novel and it makes it hard to keep up with who is what and what is who! And sometimes I felt the author would go off on a tangent which really didn’t have much to do with what is actually going on. Now, that the negatives are out of the way…I enjoyed the dark humor and the creativity which runs throughout this story. It is an entertaining and a different story. I cannot wait to see what this author comes up with next. I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
The Comedown by Rebekah Frumkin is a recommended intergenerational family drama following three generations of two interconnected Cleveland families, one black, one white, from the 1970s to 2009. The drama centers on a 1973 drug deal gone bad and is concerned with a missing suitcase that may contain a quarter of a million dollars. Leland Bloom-Mittwoch, a drug addict, witnesses the shooting of his dealer, Reggie Marshall. Leland takes off with a suitcase full of cash. The story is then told from the multiple viewpoints of members of both Leland’s and Reggie’s families for the next 30 years. The novel is less of a mystery with members looking for the suitcase, than it is a compilation of character studies. Each character has a chapter to discuss their formative years and a crucial event during that time that other characters share. Since the novel opens with two pages of family trees, that fact that it is a heavily populated novel shouldn't be a surprise. Frumkin places her various characters in the same historical events from different points-of-view. She has her characters throwing blame for their misfortune on the other family. Her flawed characters deal with mental illness, secrets, self-delusions, addiction, poverty, and racism. The Comedown is an ambitious debut novel with a complex plot set in a well-researched historical context. It is also a novel that didn't completely work for me. The individual stories are very strong, engrossing character studies, but there are an overabundance of characters, several of which didn't need to be a part of the novel. There didn't need to be quite so many characters because, at the end, there was a lack of a coherent connection between all of the characters and a plethora of loose ends never addressed. As a reader, this bothers me. I was also not a great fan of the style in which the novel is written. The quality of the writing is quite good, however, which places Frumkin as a novelist I will watch for in the future. Many people liked the novel much more than me, so I'm sure that my issues with it are more a matter of personal preference. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Henry Holt & Company.