This is a memoir of a boy playing detective on the streets and of those streets itself, a New York City of the mind, Roger Rosenblatt’s mind, where past, present, future, local and global mix in a more ordered and esthetically pleasing collage than that in How Literature Saved My Life by David Shields. Halfway through this book I started to struggle with why I was enjoying it. There were flights of fancy and digressions and at times it seemed disorganized (which was my major criticism of Shields) yet, I finally doped out, Rosenblatt’s book holds together because those seeming flaws serve the themes of the power and unreliability of imagination and memory. We can trust neither, we need both, therefore, we end up trusting both in a way. It is that way this book is about, for me, and if Rosenblatt’s way includes a few too many digressions and fantasies for me that is all right, for I read it for insight into his mind and by extension into what mind we all share.
I wanted to write a classic regular folks would actually read. I wanted to write an adventure academics would find resonant with meaning. You tell me how well I did.