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DISSIDENT GARDENS
by Jonathan Lethem | Read by Mark Bramhall

Jonathan Lethem is a literary chameleon, working here in something like a Philip Roth mode, unspooling a sometimes raunchy, often biting portrait of a New York counterculture family. Mark Bramhall is dazzling performing this mosaic of indelible oppositional characters. Rose Zimmer, Ashkenazy Communist from Queens and Jewish mother from hell? You’ll never forget her. Nor Rose’s German-Jewish husband, her black cop lover, daughter Miriam’s diatribe to the father who abandoned her, or Rose’s grandson, Sergius, who finds himself fecklessly enamored with (surprise) the Occupy movement. As Lethem moves back and forth in time, from pre-McCarthy proletarian dreams to ‘60s Greenwich Village (Dave Van Ronk makes an appearance) to Zuccotti Park, Bramhall delivers specific, convincing, vivid personalities and keeps Lethem’s intricate machinery running swiftly and irresistibly. B.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine