Making Connections

By Neta Fudim


Lonely, insecure, different, but clever

Disciple of Minna, loyal servant of the L&L

Lover of words, obsessions and heartaches

Who feels neither acceptance, nor tenderness nor peace

Who needs a role to play, a place to be, and a purpose to fill

Who fears himself, his mouth, his brain

Who gives forgiveness, loyalty and

Who would like to be loved, be in control and be himself

Resident of Crazyville

Line 11: Essrog



Scene: Lionel is questioning Kimmery and speaking to her for the first time at the Zendo. (Pages 135-141)

Lionel is portrayed in an interesting way in this scene given that Kimmery’s appearance makes his character seem more unique and less of a twisted version of Frank Minna. It is almost as if he was mirroring Kimmery’s zen aura trying to impress her. This scene gives new insight into what kind of a person Lionel Essrog truly is and how he functions under new and unfamiliar circumstances. For the first time in the novel, he pursues his own independent mission for revenge. However, the unexpected tic less force field catches him off-guard.

Task #3:

Lionel’s conversation with Julia

This scene was very different from the one with Kimmery. The scene where Lionel is speaking to Julia is charged with bitterness and regret compared to the zen energy that seemed to flow out of the page when he was with Kimmery. Once again, Lionel is very influenced by the woman in his presence. She belittles him and he accepts it, gradually showing more of the insecure side of his personality. Just like with kimmery, Julia alleviates some of Lionel’s tics by letting him touch her breasts. She does this to manipulate him which shows how easily Lionel is taken advantage.



Making Connections

by Claudia Keurdjekian

Task #1:


Alienated, puzzled, creative and tug-boater

Friend of the Minna Men and enemy of Ull(men)

Lover of jokes, nature and great mysteries

Who feels like a fish out of water

Who needs love, acceptance and appreciation

Who fears of rejection

Who gives his very best

Who would like to be free, loved and respected

Resident of the city of the darkness


Task #2:

p. 308-309

Kimmery tells Lionel she’s going back with her ex-boyfriend Stephen. We are at the very end of the novel. Lionel is so shocked that nothing comes out from his mouth, he just stands there.

This is a very emotional part of the novel for Lionel because he just finds out that Kimmery doesn’t really like him. He really had feelings for her and was expecting them to get together. Kimmery was the only one who would accept him for who he is. She gave him Chope when he hadn’t any. When Kimmery announced that she was going back with his old boyfriend, Lionel was crushed. Lionel learns that Kimmery doesn’t really love him and they’re not meant to be. Lionel had been searching for love for so long and in the end he isn’t able to get it. Kimmery was just a one night stand.

Task #3:

p. 135-141: Lionel meets Kimmery.

When Lionel meets Kimmery for the first time, they get along so well and there’s some kind of chemistry between them. Compared to the last time they see each other it’s the happiest scene. And after their first meeting, everything just goes down hill. The above scenes contrast with the first time they met because it’s the complete opposite. They are breaking up and there is no spark at all. Kimmery is not like how she used to be, Lionel either. The first and last scenes of Kimmery and Lionel are both important parts of the novel. Lionel emotions change during these scenes.

Claudia Keurdjekian

connections lab

Task 1



Tourretic, freak show, outcast, determined

Friend of the Minna men

Lover of Minna

Who feels alone, disappointment, anger

Who needs companionship, acceptance, love

Who fears loneliness, outbursts, disappointment

Who gives himself to others,

Who would like to solve the case, find companionship and be normal

Resident of Brooklyn, L&L, his tics


Task 2

The pages I have chosen for this task is 302-303. Lionel is at the beach with Julia and finally finds closure with the case.

This scene is extremely powerful. Lionel throws, Tony’s gun, Julia gun, Minna beeper, the doorman cellphone and his shoe. Each thing he threw had large amount of symbolism attached to it. By throwing Tony’s gun, lionel demonstrates detachment with tony. He understands tony is gone and that he had done as much as he can to try to help but he was gone now and finally accepted it. By throwing Julia gun he shows that he is done with the Minna women. He speaks with her prior to this and during this conversation he understands Julia needs to be on her own for once in a long time. She had been “prisoner” of the Minna brothers and of the Brooklyn troubles and now they were finally over and she had to live her life that she’d been present physically but absent mentally for so long. The third thing he through was Minna beeper. By throwing Minna beeper it shows how Lionel finally accepts that Minna is gone. He finally understands that it wasn’t his fault that Minna died and that he did not disappoint him in his death.

  • He accepts the fact hes one and can move on
  • By throwing object 4 it shows how he accepts the end result of the case and moves on.
  • By throwing 5th object, his shoe, a piece of his clothing, it can be symbolism that he is throwing away a part of himself.



Task 3

This scene compares with the scene with the scene that Lionel is with her in the apartment because…

FrEakShOw ToWn

Task one : Warm-up


Impulsive , strange , perfectionist , childish are your true nature

Friend of Danny

Lover of Kimmery  , tangled love

Who feels different , frustrated , misunderstood

Who needs nurturing , woman comforting , be covered with a veil of warmth and comprehension

Who fears Matricardi and Rockaforte , tic during worst moments and failure

Who gives attention , devotion for his quest , details

Who would like to be unstoppable , considered as a human being not an entity , understand true meaning of love

Resident of weirdness , capital of Freakshow town



Task two : Close reading of a scene


In this passage , Lionel stood at the rail at the sea edge of the lighthouse tower with Julia , throwing specifically  five objects .

How does the aspect you’ve chose to write about stand out in this scene?

Aspect :What’s the most interesting or compelling aspect of his character ?

At this moment of the novel ,surprisingly  Lionel’s tics come out not as an undesired outburst but as his last resort to convince Julia to believe him .Interestingly , his Tourettic syndromes  not only manifest itself through vocal outbursts but also through manners , gestures and  repeated actions . A great example of this new manifestation , is when he decides to throw not four , nor six  , but rather  five precise objects . Here , we can feel that Lionel Essrog is in a way saying his last words , which creates  a sort of  ” funeral ceremony  ” ambiance to bury the end of a mysterious quest : Who killed Frank Minna ?

Task three : Make further connections


The above scene reminds me of the scene when Lionel taps the shoulder of Minna . Here , the narrator uses a bit of humor to describe Lionel’s tics . Once again Essrog’s ticcing gestures are important key scenes to the understanding of his uncontrollable impulses . In this passage when Lionel said that : “Fifteen- year-old and reached  out for his twenty -five -year-old street punk’s bomber-jacketed shoulders.(…)if Frank Minna were a statue instead of flesh and blood I’ve buffed that spot to a high shine (..)” (Lethem , 6)

Hence , in this scene Lionel shows that he tapped Minna’s shoulder so many times that his coworker is longer bothered by his manners .

Leila  Bencherif




Finding the roads in the map

Task 1


Delusional, bizarre, silly and caring

Friend of the society and enemy of the criminals

Lover of the liars,

Who feels lonely, sick and outcast

Who needs affection, satisfaction and recognition

Who fears

Who gives

Who would like to make a change,….

Resident of the world




Task 2

First of all, the aspect that I want to focus for my film adaptation is on the major core conflict of the story and why or how this occurs. The first problem that the reader sees when reading the novel is the mystery behind Frank’s assassination. However, there are other problem. The novel is focusing on a character that suffers from an inner conflict and how he deals with his problem. Lionel suffers of Tourette and the novel demonstrates how he evolves with his syndrome.  Lionel has been raised by Frank. Frank becomes like a father figure to him and he wants to follow his footsteps. He sees Frank as the good guy. However, after breaking down all the untold mystery of Frank, Lionel reacts in a way that the reader thinks that he finally acknowledges the true personality of Frank. After the scene where Julia faces Frank with a gun, Lionel says; “ I threw [Minna’s beeper] as far as I could , but it didn’t have enough heft to keep from being knocked down by the wind.”(302) The fact that he’s throwing Minna’s beeper and later his right shoe might have a symbolic meaning. Also, the ocean can have a significant meaning in this scene. The ocean is a way that clears all of this. He throws all of these things to get them out of his life. But, for Minna’s beeper it doesn’t work. The wind brings it back. This demonstrates that Lionel can erase Frank from his life. He long lives inside him.


Task 3

The above scene contrasts with the scene when Lionel takes Minna’s beeper for the first time. The fact that he has his beeper makes him feel like he is the next Frank. He is in charge of everything. This gives him more confidence to pursue the investigation. As a reader, you see the Lionel is lacking a personality. He is dependent on Frank and doesn’t know who is he. He does not have a good self-esteem.

Ilyas Mohamed

Making Connection







Detective, Lovely, different

Fiend of Frank

Lover of Kimmery,

Who feels sad,

Who needs love

Who fears of his appearance, feelings

Who gives


Task2 :

The scene is when Kimmery announces at Lionel that she is going back with Stephen (308-311). That is one of the few key scenes on the novel. As we know during the novel Lionel always wanted love and at the end he realized Kimmery is not in love for him. This scene


This above scene reminds me the scene with Julia. At the beginning of the novel, Lionel stared to have feelings for Julia and ended the same way as Kimmery. I think it is a pretty good comparison because this scene and the scene with Kimmery sounds to have the same mood where the mood is kind of sad and Lionel’s though tell us how disappointed he is to no find love that he is looking for from the beginning. Another comparison that seems similar is that both scenes, Lionel doesn’t have the power of the situation, both Julia and Kimmery have the power, means both are the person who can change the situation so that can makes Lionel first real love.



Alexa Nunziato

Task 1 

Line 1: Lionel

Line 2: Tics, Frank Minna, Brooklyn, clingy,

Line 3: Friend of Danny

Line 4: Lover of sandwiches, Kimmery, the number 6

Line 5: Who feels self-loath, loneliness, determination, guilt

Line 6: Who needs love, companionship, acceptance, self-worth

Line 7: Who fears rejection, betrayal, the giant

Line 8: Who gives bad jokes, uneasiness, strong friendships

Line 9: Who would like to find love, find Minna’s killer, a home

Line 10: Resident of Brooklyn, the Minna Men, the fake car service shop.

Line 11: Essrog

Task 2 

On page 211, Lionel is welcomed into Kimmery’s apartment with the intention of getting new information that would help solve the crime. It cannot be ignore however, that Lionel feels a strong attraction to Kimmery as well, which might we know might get in the way of his investigation.  Lionel had just been beaten up by the so-called giant, in Lionel’s terms, and was feeling paranoid inside of Kimmery’s apartment. Usually, Lionel does not show many signs of fear concerning this giant, but expectedly this time he’s afraid. Taking refuge in Kimmery’s apartment, they take this opportunity to learn more about each other. Kimmery got to experience Lionel’s tourettic side as she says, “You say really weird stuff when you get angry” (213). Kimmery is questioning the crime, his motives, and even defends some of the potential perpetrators Lionel had in mind. What really stood out in their discussion was when Kimmery asks, “who’s Frank Minna?” (215). This question properly light up an important response. Lionel tells Kimmery, “if I stared answering it I’d never have finished. Frank MInna is a mover and talker, a word and a gesture, a detective and a fool. Frank Minna c’est moi”. I wanted to focus on the connection between how Lionel feels about Kimmery, his neediness towards her and how he feels about Frank Minna and his case. Although he does have strong feelings and the need to be with Kimmery, as we can see after this seen, we need to understand why. Lionel feels lonely, and the need for self-acceptance. He seeks this acceptance through finding love, and attention. He looks for relationships with people to compensate for the relationship he lacks with himself. Although this need is a huge priority for Lionel, finding Frank’s killer is more important. He says that he IS Frank Minna. That is a sign that he still has not found his identity. He identifies himself with the one person he looked up to the most, the one person he feels responsible for. The guilt of not being able to save Frank Minna is eating Lionel up inside. I still have not figured out how to relate the guilt he feels and the need to solve this crime with Lionel’s issues self-acceptance and lack of love. He needs to find his own place in this world.

Task 3 

On page 260, we witness Lionel’s obsession with Kimmery. This relates to the connection he feels with Kimmery when he first goes to her apartment. He is clearly obsessed with her as he keeps calling up her phone. Kimmery tells him to stop and at this point in the novel we feel bad for Lionel. Anyone who has experienced rejection, or repeated rejection on Lionel’s part, can relate to how he feels during that scene.