My review of City of Strangers

Ian MacKenzie’s City of Strangers too way too long for me to read. It was a combination of tiredness (on the subway ride to/from work is where I do most of my reading) and uninteresting storyline. Book number 12 in my “26 in 52 Challenge” was to my knowledge the first Penguin Books novel that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy, and I’m a bit disappointed at that.

Set in New York, the book follows Paul Metzger who’s a guy that’s pretty down on his luck, and seems to be drifting through life. Paul is the divorced son of a former Nazi supporter whose brother renounced the family name and married a Jewish woman, converting to the faith. Much of the book has Paul trying to cling on to the broken relationships with his ex-wife and somewhat estranged older brother (much older – 20 years difference; different mothers).

In the end nothing is really solved, but thanks to an assault Paul experienced in front of his house, his ex-wife, brother and himself become entangled in a gruesome situation that ends up cementing the distance between him and his ex, and preventing him and his brother from building a further bond.

So if you find that kind of story interesting, then this one’s for you. It’s definitely character-driven, like most Penguin Books are, but there’s a lack of excitement and plot movement in this one that couldn’t keep me into it.

I give City of Strangers a 2.5/5

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