“Say Nice Things About Detroit” is a story of coming home.
Say Nice Things About Detroit is Scott Lasser’s fourth novel.
Don’t be fooled by the title. Much of what he says about Detroit isn’t “nice”. In fact, there’s a double murder on page one. But Lasser says he, “Tried to write an honest book about Detroit so I wasn’t trying to sugar coat anything.”
The main character, David Halpert, grew up in Detroit but moves to Colorado – much like the book’s author. The story is about David’s move back to the “D”.
Lasser told us, “I wanted to write a book about Detroit and I knew it had to be about the journey home because after all so many people have already left, that seemed like the obvious story.”
David ends up moving into the Palmer Woods neighborhood. It’s a move that seems to strike a chord with many readers, especially former Detroiters.
“There is a longing for the city,” according to Lasser, “Maybe even a longing to come back and that’s what really the book is about. I didn’t know that before I wrote it that the feeling existed. I just know that I had it and it turns out I’m not alone.”
Within the pages of Lasser’s novel, there is romance, suspense, tragedy and issues of race.
Throughout the book the spirit and streets of Detroit become an important character in the story. It’s a character Lasser understands because he still considers Detroit his home, “It’s the only place that is home for me. I think that where you are your first 18 years is really where you’re from and I’ve found very few people and especially no writers who think otherwise. It’s that formative experience I think that shapes you.”
And it shapes this book that Lasser says could not have been set any place else.
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