Detroit is a tough place to describe well. Sure it is gritty, reeling from massive job losses, and afflicted with racial strife. But it is home to lots of people (myself among them) and we notice when one of our own writes a good story about Detroit and gets the details right. “Say Nice Things About Detroit” is about Detroit in a very specific way: the attention paid to who drives what kind of car, whether it is foreign or domestic and what kind of shape it is in. The weather is warm and humid or cold and damp, snow swirls in the wind, the sky darkens at 4 pm in December. Most of all, the core of this novel is an examination of the uneasy divide between black and white people that even today makes everything more difficult than it needs to be. Scott Lasser has written a masterful novel with universal appeal that is sure to be beloved of Detroiters and those rooting for Detroit.