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The Third Brother: A Novel
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The Third Brother: A Novel

3.06  ·  Rating Details ·  271 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Nick McDonell's debut novel, Twelve, was a publishing sensation. It was an international best seller and established its seventeen-year-old author as an important literary voice. In The Third Brother, McDonell delivers another remarkable novel, a haunting tale of brotherly love, family tragedy, and national grief.

Mike was a lucky child: a vacation house on Long Island, fam
Paperback, 280 pages
Published April 10th 2006 by Grove Press (first published August 1st 2005)
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McDonell clearly loves storytelling. By now I have read or listened to most of his oeuvre and think this is someone with great skill. When I listened to this 5-disc set by Tantor Media, however, I thought it diffuse (copyright 2005). Not tight enough to involve one utterly, it almost seems a dry run for McDonell’s far better, later novel, An Expensive Education, published in 2009. The thick stem of both books has it’s germ in Harvard University of Cambridge, Massachusetts. There is much wealth, ...more
Jun 29, 2013 Isaiah rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike Rogers
Jan 29, 2012 Mike Rogers rated it it was ok
"The Third Brother" almost reads like two short stories. The chapters alternate between the present and reminiscences of the past. The main character is Mike, an intern working for a magazine in Hong Kong. He is sent to accompany a writer and do research in Bangkok on Western backpackers who come to the city to get high.

Of course he meets all sorts of crazy characters and the reader learns about his family's past in alternating chapters. Mike's parents are sort of crazy, but have clearly had an
Cheryl Gatling
This is a book that it is very hard to write about without using spoilers. What it begins to be about is what happens to Mike in Thailand, when he goes there as a college intern in journalism. These "travelogue" portions are interspersed with Mike's memories of growing up in his somewhat-dysfunctional family. But what the book is really about is that Mike suffers a series of catastrophic losses. What happens in Thailand begins him on a road of emotional trauma that gets steadily worse and worse. ...more
Apr 20, 2008 Nancy rated it liked it
I liked this book. Nick McDonnell's prose is remarkably clean and concise. Eloquent with simple sentences. His third person narrative, with liberal use of the protagonist's name, Mike (who I think is not the same character as White Mike from his first novel), reminded me of a first person referring to himself in the third person, if that makes sense. I liked that Mike seemed to experience events viscerally, without much philosophizing or agonizing. Then near the end of the book, McDonnell does a ...more
Aug 24, 2013 Jolene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twelve was well designed and I have to admit that I was reacquainted with McDonell's style and imaginary world. The Third Brother is as crazy as Twelve in the storytelling but the part on 9/11 was well described psychologically and emotionally speaking. For once, you got a glimpse of what it could have been for people at the foot of the towers.

Just like his first novel, McDonell chose to write a tragic ending to his story and I was particularly taken aback by the sound of it.

Overall, the book wa
Jan 29, 2012 Laurie rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I liked Twelve (I can't believe they're FINALLY releasing the movie!), but this book felt like a bunch of related short stories that didn't gel into a whole. The trip to Bangkok and finding out about his father's past and his other half-brother somewhere out there in the world, the story of his parents' dysfunction, the house fire and their death and Lyle's psychological disorder, and the narrator's own belated resulting personality disorder, are certainly related, but they don't cohere.
Aug 19, 2009 Daren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tried this one for a new Author. Was given to me as a gift. I didn't get sucked into the counter-culture story. I know the author is young, and thought the writing needed to mature a bit. It just felt scattered to me.
Sep 03, 2013 Brian rated it really liked it
I liked this one. It surprised me that I liked it. A well written book with good story telling. A page turner
Daniel Smallwood
Jan 29, 2012 Daniel Smallwood rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Sick! But in a good way. I want something new everytime & Nick McDonell doesn't disappoint. I hope he never stops writing.
Nov 06, 2014 Juliebd rated it it was ok
I found that I really didn't care about anyone, but I guess the protagonist didn't either. I found much of it beyond anything I had interest in.
Nov 14, 2007 Shannon rated it liked it
Not as good as Twelve - seemed to deal more with shocking the senses (drugs, sex, etc.) than with telling a truly great story but I like this author's style.
Leif Garinto
Jan 29, 2012 Leif Garinto rated it it was ok
This book confused me. It seems that the author had several plot lines in mind, didn't know how to resolve them, and decided to just mash them together which made for a very (confusing) conclusion.
Don Valdez
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Robert Nicholas "Nick" McDonell is an American writer.

He attended the Buckley School (New York City), the Riverdale Country School, and was graduated from Harvard College in January 2007.

He wrote the novel Twelve in 2002, at age 17. The subject of the novel is disaffection, despair, drug use and violence among a group of wealthy Manhattan teenagers during Christmas break. The publication of McDone
More about Nick McDonell...

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