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Straitjacket & Tie

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  25 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Sixteen-year-old Bert Rosenbaum is living in the Bronx with his family when his brother, Philip, has his first psychotic breakdown. Philip communicates with extraterrestrials through radio stations only he can hear, discovers a homosexual plot to control the world, and burns Bert's cherished Dylan albums to protect him from evil subliminal messages. Haunted by the shadow o ...more
Paperback, 277 pages
Published June 30th 1996 by Alyson Books (first published February 14th 1994)
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Jul 09, 2014 Kaethe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lida loaned this to me. It's about this nice Jewish boy, Bert, who's older brother, Philip, is schizophrenic. Philip has his first real break with reality when Bert is 16, Philip comes back from college to stay at his parents house. The strain of living with him wears heavily on everyone else particularly Bert, who shares a room with him. The novel follows Bert through the next ten years (more or less) as he finishes high school, leaves for Princeton, graduates, finds a job in the Sewers departm ...more
Apr 16, 2010 Marie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't bad, or painful, but it never really seemed to pull together - it was like the author was only a casual acquaintance with the story and didn't want to pry too much.

That, and the science fiction element was so over-the-top strange that it just felt insulting to a science fiction reader.

But I still read it all the way through. Ultimately it's more about having a schizophrenic brother than anything else, and the love between the two brothers is the real heart of the book. I think t
Jan 28, 2008 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting book. I never knew that aliens, homosexuality, jealousy, schitzoprenia, and all that other stuff can be combined so well in a book to provide such a good story. The ending though is a little iffy but I find it completes the book. You just feel for the main character, Bert sometimes and at other times, feel repulsed.
Oct 21, 2011 Melanie rated it really liked it
I'll never look at a lawn chair the same way again.
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