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3.22 of 5 stars 3.22  ·  rating details  ·  86 ratings  ·  16 reviews
A gifted artist and writer, Branwell Bronte, an only son, is expected to make the family fortune and distinguish the Bronte name. Instead, he dies at 31 from alcohol and opium abuse. Painstakingly tutored at home by his father, Branwell and his sisters write endless stories about imaginary worlds far from their bleak parsonage home. As his sisters spin the stories that wil ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published November 30th 2005 by Soft Skull Press
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Branwell traces the life of Branwell Bronte, the sole brother of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte, from childhood to his alcohol and opium induced death at the age of 31. As the only son, Branwell is expected to make the fortune for the family, and immortalize the Bronte name. He is given no formal education, but is painstakingly tutored by his father, and writes endless stories and poems with his sisters in their small parsonage home.
Haunted by the early deaths of his mother and sister, both n
The only time in my life I wanted to burn a book. Makes me wonder what people really think of the Brontes ... according to this book, Bramwell was not only gay (and he WASN'T -- know your facts), but he was discharged from his post for violating his young pupil. (Bramwell was discharged for having an affair with the Mistress of the house!!) THIS mess has Bramwell violating his student (Anne witnesses it), passes around the boy to the stable hands, and if I remember correctly (and, personally, I ...more
Nancy Carbajal
Poor Branwell...a lot is expected of him. But life starts out with not one loss but two. Not only his Mother, but the oldest Bronte sister Maria who was like a mother to him. Followed by yet another sister....this is what I believe dooms Branwell from the very start. Though the story is a fictionalized account of the Brontes, it is known that Charlotte destroyed much of her families paperwork and diaries, leaving much speculation about the Brontes.
This is one account of a much beloved and much w
Matthew Gallaway
Tragic/beautiful story of Branwell Bronte, a lost but artistic (and probably nonheterosexual) soul who flails through life with passion and despair before basically drinking himself to death at a young age...Martin perfectly captures the ambiguity and mystery surrounding Branwell and his extraordinary sisters, an ambiguity that extends into the shifting perspectives of the prose and even the punctuation itself (for example: Martin never uses question marks).
Despite very high hopes, I was unable to finish Branwell. An abbreviated tome to the life of the sole Bronte brother, Martin's offering read more like a regurgitated biography pulled from an encyclopedia entry and stretched in order to accommodate a freshman-English essay. More so than the lackluster way in which Branwell is presented- with little fact to back the events herein, according to other readers- I troubled over the puerile structure given to these sentences. With a voice that seems to ...more
Few books are more depressing than the celebrated fiction of the Bronte sisters. This disheartening story about their wretched brother is one.
Ok. Ho-hum. Here goes the salmon swimming against the tide again.
This is the first book by Douglas A. Martin that I have read so I don't know his style. If he wrote short declarative sentences on purpose to fit the mood of Branwell, then I think there was some success in that. If this is his style, it is like riding a cog railway up an alp.
Let us assume he wrote these choppy sentences to show the nervous energy and confusion of Branwell. I didn't feel that he wrote in enough depth and somethi
This was an interesting approach to bringing the character of Branwell to life. The crux of his dissipation in this story seems to lean heavily on his sexual ecapades. They are alluded to and infect his sisters' journey into writing, which was a different perspective on their writing. I think it would be helpful to have some knowledge of Bronte history as it is not biographically detailed as it is beautifully written. The prose is lyrical in its measure. Made me want to go back and read Anne's w ...more
Jan 23, 2013 Shannon rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
I loathed this book. From the way Martin styled it, to the subject matter. I've done a little research and further expect this book is a lot of made up whooplah. I'm all for a little historical fiction, but taking someone so well known as the Bronte's and having better information out there, this story line was just self defeating toward the end. The further I read, the further I disliked it. If this is any indication of Martin's style, I'll gladly never read another novel of his :P
It was hard to get into because of the very unlikable antihero--he was not even charming--and the lack of dialogue. The complete lack of dialogue. But it was interesting stylistically and experimental, and honestly it made me want to read a biography of the Bronte sisters, who came out more likable than the brother.
Fictitious with streams of fact. The story is a bit choppy, with parts repeated, and many parts not clear. Knowing the Bronte family well I could deduct more than a casual reader, but was still not impressed with the formatting of the actual story. Read with caution.
I didn't love this, but the idea is fascinating and it was written in an interesting unique style. I'd say, read it if you are a huge Bronte fan and want to know more about what they *might have been like.
Spare, compelling writing about historical figures I didn't care about until now. Now I think they're fascinating. I'm anxious to read more by Douglas A. Martin.
Laura Lee
The Bronte brother, wild, drunken, druggy. Off beat style of writing but I liked it.
This book get no stars. It's a piece of crap.
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