The Brothers Bishop
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The Brothers Bishop

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  718 ratings  ·  95 reviews
Tommy and Nathan Bishop are as different as two brothers can be. Carefree and careless, Tommy is the golden boy who takes men into his bed with a seductive smile and turns them out just as quickly. No one can resist him - and no one can control him, either. That salient point certainly isn't lost on his brother. Nathan is all about control. At thirty-one, he is as dark and...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 1st 2006 by Kensington (first published July 1st 2005)
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James
Incest, paedophilia, child abuse, suicide: The Brothers Bishop is just another tale of everyday life in Connecticut. If this story ever makes it to silver screen, prepare for outraged demonstrations of the moral majority outside a cinema near you.

The book's central characters are Nathan Bishop, a reclusive gay school-teacher and Tommy, his fun-loving brother, also queer, who’s made an art form of promiscuity. Nathan's still living in the seaside cottage where he grew up, while Tommy never grew...more
K.Z. Snow
I cannot remember the last time a book left me sobbing at the end -- especially a book that had me chuckling well past the beginning. The whole day is shot for me. This is a painfully profound and brilliant piece of work, the most affecting I've read since The Madness of a Seduced Woman, and "awarding" it a handful of stars seems both presumptuous and demeaning.

My biggest question is, how did Yates manage to write this without lacerating himself to shreds? Goddamn...
Ami
To be honest, this book deals with a very hard, difficult, disturbing subjects. It involves incest, pedophilia, and domestic/child abuse, depressive states that lead to suicide attempts, and the list go on and on. But Mr. Yates, that have amazed me with his debut Leave Myself Behind once again proved that BOY, he can woven those words and writes something that actually readable for such dark subjects. The story grips you from the get go and you can't help sympathize with brothers despite everyth...more
Kassa
"Sometimes you hurt people for no reason. Just because you can."

The Brothers Bishop is an intense, masterfully written and stunning tale of relationships. The issues tackled are dark, powerful, and very effecting as the story shows the intricate and complicated relationship between two brothers, shaped by an abusive, depressed father. The writing is incredible and really draws the reader into the emotion and drama of the characters. Although the subject matter is intense and heavy, the riveting...more
Mark
This was a very difficult book to read not because of its writing but its subject. Two brothers, one in his late 20's and the other in his very early 30's come together over a summer break when the younger brother, Tommy, comes to stay with three friends, a married couple and his boyfriend. As the story unfolds it becomes clear that both brothers are gay but whilst Tommy is, for want of a better word, a total slut who picks up and discards partners every couple of weeks (the old, 'I have yoghurt...more
Brandon Witt
As stated in some of my other reviews, I have been greatly disappointed in the choice of quality gay literature and the talent of gay authors that we have to choose from to date. I was pleasantly surprised by Bart Yates. In all actuality, I give his writing style and ability five stars. He is clever, intelligent, witty, sarcastic--a master story teller. There is only one flaw in this book (and in some ways it is a strength). Albeit unfair, I judge gay books by a higher standard than I do the mor...more
Jon
From the online promos..."Tommy and Nathan Bishop are as different as two brothers can be. Carefree and careless, Tommy is the golden boy who takes men into his bed with a seductive smile and turns them out just as quickly. No one can resist him—and no one can control him, either. That salient point certainly isn’t lost on his brother. Nathan is all about control. At thirty-one, he is as dark and complicated as Tommy is light and easy, and he is bitter beyond his years. While Tommy left for the...more
Loren Olson
Dec 15, 2010 Loren Olson rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Loren by: Adults
Nathan, the narrator of this novel said, "A psychiatrist would have a field day with me." This psychiatrist certainly did. But each of the characters could have become an interesting case study.

To be sure, this book deals with some very difficult subjects. To get a little picky, several of the reviews have commented on the issue of pedophilia. Pedophilia, technically speaking is something different; it is a sexual relationship of an adult in which the OBLIGATORY partner is a pre-pubescent child....more
Ted
Mar 13, 2009 Ted rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 18 and up
Shelves: gay-fiction
Wow. There are a lot of things going on in this novel, but it's never confusing. I couldn't put it down. No emotion is spared, be it love, hate, guilt, lust, or depression. It touches on sensitive issues but in an unsentimental and un-creepy way. Tears and laughter in beautiful, economically-written prose. The dialog is youthful, straightforward, and salty. As much as the principal characters are gay or gay-freindly, this isn't about the sex (of which there's plenty) -- it's mainly about the lov...more
Edina Rose
I read Leave Myself Behind some time ago, written by the same author. It was gentle, beautiful, romantic. So I was not expecting the darkness of this book, The Brothers Bishop. I loved it though, loved it to bits.

It's about two brothers, Nathan and Tommy, whose family was broken a long time ago. Mum dies, dad becomes abusive. They have stuck to each other like glue in order to bear the hardship of their childhood. Maybe they stuck a bit too close and crossed a line.

Fast forward many years, now...more
Veronica / V
Sep 01, 2012 Veronica / V marked it as sorry-not-for-me  ·  review of another edition
Incest, paedophilia, child abuse, suicide,isn't a romance and that there is no HEA at the end.

Well, for sure I will keep away from this "charming" story.
Quinn
Well thank you very much Mr. Yates! I started this book at @ 6:00 p m and ended up being so enthralled with the character of Nathan that I finished it at 3:00 a m. Now I'm freakin zoned. If I had read any of the reviews for this book I would not have read it. Not because I'm so prudish but because I would have decided it was either most likely preposterous or really badly written. Neither of these two criticisms could I level at this book. As I mentioned in an initial progress review after stari...more
Carol
The book included incest, suicide, child abuse, gay sex, liars, cheaters, pouters, criers -- and kitchen sink full of clichés.

Nathan is the "responsible gay son" who has stayed in the town where he grew-up, unhappily teaching school and living a lonely sexless life. Tommy, his brother, has escaped to New York City. He is the beautiful sex-crazed young man for whom everything comes easily. His boyfriend of the moment, Phillip, is a rather dim character who never makes much of an impression. Joini...more
Leah
Suppress your suppositions. Ignore the reviews for this book and read it for yourself. From one reader to another I promise you a thought-provoking, sometimes predictable but at other times an incalculable ride that is skillfully told. I hesitate to categorize it as a romance; in the traditional sense it isn't. But the Brothers Bishop IS about love and I suspect Yates' goal is to make the reader ponder that. Disturbing but riveting read!
Rachel Lindan
I read 'The Brothers Bishop' on the strength of Yates' first book, 'Leave Myself Behind', but have been left disappointed and unsettled. The story itself is predictable and poorly-told, full of clunky turns of phrase and cringe-inducing shock tactics - I presumed Yates would be able to handle taboo sujects well, alas, it seems I was very wrong. The strong and capable characterisation of 'Leave Myself Behind' is wholly lacking from 'The Brothers Bishop', with the central men coming across as sket...more
Lulu
Thought update (current re-read):
Looked-up legal age in CT for consensual sex (I’m in CA); it is 16 (Simon is 15), but can be as low as 13 if only 3 year difference (Tommy clocks-in at 29). Laws are same for same-sex. Obvious Yates is exploring black-and-white law (1 more year for Simon = no problem for Tommy) vs. actual consent (enter: Gray-Zone).

Original Review:
This book has been on my mind the last few days. I wasn’t sure I wanted to review it; obviously I loved it, but sometimes when a book...more
Kyle Miller
Too many spoilers not to ruin the book 4 U!

This book is a beautiful tragedy. This author has painted a wonderful lolita-like portrait of people in such a honest, unforgiving light that even though some of the characters suck ass, I love them because I can see them as a real truth and not simply a well presented lie.

I read way too many reviews of this book before I purchased it last night. I already knew about Tommy and Simon and Tommy and Nathan for that matter. And I pretty much surmised Tommy...more
Evan
Read during the Great Blackout of Aught-Eight...

The titular brothers Bishop--Tommy and Nathan--have (somewhat) gotten use to life apart from each other. When a beach vacation brings them together, along with Tommy's newest boyfriend and a straight couple, all hell breaks loose. Mix in one of Nathan's summer school students and an impromptu archaeological dig next door and this book has several explosive plots running at once. However, Yates overcomes the cliched situation in which all the main c...more
Kira
I read this during one of my insomnia-nights and have been thinking on a rating and a review for about an hour now...

What I liked: the love between the brothers, the faulty beings everyone was, the setting, the secrets, the grit, the humor, the at times lovely and poetic writing

What I didn't like: the excavation-plotline that was completely unnecessary from my POV, the ending (I was waiting for a different non-HEA), the fact that I felt much less for the characters than I thought I would

The ince...more
Adam
Nathan and Tommy Bishop, brothers... lost their mother at a young age, raised by their father. After their father dies (also at a fairly young age), they're trying to come to terms with their family situation.
Nathan is a freshman high school English teacher in the small vacation village, Walcott, where they grew up. His brother, Tommy, in from NYC, brings his bf, Phillip, and his married friends Camille and Kyle along for a couple weeks vacation here.
Simon Hart, Nathan's student, forms a uniqu...more
Jean Marie Angelo
Bart Yates gives us superb writing in The Brothers Bishop. Two gay brothers survive abusive childhoods in a small Connecticut town and then deal with the fallout as adults. All major themes are covered here: incest, suicide, grief, lust, love, and coming out. Still, there are wry observations and funny one-liners. Yates travels back in time to tell parts of the story, yet his narrative is always clear. The characters are well drawn. Given the gravity of subject matter, it would seem this would b...more
Tom Randall
I will NEVER forget this book. It deals with 2 subjects that I had never read about.... and having to deal with them both in a single book..... what can I say... read it!
Logan
really good book with a story that was geniune...some people just have a way of making you feel the characters they are writing about...I recommend it!
Elith
I don't even know where to begin - wow - a beautifully written story.

I felt like I was watching a movie, it flowed so smoothly and I don't think anyone who hasn't read the book would understand how difficult this must have been to write this and have it flow so....well it appeared effortlessly.

I mean there was soooo much going on and sometimes the under current rose to the top and began to be the main wave then a hidden tow would creep up and become the main current.... it was a very interesti...more
Sala Bim
Just to be clear, my rating has nothing to do with the incest theme, nor those of pedophilia, suicide, or abuse.
Curtis
When Nathan Bishop's brother Tommy informs him at the last minute that he's coming to visit for the weekend with some friends from the city, Nathan can't help but groan and roll his eyes. But even though he knows it won't be all fun and games, he's hardly prepared for everything that the weekend will bring - not only in terms of confronting his past (and his brother's) but also for their present and their future.

There's a lot in this book that pushes boundaries and it's nothing if it's not an em...more
Ran
Intriguing, maddening, painful, sinful yet beautiful in its own way, and tragic... I just can't clearly put to words my jumbled emotions about this book right now and I doubt I'll even try to make a better review (if you wanna call it that way) than this.

What is love if it isn't unusual, unconventional and unchaste?

I love this book. Nathan and his love, tho twisted and taboo, made my heart wrenched in so many emotions; rage, incredulity, curiosity, happiness, warmth...so much warmth and pain....more
Anne-Marie
This was a good but not easy read.

The story deals with several controversial topics such as incest and paedophilia. Perhaps it is because it doesn't judge but leaves the reader to judge for themselves that it was a story I wanted to keep reading even though it made me uncomfortable and upset at times.

The story is about the brothers Tommy and Nathan Bishop, but is told solely from Nathan's point of view. Nathan is the older brother who continues to live in their parental home after the demise of...more
R.S.T.
Nov 25, 2012 R.S.T. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: m-m
Definitely one of the better books I've read. This is told in first person, and usually I don't like that, but this is done very well. In fact, it being told in first person is very important and makes it quite interesting. The best part of this book is the conveying of emotions that invokes the emotions in readers. There's anger, love, sadness, hate. By the end of the book, I was quite stunned. This book isn't anything light, quite dark and carries heavier subjects. You get to know the characte...more
Sidney
There are books that I dislike, finding them annoying because they are incompetently written and a trivial waste of time. Then there are books that I hate - they get to me because they might be very well written, but for some reason or another are insufferable and push my buttons. I hated this book. Passionately. Thing is, I started out liking it for about the first three chapters; it was a welcome relief from a slew of titles which were not much more than gay male pornography in the guise of M/...more
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Bart Yates lives in Iowa City, Iowa, where he works as a freelance musician and teacher. He has a master's degree from Boston University, and he plays clarinet in a jazz duo, Nica's Dream.
More about Bart Yates...
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“It seems to be that loneliness is a small price to pay for peace and quiet.” 13 likes
“With Tommy, gift-giving is an art form. Whatever he bestows on you is more likely than not going to be something absurd and cheap and tacky, but the way he offers it always makes you feel as if you were receiving an oblation. I don’t know how he does it. It’s a bizarre kind of magic; he somehow makes you believe that the useless thing in his outstretched hands is actually a chunk of his heart that he’s torn out, just for you. He holds it up for your inspection, and it glows between his fingers like a candle in a cave. And as if that weren’t enough, he makes it absolutely clear that he doesn’t want anything in return, not even your gratitude, so all you can do is stand there with a stupefied look on your face and humbly accept what he’s vouchsafing you.” 2 likes
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