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The Brothers Bishop

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  1,189 Ratings  ·  144 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
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 28th 2005 by Kensington
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Apr 01, 2008 James rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
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
K.Z. Snow
Jun 13, 2011 K.Z. Snow rated it it was amazing
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...
Nov 23, 2008 Ami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-fiction
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
Brandon Witt
Sep 27, 2011 Brandon Witt rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 23, 2010 Kassa rated it it was amazing
"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
Nov 06, 2011 Mark rated it liked it
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

Love doesn’t "grow." It doesn’t wait for you to discover it, it doesn’t fall like a gentle rain from the sky, it doesn’t tiptoe into your heart like a happy little bunny, and it doesn’t have a fucking thing to do with familiarity. Love is neither patient nor kind.
Love attacks. It sneaks up like a pride of lions or a pack of hyenas and eats your heart out while you watch. Love is the bully on the playground who takes your lunch money and gives you a black eye in return, the arsonist who burns y
Sep 07, 2014 vLadimiR rated it really liked it
This is one of the most compelling (view spoiler) stories I've ever read. Although the story shifts between past and present, the author wrote it cohesively enough to avoid being confusing.

The writing itself draws you in and the main character's Tommy and Nathan were so broken that you'd feel for each of them. Even though both men were subjected to their father's abusive tendencies at a young age, it was Nathan who couldn't let go of his hatred even into adulthood.

I w
Feb 12, 2010 Jon added it
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
Dec 04, 2008 Ted rated it it was amazing
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
Louis Stevens
Feb 19, 2014 Louis Stevens rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Apr 22, 2014 Carol rated it it was ok
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
Loren Olson
Dec 15, 2010 Loren Olson rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 03, 2013 Adam rated it it was amazing
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
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!
Joshy Sensei
Apr 17, 2015 Joshy Sensei rated it really liked it
Oh god. That was so powerful. Im still shaking. I cant believe it.
Aug 14, 2011 V marked it as no-for-me-abused-angst-or-too-long  ·  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.
Apr 14, 2013 Quinn rated it it was amazing
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
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, much warmth and pain.
Sep 23, 2013 Dawn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt
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 affects me so much, I don’t want to leave my feelings open for examination. A warning for the faint of heart: try to remember that no actual people were harmed in the making of this book (although it’s hard at times because the character building is so good). This book deals with many topics that are not for the moralistically sensitive (such as incest, teacher-st ...more
Erica Chilson
I have no way to review this book. The voice of the narrator instantly trapped me until the final word. I began knowing (guessing) the outcome, not knowing the journey there. Thankfully, I was numbed. I was proud for keeping my composure. I made it to 99%... & one sentence out of Simon's mouth released the torrent.

Dark. Surprisingly true-to-life. The Brothers Bishop read like a memoir. Taboo subject matter that is very raw with reality. Most readers won't be able to relate. But I felt conne
Kyle Miller
Dec 03, 2013 Kyle Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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

Now and then, I come across a book that I blindly love but can never, ever read again for fear of losing that magic. This is one of those rare gems.


The Brothers Bishop is not an easy read. The content is light years away from sweet or romantic or anything of the sort. The POV character is fucked up and kind of an ass. There are mentions of child abuse, both physical and emotional, that made me want to rip out the throats of fictional characters. But everything is so brutally honest and pai

Jean Marie Angelo
May 13, 2014 Jean Marie Angelo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
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
Wendell Hennan
Aug 28, 2014 Wendell Hennan rated it really liked it
Having post death issues with my own father, the story held me an unwilling captive as it dealt with acceptance and forgiveness, albeit much too late for anyone by Nathan. A twisted family history, made more so by the sexuality of Nathan and Tommy and their years of incestuous physical love for each other, having no other source of love of any kind in their lives. Dark and tragic, but impossible to put down.
Oct 25, 2013 Byron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m-read
This was not light and fluffy, even though it sort of is my main fodder for reading.

This is a very human story and could quite easily be the family you know or people you know.
Tom Randall
Apr 07, 2010 Tom Randall rated it it was amazing
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!
May 21, 2017 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: (7) #466\;77
I am not sure really what to say about this book.
Its certainly well written and not afraid to cover some taboo subjects.
I am really not sure if I liked Nathan and I am not sure why. There was lots going on in the book. Lots of secondary characters. If I am honest, I didn't really get the point of digging in the cornfield.
Sad at the end, not expecting that ending.
Something to think about.
Sep 24, 2013 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
Shelves: glbt
(Great. My computer is broken. Typing this just got super fun...)

Incest. Pedophilia. Homosexuality. Death. Child abuse...

I'm just laying it all out there for you. This one is NOT a walk in the park, and you need to have a high tolerance for the offensive. All that said and done, this was raw human emotion and wording at its finest. The subject matter in this book is about as forbidden as forbidden gets, but it does not romanticize it at all. It's honest, real, and not pretty in the slightest.

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Author also writes as Noah Bly

The youngest of three brothers, Bart Yates was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1962,
to Newell and Lois Yates. In 1969 his family moved to Lamoni, Iowa, where his father
was the Dean of Students at Graceland College and his mother taught business courses, also at Graceland. Bart graduated from Lamoni High School in 1981, Drake University in 1985 (with a Bachelor of Music
More about Bart Yates...

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“It seems to be that loneliness is a small price to pay for peace and quiet.” 16 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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