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The Brothers Bishop

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  971 ratings  ·  118 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 July 1st 2005 by Kensington
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Maurice by E.M. ForsterBrokeback Mountain by Annie ProulxThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGiovanni's Room by James BaldwinTales of the City by Armistead Maupin
Best Gay Fiction
67th out of 1,146 books — 1,486 voters
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M/M Books With Potentially Outside Of Comfort Zone Themes
53rd out of 331 books — 386 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,906)
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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
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...
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

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
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
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
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
"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
Mar 22, 2013 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
Mar 13, 2009 Ted rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
Loren Olson
Dec 15, 2010 Loren Olson rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
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!
Veronica /  V
Aug 02, 2015 Veronica / V marked it as no-for-me-abused-or-dark  ·  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.
Joshy Sensei
Oh god. That was so powerful. Im still shaking. I cant believe it.
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.
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
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
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
Jun 22, 2015 Dawn rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
Wendell Hennan
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.
Britt Smith
Oh my god.

I started reading this at 10:30a at work because I had a slow day, and with working off/on, and going home and eating dinner and watching some TV, I had finished it by midnight.

This story was so well written, and all I can say is that the taboo theme of incest is woven into the personalities of each character so well that it's not hard to read. The times when there is sex, it's very tastefully done and you really have a sense of the good/bad behind each character. I really felt like e

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 painf

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
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!
Nathan are Tommy are brothers, but totally different, Tommy carefree and adored by all, while Nathan is the complete opposite; yet they are very close and dearly love one another, pulled close together by the belligerent and abusive behaviour of their father, and the tragic loss of their mother. They also share a dark secret that over shadows their lives.
Tommy visits his brother at the family cottage by the sea, where Nathan now lives alone. Accompanying Tommy are his current boyfriend Philip,
Anthony Salazar
From my experience in gay literature, I've come to realize that there are two types of gay lit: the type that screams gay (Maurice and The Absolutist) and the type that barely discusses sexuality (such as Death in Venice and Go Tell it on the Mountain). Without a doubt, this novel shouts gay. But it was interesting how Yates exemplifies the aspects of being gay through multiple characters in The Brothers Bishop. There's the guy who's afraid to pursue his sexuality, the kid who's yearning for acc ...more
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
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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 degree in Clarinet Performance
More about Bart Yates...
Leave Myself Behind The Distance Between Us

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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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