Patrick Brown's Reviews > The Brothers K

The Brothers K by David James Duncan
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Mar 18, 08

Recommended to Patrick by: Robert Barnett Newman
Recommended for: Anybody looking for a good story, without any sort of postmodern shenanagans
Read in March, 2008

What a book. Here's another book with problems, sometimes big problems, involving voice and narrative perspective. And you know what? I didn't care a lick. It's a terrific read, just bravado storytelling. The term page-turner gets thrown around a lot, but this is the real thing, the genuine article.

This is the saga of the Chance family (see, Duncan lays it on pretty thick everywhere in this book, including the characters' last names), told in detail, from the narrator's earliest childhood memories of sitting on his father's lap while his father reads the sports section, into adulthood. The brothers in question here are Everett, Peter, Irwin, and Kincaid, and by the end of the book, I got to feeling like they were my brothers.

There are moments when the book gets a little corny. If there was even a hint of irony in it, I missed it. In fact, I'm tempted to say it's a melodrama. But the truth is that I haven't had this much fun reading a book in a long time, and that includes Tom Drury's The End of Vandalism, which I loved. I can't say that this big mess of a novel is for everyone. I know some people won't be able to get past the occasional technical issues and the sometimes cheesy tone, but those who can will find an amazing story waiting for them.

And I haven't read Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov, after which, I'm assuming, this book is fashioned (there are direct references to the Dostoevsky that I'm afraid went sailing right past me. I don't even know what the plot of that book is). So I'm thinking I may have to hunker down with that at some point this summer. But for now, I'm going to read some smaller books.

Thanks to Robert for giving me this terrific novel. I owe you another one.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Edan (new)

Edan This book made Patrick weep.


Patrick Brown Tough guys cry at the end of books, and so do I.


Dolors Just finished this masterpiece and I'm kind of wasted (and in awe that it isn't more popular!).
I cried too and laughed out loud more than twice (in a train actually, where some people stared at me and assumed, I guess, I was some sort of a loon).
Thanks for that review, great to put my touched soul into perspective!


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