Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Whiskey & Charlie” as Want to Read:
Whiskey & Charlie
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Excerpt* *Different edition

Whiskey & Charlie

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  5,461 ratings  ·  639 reviews
Whiskey & Charlie is a captivating debut novel of brothers who have drifted apart and the accident that will determine their future, by an unforgettable new voice exploring the struggles and strengths of the sibling bond.

Some twins communicate in a secret language all their own. For Whiskey and Charlie Ferns, the two-way alphabet (alpha, bravo, charlie, delta) whispered ba
Paperback, US, 328 pages
Published April 1st 2015 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published November 1st 2012)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,461 ratings  ·  639 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Whiskey & Charlie
Annabel Smith
Nov 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Recommended to Annabel by: myself
Well I wrote this book so I'm not exactly a neutral party but for what it's worth, I'm very fond of it!
Angela M
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it

This is a story about twin brothers who were close as young boys and then gradually grew apart as they became teenagers and then became estranged as adults . However , it's about more than sibling rivalry . It about jealousy, mistaken perceptions and how these things can come to shape you as an adult .

The story opens with Whiskey in a coma after an accident and Charlie pondering the fact that if his brother dies , he wouldn't have any idea about what songs his brother might have liked played at
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“Mum used to say we were the same soul split in two and walking around on four legs. It seems unnatural being born together and then dying apart.”

----Melodie Ramone

Annabel Smith, an English writer, has penned a terrific novel, Whiskey and Charlie , that traces the life story of two identical twin brothers who were initially close and were thick as thieves, but gradually as they grew up, their strong bond of brotherhood tore apart until the day came when they couldn't stand each other. Initial
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

First published in Australia as 'Whisky, Charlie, Foxtrot' in 2012, Whiskey and Charlie is a moving and poignant novel, the story of identical twin brothers, Charlie and William (aka Whiskey) Ferns. Inseparable as children, rivals as teenagers and estranged as adults, their relationship is unresolved when William is badly injured in a freak accident. As Whiskey lies comatose, Charlie struggles to deal with all the things that remain unsaid between them.

"He must not die.He must not die because he
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: c21st, australia, 12review
I’m not sure about the choice of cover art for Annabel Smith’s superb new novel: it doesn’t seem quite apt to me. Whisky Charlie Foxtrot is a wise and compassionate exploration of sibling rivalry and the damage it can do, and while there are comic elements in the novel, it takes the reader on an emotional roller-coaster ride that brought me to the brink of tears at times.

Charlie and ‘Whisky’ are identical twins, but we never learn Whisky’s point-of-view because he’s in a coma after a freak accid
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book! Well-drawn down-to-earth characters who are totally relatable. I loved the personal and interpersonal turmoil Charlie experienced, so real and believable! This book will stick in my mind for quite a while, I’m sure!
Julianne Negri
Whisky Charlie Foxtrot, by Annabel Smith is a novel about identical twins Charlie and William Ferns. Significantly, the unfolding tale is built around a chapter structure that follows the phonetic alphabet- alpha bravo Charlie delta echo etc - a code the boys used with their walkie talkies when they were 9 years old and the origin of William’s nickname, “Whisky”. The chapters are essentially vignettes from Charlie’s point of view, from childhood to adulthood, from the UK to Australia. Interspers ...more
Aug 04, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars: “Whiskey & Charlie” is an interesting story about identical twins and sibling rivalry. Whiskey was born first, which matters to those twins! Being two minutes older establishes birth order. Whiskey has always been more social, while Charlie is reticent and careful. This is a story of the brothers’ lives as perceived by Charlie.

Author Annabel Smith uses an interesting technique in heading her chapters based upon the radio alphabet: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo etc. It’s clever i
Jenny Schwartz
Whisky Charlie Foxtrot is a love story, beautifully written and elegantly crafted. It made me cry. Charlie is a wonderful, vulnerable, flawed character. He is a hero on a journey, travelling both forward and backward as his brother lies in a coma.

Comas seem such a cliched soap opera device, but Annabel Smith uses the dramatic halt of Whisky's coma as an effective balance to Charlie's emotional journey. The turmoil has a still point.

The characters are well developed, each with their own motivatio
Natasha Lester
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I love it when an author pulls off a trick that really shouldn't work. Who would think of writing a novel that is structured around the phonetic alphabet? And, more importantly, who would think that it could work? In this book, it does. What's more, the structure adds to the story - it allows the author to provide us with small moments or vignettes that stand in for larger pieces of the story, or for significant revelations about the characters' motivations. The brothers' relationship is delicat ...more
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit
What first felt like something light, comparable to a Nick Hornby perhaps, morphs in to something more as Annabel Smith brings to life a weak, confused, scared, and extremely human protagonist that won't be easy for everyone to witness. There's so much of the everyday man on the street in Charlie's flaws and his inability to communicate that it might make for difficult reading for some - the acknowledgements refer to one early reader asking why he is such a dick for example - and perhaps we're s ...more
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Whiskey and Charlie was highly recommended to me by a friend. This book will not disappoint any reader. It is a well written novel about relationships, love, loss, searching for self and so many more issues. 5 stars for this emotional, thought provoking novel. Do not take today for granted!
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book.
It was well written and face paced without being confusing and/or all over the place as with some non linear books.
I enjoyed reading this book and couldn't stop turning the pages to see what came next. Annabel Smith manages to tackle difficult subjects and situations realistically and emotionally, creating characters that I both loved and hated all at the same time.

Charlie, Whisky, Foxtrot made me feel every emotion from Alpha to Zulu. It made me angry, sad, frustr
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
You know what? I really liked this book! Didn’t think I would, was wrong. The author uses the phonetic alphabet as a means to divide the chapters, and while gimmicks usually turn me off, in this case they worked out pretty well, from Alpha to Zulu. The story delves into sibling rivalry, envy, regret, dealing with tragedy and grief, and destroying/rebuilding relationships. Identical twin brothers are at the heart of the story, one comatose, the other regretful for their long-term estrangement. I ...more
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charlie and Whisky are twins. Inseparable as young children, they grow further apart as they get older. Their relationship has its natural ebbs and flows, but eventually they find themselves estranged. It is at this point that Whisky is hit by a car. Charlie is forced to work through his feelings as his brother lies in a coma, and it is this journey that forms the heart of the novel.

I loved this book. I have imposed a rule on myself that I am only allowed to have 12 books on my Favorites shelf a
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently finished Annabel Smith‘s second novel, Whisky Charlie Foxtrot (Fremantle Press 2012). It is the story of two boys, identical twins, Charlie and Whisky, who have become estranged over the years. When Charlie gets the call that Whisky has had an accident and is in a coma, he realises he doesn’t want his brother to die.

The reader is led by Charlie through the tales of their childhood in England, and their adolescence and adulthood in Australia. It is told as flashbacks during Whisky’s co
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book very involving and difficult to put down. The story is about twins who are forced to explore their relationship when one of them is comatose after an accident. The emotions in their own relationship are intertwined with others within their family. The book is cleverly written with 26 chapters, each with a theme of the corresponding letter of the phonetic alphabet; a pattern that reveals the principal of the plot. Another great Aussie book!
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You really ache for the characters in this book, which centres on a 30+ man, Charlie, and opens with his twin brother, Whisky, in a coma. Their vexed relationship lies at the core of the story, which involves just a handful of key characters. You feel for them all, flawed as they are, especially when conflicts assail them. Is there redemption, and for whom? Read it and see. The novel is beautifully written in a plain, almost conversational style. This is a story that will linger with you.
Jeniece Goellner
A wonderful book about twin boys who had drifted apart over years. But an accident bring them and their families back together again. The author used the phonetic alphabet not only as chapter titles, but as a device to drive the story. I enjoyed this, always wondering how the word would fit into the story. With characters that you care for and want to go on a journey with, Whiskey & Charlie ended up being a delightful read that I am sure to reread many times over the years. ...more
Jodie How
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastic book! There are many from this genre (realism) that I've not enjoyed at all but this was brilliant! I love its sincerity and poignancy, it's depth of emotion and well-rounded plot. Well done Annabel, a great read! A book I couldn't get my nose out of!
Kirsten Krauth
This review and interview come to you courtesy of Wild Colonial Girl blog:

Novelist Annabel Smith is a writer who kind of slipped by me. I’m not sure how this happened (but she has blogged extensively on it).

I read her first novel A New Map of the Universe earlier this year as if I was in a fever. The language is at times extraordinary. The opening scene where the lovers trace maps of stars on each other’s bodies is *sigh* so erotic, in the best shape of th
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is another of those books that I'd give more than five stars to if I could. And another book that I almost stopped reading...and then it grabbed me and I couldn't put it down until I was finished!!
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review was first posted on Music, Books and Tea

Whisky Charlie Foxtrot drew me in right from the very beginning. I read this book in two sittings and loved every second of it. Family feuds are a topic that I’m very familiar with, unfortunately, and this book really hit home with me. Annabel Smith managed to tackle this subject realistically and emotionally, creating characters that I both loved and disliked all at the same time.

I spent the first half of this book feeling very sorry for Charl
Wendy F
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
When I picked Whiskey & Charlie to read and review I didn’t realize that it was a book that was originally released in Australia. The synopsis alone made me pause and take a second look before snatching it up. If I had known it was an Australian book I wouldn’t have even had to pause. I don’t know what it is about authors from Australia… or what it is about me, I should say, that I fell so in love with the writing style.

There are some things in life we never feel ready for, that it’s only by
Suzanne Crane
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is outstanding. The characters are compelling, relatable and lovable despite their sizable flaws, The writing is easy to follow, yet I found myself indulging on an extremely well written phrase now and again. The story is at times funny and tragic; we get to spend time with this moderately dysfunctional family while they move through considerable grief in a way that is raw and painful, which provides the context and perspective we need to celebrate the little things with them. It slowl ...more
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

Whiskey and Charlie by Annabel Smith is a bittersweet novel of redemption that is sure to resonate with anyone who has experienced strained family relationships. It is an introspective and sometimes heartbreaking story of twin brothers, Whiskey and Charlie, who have drifted apart over the years. When Whiskey is severely injured in an accident, Charlie faces some very hard truths as he waits for Whiskey to emerge from his coma. Grief stricken at the thought that he might never reconcile
Heather L
This is between 3 to 4 stars. So let's just meet in the middle: 3.5. This was a touching book. Good writing, good character development. There were times I felt irritated, bored, angry and disappointed. Then the moments of happiness, charm, and love leapt off the pages and my image of the story was redeemed. But some things remain unanswered. So I'm left a little lost. Without those satisfying parts and no stone unturned, I'm compelled to rate it lower than I imagined I would.

Charlie at first se
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I'm going to be recommending this one to anyone who is looking for a book to discuss at their book club this month.

Charlie Ferns and his twin brother Whisky (William) have been through a lot together. They've grown up as two sides of the same coin- but in Charlie's eyes Whisky has always been the twin who has been better off. Older, taller, cooler, Whisky is both the object of Charlie's admiration and his scorn. And as Whisky spends the better part of the novel in a coma, Charlie's world
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Annabel Smith explores sibling rivalry and jealousy and other family dynamics in Whiskey and Charlie. I was concerned that her choice to frame the novel around the phonetic alphabet (alpha, bravo, charlie, delta, etc) as chapter titles might become contrived. But, on the contrary, I found myself looking forward to how she would incorporate the next word into the developing story and felt the technique underscored the closeness of the two twin brothers when they were young and inseparable and use ...more
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I did this book a disservice. I kept misplacing it, setting it aside for something else, putting it off until I read something on a "deadline." But, as I do, I finally committed myself to read the darn thing. I was well into it--well!--when I realized what I was reading: an emotional tale of communication, or the heart-gripping lack of it. Then I couldn't let go. I try to act like I have it together but too often I recognized myself in these characters, especially Charlie. Charlie, who won't go ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Team Whisky or Team Charlie? 4 26 Jul 12, 2015 07:30AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Cat Kid Comic Club
  • Trust: America's Best Chance
  • The History of Mischief
  • The Vicar and the Rake (Society of Beasts #1)
  • The Promise of Stardust
  • Stuck
  • The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home
  • Combustion (Stargazer Ranch #0.5)
  • Welcome to the Jungle: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bipolar but Were Too Freaked Out to Ask
  • And Then There Were 9 (Agatha Christie Book Club #4)
  • The Decisions We Make
  • Shazam! (2018-) #15
  • Outside the Lines
  • Transit of Angels
  • Fated Goddess (Games of the Gods, #3)
  • Keeper of the Light
  • This is not your fault
  • Everyone’s Happy
See similar books…
Annabel Smith is the author of Whisky Charlie Foxtrot, and A New Map of the Universe, which was shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Book Awards.

She has been writer-in-residence at Katherine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre and the Fellowship of Australian Writers (WA), had short fiction and commentary published in Westerly and Southerly and holds a PhD in Writing from Edith Cowan University.

In 2012 s

News & Interviews

It’s October, which means it’s the perfect time to scare yourself with a truly unsettling book. But if you’re a casual reader of dread and...
207 likes · 63 comments
“I’ve got a theory,” Thomas says, “that there are some things in life we never feel ready for, that it’s only by doing them that we become ready.” 8 likes
“Warriors” 0 likes
More quotes…