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One Brother Shy

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  882 ratings  ·  186 reviews
From the two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and author of The Best Laid Plans, comes a new story about a man tormented by an event from his youth, and the journey he finds himself on to heal and to learn who he is.

Few people know the real Alex MacAskill. Most of the world sees a painfully and chronically shy software engineer in his mid-20s, soft-spok
Paperback, 432 pages
Published May 30th 2017 by McClelland & Stewart
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  882 ratings  ·  186 reviews

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Barth Siemens
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canada, humor, audiobook
I will admit that 5 stars was sort of a foregone conclusion, after this: 1) I listened to the first eight chapters by podcast, 2) found out that Terry Fallis was doing a pre-launch tour, travelled 7 hours to buy the book, and read the remainder on the way home.

It was worth every minute.

Funny, poignant, heart-mending story telling.
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
This book is filled with mystery, humour and heart. Canadian author, Terry Fallis, has written an enjoyable story about Alex MacAskill, a man who tries to piece together a mystery about his family and find himself in the process.

Fallis takes his readers on a journey to various cities (Ottawa, London, Moscow, New York) and touches on several deeper issues (bullying, loss, family bonds, long-lasting effects of humiliation ...). These issues are told with Fallis' signature humour, wit and his abil
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed The Best Laid Plans for which Terry Fallis was awarded the Stephen Leacock Medal of Humour, and was chosen by CBC as the essential read of the decade. I also liked The High Road.
Alex MacAskill is a 25 year old software developer who is perfecting a facial recognition app. He is extremely introverted, averts his eyes when it is necessary to speak to someone, and lacks friends. He avoids talking to people, and we are shown his thoughts, often quite different than his words wh
Catherine Coles
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fun, plot-driven read that follows the physical and emotional journey of Alex MacAskill, a painfully shy software engineer from Kanata, Ontario. When his mother dies, Alex is thrown head first into a family mystery that will lead him to London, Moscow and back to Ottawa to confront personal demons stemming from an incident during his teenage years. It has heaps of Canadiana plus a witty, underdog protagonist you want to root for – typical Terry Fallis fare.

one brother shy
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I began reading it within hours of its arrival, having trouble putting it aside when it was time to sleep. Mr. Fallis' extraordinary wit shines across the pages. The quirky but touching storyline continues to captivate my imagination. I highly recommend this novel, another winner for this wonderful author.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from Penguin Randomhouse Canada at my request in exchange for an honest review. I have read all of Terry Fallis’ previous books and my by-far the favorite is The Best Laid Plans so I was a little nervous about this book since I had specifically requested a copy for review purposes.

My fears were unfounded. My favorite book by the author remains The Best Laid Plans but this comes a very close second.

The book begins with the reader being introduced to Alex MacAskill a
Patricia Filteau
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One Brother Shy was a satisfying read, as has been my experience with all of Terry Fallis’ novels to date. I continue to marvel at how the author explores very serious subjects affecting primary relationships, social change, society and socio-political influences. I am glad he brought this novel home. Of course, that he continues to write about what he knows, gives the reader the sense of credence and authenticity, I for one enjoy. His writing is flawless – exacting, error free, perfection – mak ...more
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved The Best Laid Plans, The High Road and Up and Down by Fallis, but wasn't as crazy about No Relation or Poles Apart so I didn't know what to expect with One Brother Shy. To my delight, I found this book fell in line with his earlier novels and I had a hard time putting it down.

Alex MacAskill, a software engineer, is an outwardly shy guy with a wicked internal sense of wit and humour. Traumatized as a teenager by an incident referred to only as "Gabriel," he only shares that ins
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I think it might be time for me to stop reading Terry Fallis books. I enjoyed my first two reads of his... but haven’t really enjoyed one since. I want to because the setting is familiar, the humour is in it, the characters are likeable. But I get bored along the way.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this ARC from Penguin Random House. This is the first book from Terry Fallis that I have read but it definitely will not be my last! His writing kept me interested in the main characters and the story moving at just the right pace. I loved the sentence above each chapter that referenced the main character Alex's previous past, it was a cleaver way of keeping you guessing. I would highly recommend this book to everyone!
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great one!

Reading this reminded me how much I always enjoy reading a Terry Fallis novel. Strongly recommended for those who enjoy the lighter side of life.
Jul 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Maybe more of a 2.5. This was the weakest of the 3 books I have read by this author. It was a really cute story idea and I enjoyed all the internal dialogue of the main character, especially in the beginning of the book. But it was all just too simple for my taste. The writing was simple, and it wrapped up all too simply. I also found parts of it implausible. Those who are already big fans of Terry Fallis or who are looking for a fun, easy and entertaining summer read will probably enjoy this ve ...more
May 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
The story was fun and intriguing, but I wasn’t in to the writing style at all. It felt dry, and the dialogue seemed forced and fake. I found the main character’s internal dialogue a bit trying...
And I clearly don’t get Terry Fallis’s sense of humor. I think maybe it was supposed to be funny, but I’m still not sure.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, canadian, angus
I stayed up until 1:30 am to finish it. It was that good!
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Terry Fallis never fails to bring a smile to my face while reading one of his novels.

This one, too, delights with his original brand of Canadian humour, while it also takes on more serious issues.

Alex MacAskill keeps his head down and avoids eye contact. He tries to hide behind long hair and baseball caps. He has a reason, though. A good one. But when his mother leaves him a mystery, he must move out of his comfort zone and confront his new future.

I found the story started slowly, but built well
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had trouble putting this book down when I had to sleep, or work!!

Alex has a job and cares for his ill mother in their apartment in Ottawa, Canada. Alex has never known his father. Just before his mother dies, she tells him that she wants to talk to him but is too tired and will do it in the morning. Alex finds her dead in the morning.

He goes about doing all the things necessary when a person passes, and this is according to the list that the two of them had made so he would know what to do. In
Elen Ghulam
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Fun fast read.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I really have liked all of Terry Falllis' novels that I have read since I first saw The Best Laid Plans on CBC. And there are aspects of One Brother Shy that I liked too. However, I had three problems with this book that coloured my reaction to it. The major problem is the whole Gabriel plotline that hangs over the book like a huge mystery. However, I had figured out what it was very early on, even though I didn't know how it had happened. My second problem is less bothersome, but in the final t ...more
Gus Vassiliou
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Only the details regarding a traumatic incident from Alex’s past did not really work well for me. The rest of the story is very entertaining.
Bessie Sullivan
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Terry Fallis delivers again.
Caroline Wilson
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyable
Lori Matheson
Dec 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Tough to rate this one. I really enjoyed it so in a way a 3 star rating feels unfair. But it was a bit too Canadian. Not that there is anything wrong with being Canadian but I can’t see it appealing to non-Canadians. I also currently work in a software development world so some of that humour was likely funnier to me than it would be otherwise. Anyway a fun read for me at least.
Sue Smith
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a fun read! Terry Fallis has great characters that you really get in step with quickly. (view spoiler)

Teresa Reid
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review to follow, but I'll just say that I continue to love Fallis's work.
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This didn’t disappoint. A rather amusing story allowing an interesting glimpse into the world of identical twins, of which the author is himself.
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am loving it!
John Anderson
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fallis finally finds a new plotline! After five books that are essentially the same story with different characters, Fallis gives us a new and funny story. It veers slightly off the rails into his old plot in chapter 13, but otherwise it's a funny, entertaining and easy read. Well worth your time if you want little light and funny reading.
Barbara Densmore
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Damn you, Terry Fallis...why don't I just book time off when your new books come out? I gobbled this one up in 2 nites. Sassy, smart and fun. Well done!
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another engaging and fantastic story from Terry Fallis. I didn’t expect to read this book as quickly as I did. It’s a testament to the characters that Terry creates and the manner that he engages them with the reader. My mom turned me onto his writing with his first novel, saying simply “I bought you this book. I really think you’ll like it”. She wasn’t wrong.
Alexander Kosoris
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, pop-fiction
One Brother Shy is narrated by Alex MacAskill, an Ottawa developer working on the latest and greatest face-recognition software. He takes care of his ailing mother and, because of a mysterious, traumatic event in his past, he suffers from an almost debilitating shyness, so bad he can barely look coworkers in the eye when he engages in bare-minimum social interaction with them. In settling his mother’s affairs and sorting through her possessions after her passing, Alex finds a photo of a man hold ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Brantford Public ...: The Ending 1 18 Aug 30, 2017 07:23AM  
Brantford Public ...: Gabriel 2 19 Aug 26, 2017 08:07AM  
Brantford Public ...: One Brother Shy and Other Books by Terry Fallis 5 25 Aug 26, 2017 08:07AM  
Brantford Public ...: Alex Goes to London 2 11 Aug 11, 2017 07:39PM  
Brantford Public ...: End-of-Life Care 2 10 Aug 01, 2017 02:51PM  
Brantford Public ...: Workplace Relationships and Environments 3 13 Jul 22, 2017 06:55AM  
Brantford Public ...: Meet Alex MacAskill 3 10 Jul 18, 2017 10:34AM  
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Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of six national bestsellers, including his latest, One Brother Shy, all published by McClelland & Stewart (Penguin Random House). His debut novel, The Best Laid Plans, won the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and was crowned the 2011 winner of CBC Canada Reads as the "essential Canadian novel of the decade." In January 2014, CBC aired a six-part te ...more