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Brotherly Love

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  471 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Left an orphan when the car his father, a powerful Philly union boss, is driving careens out of control, Peter Flood tries to distance himself from the family business while his cousin, Michael, enters the world of crime. Reprint. NYT.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by Penguin Books (first published 1991)
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Deborah Sheldon
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know, I think I'm falling in love with Pete Dexter.
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a dark tale of two brothers (cousins, actually) who are born into Philadelphia mob life. One is reticent to participate in the lifestyle; the other relishes it. The story takes place over about 20 years, from the time when the boys are young until they've grown and have pretty much decided who they are going to be.

Dexter does a great job developing characters, as he did in Train. Though there's plenty of violence here, he's subtle and handles a complicated subject well. I thought the inc
Mar 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
The ironically named Brotherly Love is a cold, sparse and terrifying, an unrelenting plunge into a nightmare. There is Dexter’s scalpel sharp dissection of character and black humor along the way, but for the most part this the most relentless Dexter I have found yet. A tale of thirty or so years of two mob connected cousins in Philadelphia is told intimately, sparsely, and claustrophobic as opposed to sweeping. Brilliant narrative economy, dialogue, and character and I’m left with question of ...more
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would not normally be a fan of a book about boxers, but Dexter writes amazingly well, and drew me in despite my lack of interest in the subject. That said, I haven't felt the slightest desire to revisit it.
Alan Gerstle
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What is the theme of Brotherly Love. Read it and find out. However, you could read it and never find out. First, though, the book is brilliant; the author is able to mine the interstices of the cognitive life of its characters, and show how environment, experience, and subculture develops us, shapes us, inevitably determines to a very large degree, not just who we appear to be, but the thrust of our life through life. In this case, the violent world of some South Philadelphia union bosses and co ...more
Ana Esteban
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: anglosajona
Bien escrito. Duro pero sin recrearse en la sordidez. Pero un poco lento.
Sam Davison
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A violent, unsentimental book. I thought that the writing style was very unique, sometimes I had to read a sentence twice. This is not a negative criticism, I enjoyed this book immensely.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Dark, dark, dark. A look into the world of organized crime; and as always with Pete Dexter, great writing.
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
finished this one this afternoon, 415. great story. 4.5 stars. in a sense it was amazing. i think this is maybe #6 or 7 from dexter for me, the first, paris trout some years ago, spooner a year or three ago, also a great story, recommended. so many of his stories, maybe all of them, there's this sense of detachment, an aloofness i called it another 'review'. and this one is...a like-kind exchange...there is that detachment, a kind of alienation, and we're provided the reason for that early on an ...more
Jan 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Ik heb al sinds jaar en dag een zwak voor het werk van door-en-door Amerikaanse verhalenvertellers, of het nu gaat om de kortverhalen van Raymond Carver en John Cheever of romans van ronkende namen als John Irving (alhoewel, die Until I Find You was eigenlijk toch een tegenvaller), Philip Roth en Richard Ford. Pete Dexter, in 1988 nog winnaar van de National Book Award met Paris Trout, is er ook zo een. Brotherly Love is op geen enkel vlak écht opvallend of vernieuwend, maar dat hoeft ook niet. ...more
Dec 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, 2005
brotherly love is the second book i've read by pete dexter. i have to say, i like this guy. brotherly love took place in philadelphia, over a 20 or 30 year period. it followed this boy from his early childhood to his early twenties. he was part of a mob family, watched his sister and father die, watched his uncle (who took over the family when the dad died) die, and watch his cousin become a total asshole because of the mob connections. there were lots of scenes that took place in philly locales ...more
Chris Demer
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
A well-crafted novel that is probably based on several true events. Set in South Philadelphia in the 70s and 80s, the story recounts mob interactions (including murder) involving conflict between the Irish and Italians and the roofer's union pension funds. The story is told from the perspective of Peter Flood, whose sister is killed by a skidding car driven by the cop next door, initiating a chain reaction that leaves him essentially an orphan.
While Peter tries to stay clear of the "family" vio
Jul 23, 2008 rated it liked it
I think I liked P. Trout better although I haven't looked at that book in a long time. I remember Dexter creating better tension in Trout, which Brotherly should have had more of. Also, something nagged at me over and over throughout the story, and that was Dexter's overuse of pronouns. When he's talking to him, I had a couple of episodes of, "Who the f are you talking about with all these "he's" and "hims". Also I can't remember Dexter's earlier prose, but in "Brotherly", there's a lot of actio ...more
Feb 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
Haven't read Dexter since college but I remembered enjoying Paris Trout in an easy-breezy-entertaining sort of way. Somewhat true about Brotherly Love, which was as easy and breezy as they come. Dexter is skilled, no doubt. Many small scenes in a few good sentences burst brightly for the imagination. My only issue for the book was that it became too light and insubstantial as though it was written primarily to be a movie. I would later learn Dexter has been very busy as a screenwriter too. Maybe ...more
B George
What a dark yet satisfying novel. I found another favorite author. The characters are very well written and allow for their interaction in the story to forward their development rather than relying on the authors descriptions of them. The book was at times difficult to put down being as engrossing as it were. I look forward to reading everything else in the author's catalog. It is always a joy for me to find a book that has not just a great story but the writing is such that you don't care what ...more
May 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Another story taken from the corners of Philadelphia that Dexter was so good at shining the light into. This one, like God's Pocket, taken from headlines that tell a little bit more about your neighbors, than you think you want to know.
Hard-working constuction families, turning to, and then into, corrupt Union officials. Deals with all levels of policians, mobsters, and every level of the big city strata.. we know these people, sort of...
Not just a Dexter fan, but a fan of descriptive, evoca
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Ganz großer Roman von Pete Dexter. Ähnlich wie James Sallis beherrscht Dexter die Klaviatur der leisen Zwischentöne besonders virtuos und steuert seine Charaktere durch eine Sinfonie aus Schicksalsschlägen und falschen Entscheidungen. Ohne den Zeigefinger zu erheben wird in »Unter Brüdern« eine an Schönheit und Traurigkeit kaum zu überbietende Geschichte rund um eine Gewerkschafterfamilie erzählt. Phänomenal. Und darüber hinaus von Götz Pommer sehr gut ins Deutsche übersetzt.
Janice Russell
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
First of all, if you're looking for a feel good heartwarming sort of book, stay away from Pete Dexter. This is not the kind of love you really expect from your brother. It is filled bullies and thugs, one of them an absolute psychopath. The protagonist, Peter, is a decent guy who has to deal with them. This is not the best Pete Dexter book I've read, but it was quite good nonetheless.
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Race, class, family and the mafia play big roles in this tale of the city of brotherly love set in the early 60s. I would not be surprised at all if this were the inpiration for the fine HBO series, the Wire, and it is another great book by Dexter.
Jul 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Pete Dexter is a former newspaper columnist and the author of some great novels...Deadwood, Paris Trout...this one is a really interesting portrait of Philadelphia and the world of crime and hard is a good crime novel.
Linda Campbell Franklin
Pete Dexter, author of Paris Trout, has a terrific book...I was hooked from page 3. He just jumps in and starts telling the story...that's what I like in a book.
Paige Newman
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love Pete Dexter's writing. I never want the books to end. This guy is an expert at creating compelling characters. I just feel better when I'm reading a book by Dexter.
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
insomnia is great for book reading, I recommend it highly for the constant reader, I also recommend highly anything by Pete Dexter. Great book
Ed Turner
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've been wanting to read a book like this for a long time. Reminiscent of Pelecanos' best stuff, but set in my town. I won't enjoy a book more this year.
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Taut writing.
Set in Philly. Great location feel.
Grief, violence, brutality.
Timothy Riley
Nov 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: dark-novels
This is a dark novel of unions and gangsters set in the 60's, 70's in philadelphia.
May 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Pete Dexter writes about the darker side of human nature. He is a gifted storyteller who doesn't waste words.
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
This is a tight, intimate story of a family deeply entrenched in the Mob life from the 1960s to 1990s. The first few pages establish a feeling of tenseless that lasts throughout the novel.
Oct 18, 2008 added it
i love a hometown philly boy who can write our stories... this one is inter-generational...
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was completely engaged from the first line to the last. In fact, it was much too engaging for a Maui vacation. I could have been snorkeling.
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Pete Dexter is the author of the National Book Award-winning novel Paris Trout and five other novels: God's Pocket, Deadwood, Brotherly Love, The Paperboy, and Train. He has been a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and the Sacramento Bee, and has contributed to many magazines, including Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Playboy. His screenplays include Rush and Mulholland Falls. Dexter was ...more
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