Danny's Reviews > The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers

The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers by Thomas Mullen
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's review
Apr 22, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: library-book
Read from April 22 to 27, 2012

I enjoy the feeling that I've figured something out about a book, even if it's obvious. Of course, the thing I 'figured out' about this book is actually referred to in the flap copy so...maybe I just read it there.

Either way, what I figured out (or was informed of) is that this book is about the American Dream and how we as a nation try to cope with this overarching narrative of the possibility of success when confronted with an economic disaster like the Great Depression.

The Firefly Brothers, bank robbers Jason and Whit Fireson, drive the narrative. And occasionally the getaway cars. They had a good family, good upbringing, good prospects. But things got tough during the depression and they learned that if you make one bad decision there's not much room for second chances when unemployment rates are over 50%. Robbing banks seems like the best way to bring in some cash in the absence of a fair break.

With the newly formed Bureau of Investigation on their heels, however, they've got to think fast to avoid getting a bullet for their trouble. Or maybe that isn't such a big deal after all. Even after the news of their deaths has spread around the country the Firefly brothers are still being seen in tiny hamlets and big cities. Their girls, Darcy and Veronica, don't know what to think, and neither do the cops.

It may be harder than they thought to kill the American Dream.

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