Josiah's Reviews > The Moves Make the Man

The Moves Make the Man by Bruce Brooks
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's review
Apr 15, 2010

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Read from April 15 to 18, 2010

Bruce Brooks is an incredibly awesome writer. When he's at his best, as he seems to be in this book, reading his words is like riding the world's most thrilling roller coaster, dipping and rolling and dropping and whirling at a breathless pace, hardly able to mentally catch up with what's happening in the story because the action is so intense, a glowing riptide one-upping itself constantly, and without end. In short, Bruce Brooks represents the pinnacle of linguistic awesomeness as a writer.

The Moves Make the Man is a story unlike any other, and that's no overstatement. Every one of the characters is as multifaceted as the people we meet in real life, genuine mixes of good, bad, ugly and beautiful, so there's really no guessing at any point in the narrative who is good and who is bad, whose motives will turn out to be pure and whose will not. None of the characters fit into any of these molds, and as the story spins at its wild and frenetic pace, the surprising revelations pile up until we're not sure what's actually happening anymore.

Bix is a unique, bright, witty kid; Jerome Foxworthy is equally as dapper and intelligent. The biggest difference between the two is that Bix's personal issues run deeper than Jerome can ever discern, deeper than the reader will ever be able to realize, and yet it's difficult to get a solid enough hold on these issues to clearly see whether or not they really are the negatives that they appear to be. After all, nothing in Bix's world is as it seems...

No one writes about sports with more palpably beautiful prose than Bruce Brooks, but that's really a comparatively minor selling point for this novel. The story's prime substance is truly revealed as Bruce Brooks takes us deep below the dangerous, murky waters of the unendingly complicated friendship shared by Bix and Jerome. These scenes are wonderfully times. They can also be chilling, frightening, or so intense and gut-wrenching that it's hard to continue reading. But as the situations all tie more tightly together and the narrative picks up in the brilliance of its awesome force (if that were possible), and we see Bix headed for a level of heartbreak more profound than anyone should ever have to endure, it becomes clear that this is a brilliant novel that is eminently worthy of the Newbery Honor that it was awarded.

It is a rare book, indeed, that lingers in my mind with the resounding effect of The Moves Make the Man. This story is a tour de force in the truest sense, a surpassing masterpiece of juvenile literature that will jar readers down to their innermost self. It is absolutely not a novel to be missed by anyone.

I would definitely give three and a half stars to The Moves Like the Man, and I gave a lot of thought to rounding that rating up instead of down.
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Quotes Josiah Liked

Bruce Brooks
“One nice thing about my momma is, she never gets on you for what you are not doing. I mean, she never looks away from the things you do only to notice what isn't on the plan. This is the most important thing in getting along with...anybody, and I can tell you because I copy it from her and it makes good sense. You don't go looking at the things people don't do, when they already be doing plenty in other areas. If your son collects stamps, why you want to go fussing at him because he doesn't play the clarinet? Check out his stamps, man.”
Bruce Brooks, The Moves Make the Man

Bruce Brooks
“But I knew deep down that the stuff behind could not just be dropped like it had nothing to do with what was ahead...There was just too much, too many strange angles and things left jaggedy open so you did not know they would ever shut right.”
Bruce Brooks, The Moves Make the Man

Reading Progress

04/15/2010 page 3
02/23/2016 marked as: read
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message 1: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl So, what does it take for a book to get 4 or 5 stars from you?? I appreciate not throwing stars out like they're free, but your excellent review reads as if you rated this 5 stars.

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