Sunday, December 14, 2014

Book Review - The Brothers

Back in October, I read two books by Frederick Barthelme, liking one and disliking the other. I thought There Must be Some Mistake was a solid effort typical of Barthelme's last few novels, and thought the much earlier Two Against One was the worst of his I had read (by quite a bit). Perhaps to wash the taste of T.A.O. out of my mouth, I went back and read another of his older novels; The Brothers (Viking, 1993, 262 pages).

This was back in late October or early November but I never got around to blogging about it. By now, details are fuzzy, but The Brothers was another good read of the type that I expect from Barthelme - believable everyday people getting on with their lives as best they can. This particular book is about a pair of brothers, struggling with their careers and their relationship with each other, and not doing an especially good job of either.

There is a follow up book to this (which is sitting on my night stand), but I am Barthelmed-out for the moment, and will move on to something else before going back to that at some point.

"The birds were amazing, the way they flew and then folded up like daggers and slammed into the water. Everything was turning a wonderful gunmetal gray. There were a few yellow lights shimmering on the water, reflected from car lights up on the big highway.
Fog was coming in from the Gulf, and it was thick. Out toward the mouth of the bay, toward the Gulf, it looked as though the water went maybe half a mile and then stopped dead. Everything past that was gray." [p79]

A solid 3.5 stars out of 5.

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