The Brothers K

The Brothers K

Book - 2005
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Once in a great while a writer comes along who can truly capture the drama and passion of the life of a family. David James Duncan, author of the novel The River Why and the collection River Teeth, is just such a writer. And in The Brothers K he tells a story both striking and in its originality and poignant in its universality.

This touching, uplifting novel spans decades of loyalty, anger, regret, and love in the lives of the Chance family. A father whose dreams of glory on a baseball field are shattered by a mill accident. A mother who clings obsessively to religion as a ward against the darkest hour of her past. Four brothers who come of age during the seismic upheavals of the sixties and who each choose their own way to deal with what the world has become. By turns uproariously funny and deeply moving, and beautifully written throughout, The Brothers K is one of the finest chronicles of our lives in many years.

Praise for The Brothers K

"The pages of The Brothers K sparkle." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Duncan is a wonderfully engaging writer." -- Los Angeles Times

"This ambitious book succeeds on almost every level and every page." -- USA Today

"Duncan's prose is a blend of lyrical rhapsody, sassy hyperbole and all-American vernacular." -- San Francisco Chronicle

" The Brothers K affords the . . . deep pleasures of novels that exhaustively create, and alter, complex worlds. . . . One always senses an enthusiastic and abundantly talented and versatile writer at work." -- The Washington Post Book World

"Duncan . . . tells the larger story of an entire popular culture struggling to redefine itself--something he does with the comic excitement and depth of feeling one expects from Tom Robbins." -- Chicago Tribune
Publisher: New York :, Dial Press,, 2005.
ISBN: 9780553378498
Branch Call Number: FIC DUNC
Characteristics: ix, 645 ; 21 cm


From the critics

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Feb 14, 2019

I know I liked it a lot when I read it years ago while working at Blaine Library. After reading some reviews here I'm going to try it again.

Feb 13, 2019

As some suggest this may not be the book for you. It was the book for me when I read it the first time and listened to it the second time. I imagine I will read it again someday.This was my era, my culture, my childhood and my northwest. One critic here said it was all about baseball.
I hardly remember that part in the book I do remember that we were a culture of baseball. We watched it talked about it, played it, collected it, chewed it and referenced it in our conversations about politics, religion, relationships, war and collaboration. Even I, who sat the bench loved the game and the culture surrounding it. I watched it with my ailing aunt and chnt eraeered and then mourned Pete Rose's rise and fall.
Like I said though, I hardly remember baseball in the book. I remember the landscape and the circuitous route to healing that the book leads the reader through.
I can imagine that to be boring subject to those who grew up in a different era.

Jan 16, 2018

I'm going through my 3rd or 4th reading of this masterful novel. Like a Ken Kasey work it is steeped in the Northwest and epic in scope. Still, the early humor in the book is so laugh out loud funny that just reading a chapter or two at a sitting gives me great pleasure. Full disclosure-I love baseball and big families and there is plenty of both in this tale. Some compare his work to the best of John Irving, but Duncan's spin is so convoluted and funny that it reminds me more of the early writings of Neal Stephenson.

Time for me to guffaw again as I continue my reading of this Great American Novel.

Mar 12, 2016

I got this book because a friend wrote me that she had loved it, found it funny and her book club loved it too. I thought it was an uninteresting story, all about baseball and baseball statistics. I read about 1/4 of it and just couldn't finish it.

Jan 06, 2015

The Brothers K is a beautiful story. I recommend it constantly (to anyone who will listen) and although some of my friends have said they struggled to get into it, anyone who gets past that and finishes the book agrees that it is incredible and worth the effort.

Jul 12, 2014

It takes some pretty big cojones to title your book after one of the great Russian novels of the 19th century. Like Dostoevsky's masterpiece, Pac NW author David James Duncan, who also wrote "The River Why," crafts a sprawling, philosophical, sometimes exhausting family saga centered around the difficulties of family. Baseball, love, war, God, country and other capital I issues are all fair game in this novel, which reminded me of both John Irving and John Updike. The 60s setting (one brother goes to Vietnam) is a little cliched and the book goes on about 100 pages longer than it needs to, but it is mostly absorbing, observant, and thoughtful, if not quite as good as its reputation suggests.

Feb 21, 2011

Available for Kindle

Jul 07, 2006

Using sports, religion and war, the Chance family fairs better or worse as the four brothers follow their own believes and dreams. Taking place from 1950 to the 70's, you will laugh and cry as the family helps each other as their times and lifes changes during the years. If you hadn't read this author before, this book will excite you as you explore the learning curves for the entire family.


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