The Burgess Boys

The Burgess Boys

Audiobook CD - 2013
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Catalyzed by a nephew's thoughtless prank, a pair of brothers confront painful psychological issues surrounding the freak accident that killed their father when they were boys, a loss linked to a heartbreaking deception that shaped their personal and professional lives.
Publisher: [New York] : Random House Audio, [2013]
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780307967077
Branch Call Number: F Strout
Characteristics: 11 audio discs (13 hrs., 30 mins.) :,digital ;,4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Campbell, Cassandra

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Jul 20, 2016

The Burgess boys, Jim and Bob, left Maine many years ago leaving their sister Susan alone in Shirley Falls. When Susan's son, Zach, throws a pig's head through a Somali mosque in their small town, events begin to spiral out of control. A simple misdemeanor spirals into a media circus with federal hate crime charges not too far behind. As Jim and Bob deal with Susan's crisis, the reader begins to uncover the many different layers that have led the three siblings in very different directions. Although Jim, Bob, and Susan have very unlikeable moments, this timeless and poignant novel captures the essence of the immigrant experience in America and how it impacts those already here.

bbonier Oct 12, 2013

The Burgess siblings, 2 brothers and a sister, treat each other very poorly. There doesn't seem to be any love. As the story progresses we find out what brought them to this and how they were influenced by their mother and what happened as children. Not a great book, but well written and worth reading. It is well read by Cassandra Campbell.

JCLHunterSt May 20, 2013

This book starts out a bit slow and you may have to persevere just a bit, because just about every one of the main characters will probably make you want to smack him/her about the head and face repeatedly. But I enjoyed Strout’s earlier book “Olive Kitteridge”, so I stayed with it and I’m happy I did.

Even though all the characters are guarded, with deep family secrets and very dysfunctional, it’s their dysfunctions that ties them all together. This isn’t a fun book, with numerous uplifting moments, but with deeply flawed individuals. However, you end up caring about them anyway.

This book explores immigration, racial bias, class, religious intolerance, hate crimes, sibling rivelry, dysfunctional relationships and the darker side of human behavior. However, Strout is an excellent story teller, with superb character development and weaves an almost magical plot full of secrets and surprises.

I thought this was a very compelling story and I’m very glad I read it.


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