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The Brothers K

by

The Brothers K Cover

 

Staff Pick

As a Northwesterner (or recovering Southerner) and a baseball fanatic, I highly recommend The Brothers K. From laugh out loud funny to tear in your eye sad, this book does everything you hope a novel will. It's a love letter to everything that's great about living.
Recommended by John, Powells.com

As a Northwesterner (or recovering Southerner) and a baseball fanatic, I highly recommend The Brothers K. From laugh out loud funny to tear in your eye sad, this book does everything you hope a novel will. It's a love letter to everything that's great about living.
Recommended by Nathan, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

David James Duncan's first novel, The River Why, met with such enthusiastic praise for its journey of self-discovery that it became a contemporary classic, with readers comparing Duncan to J. D. Salinger, Ken Kesey, and John Irving. Yet, as one reviewer noted, "His [style] is not merely a patchwork quilt....His is a genuinely new, genuinely original voice in American fiction, a voice which is not quite like any you've read before." (San Jose Mercury News)

In The Brothers K, Duncan amplifies the considerable accomplishment of his first book as he centers this tender and powerful story around a Pacific Northwest family in the early '60s. The Chance family is wild about baseball and cantankerous about religion. Papa is a gifted but luckless minor-league pitcher whose big-league hopes are fading. Mama is a devout Seventh Day Adventist, constantly in motion to save her wayward sons. When a mill accident crushes Papa's thumb, and Mama's inexplicable fanaticism threatens to shred what little the family has in common, parents and children find themselves embattled over the ideals represented by baseball and religion. It is young Kincaid, the easygoing middle child, who chronicles the humor and spiritual beliefs that alternately sustain and confound this family in a small Washington mill town. And it is in his maturing voice, as his brothers leave town to enter one of the country's most bewildering decades, that we hear the inescapable tensions wrought from one American generation testing another's vulnerabilities. Through the Chances, David James Duncan asks sublime questions about life, self-sacrifice, and enduring love in an ever changing world.

Review:

"[Duncan's] massive second effort is well worth the wait. It is a stunning work: a complex tapestry of family tensions, baseball, politics and religion, by turns hilariously funny and agonizingly sad....The book ends with a quiet grace note — a reprise of its first images — to satisfyingly close the narrative circle." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Review:

"Another quintessentially American saga from Oregon writer Duncan....Unfortunately losing focus as it tracks family members around the world...this epic story is still marvelously detailed and poignant, and a garden of delights for baseball lovers." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

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

Review:

"Among its many merits, it reflects far better than most fiction the wide variety of Sixties experiences....Baseball provides the central metaphor for this huge hypnotic novel, but although in that sport a 'K' indicates a strikeout, here it scores a home run." Library Journal

Review:

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

Review:

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

Synopsis:

While their father mourns the destruction of his nascent baseball career and their mother clings obsessively to her faith, the four Chance brothers choose their own ways to deal with what the world has to offer them.

Synopsis:

US

Synopsis:

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

 

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

About the Author

David James Duncan is also the author of The River Why; River Teeth, a joint memoir and collection of stories; and My Story as Told by Water, an essay collection. The River Why ranks thirty-fifth on the San Francisco Chronicle list of The 20th Century's 100 Best Books of the American West. The Brothers K is an American Library Association Best Books Award-winner and a New York Times Notable Book. Both novels won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award.

Duncan has read and lectured all over the United States on wilderness, the writing life, the nonmonastic contemplative life, the fly fishing life, and nonreligious literature of faith. His work has appeared in Harper's, Outside, Orion, The Sun, Sierra, Big Sky Journal, Northern Lights, Gray's Sporting Journal, and many other publications. He lives with his family on a Montana trout stream.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 11 comments:

jmreader, October 23, 2014 (view all comments by jmreader)
Great read. Duncan uses one character to introduce the reader to the other main characters in a way that gives wonderful detail and insight, adding to the experience of enjoying this book. The story is a family who grows up through the sixties, with the background of baseball, religion, and the Vietnam war. Each member of the family offering different perspective and has their own story. Very engaging.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
lukas, July 12, 2014 (view all comments by lukas)
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.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
michaelzuzel, August 5, 2012 (view all comments by michaelzuzel)
This is a story about baseball for those who don't care for sports; a story about faith for those who might not be religious; a story about a family for all who think their own is peculiar -- and that's most of us. It's also one of the best American novels of the past half century, filled with vivid language and unforgettable scenes. One of those scenes takes place on a bridge not far from where I used to live; I once left a copy of this book, in a zipper-bag, on that very bridge, in hopes someone would find it, take a chance on the Chance clan, and end up loving them as much as I do.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 11 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780553378498
Author:
Duncan, David James
Publisher:
Dial Press
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Family
Subject:
Washington (state)
Subject:
Brothers
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Washington
Subject:
Washington (State) Fiction.
Subject:
Bildungsromane.
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
fiction;baseball;family;novel;religion;brothers;vietnam;pacific northwest;vietnam war;war;american;washington;usa;literature;america;sports;family saga;faith;20th century
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
no. 6-7.
Publication Date:
19960631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
656
Dimensions:
8.17 x 5.26 x 1.4 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Literature Folklore and Memoirs

The Brothers K Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 656 pages Bantam Books - English 9780553378498 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

As a Northwesterner (or recovering Southerner) and a baseball fanatic, I highly recommend The Brothers K. From laugh out loud funny to tear in your eye sad, this book does everything you hope a novel will. It's a love letter to everything that's great about living.

"Staff Pick" by ,

As a Northwesterner (or recovering Southerner) and a baseball fanatic, I highly recommend The Brothers K. From laugh out loud funny to tear in your eye sad, this book does everything you hope a novel will. It's a love letter to everything that's great about living.

"Review" by , "[Duncan's] massive second effort is well worth the wait. It is a stunning work: a complex tapestry of family tensions, baseball, politics and religion, by turns hilariously funny and agonizingly sad....The book ends with a quiet grace note — a reprise of its first images — to satisfyingly close the narrative circle."
"Review" by , "Another quintessentially American saga from Oregon writer Duncan....Unfortunately losing focus as it tracks family members around the world...this epic story is still marvelously detailed and poignant, and a garden of delights for baseball lovers."
"Review" by , "The pages of The Brothers K sparkle!"
"Review" by , "Among its many merits, it reflects far better than most fiction the wide variety of Sixties experiences....Baseball provides the central metaphor for this huge hypnotic novel, but although in that sport a 'K' indicates a strikeout, here it scores a home run."
"Review" by , "Duncan is a wonderfully engaging writer."
"Review" by , "This ambitious book succeeds on almost every level and every page."
"Synopsis" by , While their father mourns the destruction of his nascent baseball career and their mother clings obsessively to her faith, the four Chance brothers choose their own ways to deal with what the world has to offer them.
"Synopsis" by , US
"Synopsis" by , A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

 

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

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