Synopses & Reviews
Since childhood, Sam Grandy and Roy Courtright have been best friends. They grew up in the same prosperous community, went to the same prep school, and later entered the same university. After Sam's father died, Roy's father looked after him. At one point Sam dated Roy's sister, Robin. As best friends, they share a close and loving bond, often stronger than the relationships other men share with their girlfriends, siblings, or wives.
But in the twenty years since their friendship began, their fundamental differences have become more apparent and their relationship has grown strained. More and more often they realize they are opposites -- one a womanizer, the other a devoted husband; one careless with money, the other frugal; one independent, the other needy. Do these differences threaten their friendship -- or are the dissimilarities what make it possible? Can they escape the ties of their past, or are they intrinsically bound until death? When Sam's health begins to falter, he draws Roy into his life again -- and into a chain of deceit, sex, delusion, death, and love such as only a best friend could.
Thomas Berger has enthralled millions of readers for almost fifty years with his psychologically complex, sharp-sighted storytelling. With exquisite wit and insidious wisdom, "Best Friends" weaves a powerful tale about friendship -- and the complex loyalties involved.
"You can read Best Friends as a love story or a suspense tale, as well as a meditation on friendship and fate; and if some of what takes place seems inevitable, it is, nonetheless, unsettling. Berger is a master of the unsettling narrative, the creepy visitor, the jovial stranger who seems capable of doing his worst and takes things just one step too far." Jeffrey Frank, The Washington Post
"Berger's latest novel is as subtly unpredictable and generalization-defying as much of his earlier work....His characters are as nuanced as ever, presented with the sensitive psychological insight we've come to expect over Berger's 50-year career." Brendan Driscoll, Booklist
"This novel manages without excessive plot, that overrated device that lets the Grishams of this world flourish; it even becomes a page-turner. Berger succeeds with characterization, detail, ethical complication, and nuance, and the result is outstanding." Library Journal
"The aftereffects of Sam's heated response to innocent Roy's supposed treachery triggers a terrifically complex and just plain terrific ending. But it's the characterizations of just plain folks whose unremarkable peccadilloes somehow propel them into illicit and violent misbehavior that should make Best Friends a delight for character actors and movie audiences alike." Kirkus Reviews
"Thomas Berger is a writer of enormous wit and incisive wisdom." San Francisco Review of Books
"One of America's most important comic artists." The Boston Globe
Since childhood, Sam Grandy and Roy Betancourt have been best friends. They grew up in the same prosperous community and had a similar boyhood. They went to the same prep school and later entered the same university.
Now, twenty years since their friendship begun, their fundamental differences are becoming more apparent. More and more often they realize they are the opposite of the other one a womanizer, one a devoted husband; one careless with money, the other frugal; one independent, the other needy. As problems arise, they are forced to reckon with the other. Do these differences threaten their friendship or are the dissimilarities what make it possible? Can they escape the ties of their past or are they intrinsically bound until death?
Thomas Berger has enthralled millions of readers for more than fifty years with his psychologically complex, sharp-witted writing style. Told with keen observation and trademark humor, Best Friends weaves a powerful tale about friendship and the complex loyalties involved.
About the Author
Best Friends is Thomas Berger's twenty-second novel. His previous novels include Regiment of Women, Neighbors, and The Feud, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His Little Big Man is known throughout the world.