the brothers K

i’m not the best writer and don’t really know how to write a book review, but in any case i should’ve written this a week ago.  i hate that i’ve already forgotten so much about the book.

on the back cover of The Brothers K (by david james duncan), there is a quote that calls it “ambitious”.  it is that, to say the very least.  it is an extremely detailed, personal, enveloping story of an American family during the 1950’s/60’s/70’s as told by the youngest son, kinkaid.  papa is a warm, talented baseball pitcher with a seemingly bright future in the majors.  mama is a religious loving mother with a troubled past.  they have a quick romance, marry, and then bring forth 4 boys and twin girls (in that order). 

the story that kinkaid tells is one of simple life pleasures and complicated family hurts.  duncan’s character development is astounding, as he knows each of the 8 central characters unbelievably well….knowing even more than kinkaid (as a memeber of the family) could’ve known, had he been real.  duncan follows each character’s involvement in the story’s themes which always seem to have something to do with church/God, baseball, and, well, family.

duncan successfully draws many emotions out of the reader (at least he did out of me): happiness, anger, relief, hurt&despair, confusion, triumph, and even fright.  thanks to his outstanding knowledge of each character, and of the details of the times and places in which they live, the book feels like a really really good movie.  the title is derived from “The Brother Karamazov”, a classic novel by Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky.  i’m embarrassed to say i’ve never read it, but from what i’ve read about it, Duncan was definitely highly influenced by it.  (Wikipedia says that “The Brothers Karamazov” portrays a patricide in which each of the murdered man’s sons share varying degrees of complicity. On a deeper level, it is a spiritual drama of moral struggles concerning faith, doubt, reason, free will and modern Russia.  This is definitely extremely similar to the story kinkaid tells.)  however, i think that by naming the book “The Brothers K”, Duncan was referring to the fact that the boys’ father was a long-time baseball pitcher.  “K” in baseball is the character used when a batter strikes out, which, for a pitcher, is a good thing.

like i said before, i don’t know how to write a book review, but i wanted to write something about this book because I LOVED IT and i want everyone i know to read it and love it too!  it does contain some language and some brief sexual references, but much of the story is about 4 teenaged boys, so i thought it was just authentic.

now go get it and start reading!!

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One Comment to “the brothers K”

  1. Well done! That was an “ambitious” book to review and you did a good job. Drew asked me to write something on it, and I didn’t even begin.

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