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The Chase family is a big family - four boys and twin girls. The mum is manically religious and the boys are starting to resent being made to go to church while their beloved Pappa stays at home watching the baseball.
Pappa has an accident at the saw mill, threatening his baseball career and Mamma's religious fervor is splitting the family; but the kids continue through high school, college, hippie dazes and Vietnam, each one having heartbreaking stories, particularly Irwin, the slow witted but fiercely loyal and loving GI.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
I've been waiting for the unabridged audiobook of Duncan's masterpiece for nearly two decades. In that time I've read and re-read the novel countless times. Each encounter with this novel brings new insights, suprises and continual fond remembrances of the Chances as they deal with baseball, family and faith.
The Chance family lives in Camus, Washington, where Papa, a barely minor league pitcher, works at the local paper mill. The brothers of the title idolize both Papa and baseball. But baseball faces stiff competition from Mama's Seventh Day Adventist faith. Each member of the family finds its way through the maze of the 1960s in the light of that fight for their loyalties. Along the way come gut-busting laughs (you'll remember both Sabbath school and meal-time prayers and twin girls' scientific investigation of their suddenly dead grandmother) and the tenderest of moments between estranged family members.
Duncan knows how to give you full-bodied characters rather than trumped up caricatures. His language rings true throughout. It's both luminous and grounded. Every time I've read the novel, those around me have tired of my inability to keep from reading aloud. With the audiobook, you get the whole thing read to you.
The narration of this audiobook at first may seem slow and methodical. That's important, because this is a story to be savored. From the first scene of Papa Chance's son sprawled securely in his father's lap, watching cigarette smoke wafting into the air, to the last heart-breaking moments, Duncan takes you deep into this family's enduring connections and their jagged rending at the hands of the world and their own stubborn natures.
My hardcover first edition of The Brothers K is a treasure and has a place of prominence in my bookshelves. I'll cherish my iPod more than ever now that my favorite book is stored there, too. Thanks Audible.com for making it available to us!
32 of 32 people found this review helpful
Listening to this book is so intense you do not want to rush through it. It is a series of stories that unfold like a string of iridescent pearls. I cannot wait to finish listening so I can start at the beginning again. Give this book the time it deserves. It is a literary masterpiece.
21 of 21 people found this review helpful