The Burgess Boys

The Burgess Boys

A Novel

Downloadable Audiobook - 2013
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Elizabeth Strout "animates the ordinary with an astonishing force," wrote The New Yorker on the publication of her Pulitzer Prize-winning Olive Kitteridge . The San Francisco Chronicle praised Strout's "magnificent gift for humanizing characters." Now the acclaimed author returns with a stunning novel as powerful and moving as any work in contemporary literature.

Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan--the Burgess sibling who stayed behind--urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.

With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout's newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art.

Praise for Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning Olive Kitteridge

"Perceptive, deeply empathetic . . . Olive is the axis around which these thirteen complex, relentlessly human narratives spin themselves into Elizabeth Strout's unforgettable novel in stories." --O: The Oprah Magazine

"Fiction lovers, remember this name: Olive Kitteridge. . . . You'll never forget her. . . . [Strout] constructs her stories with rich irony and moments of genuine surprise and intense emotion. . . . Glorious, powerful stuff." --USA Today

"Funny, wicked and remorseful, Mrs. Kitteridge is a compelling life force, a red-blooded original. When she's not onstage, we look forward to her return. The book is a page-turner because of her." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Deeply human . . . Though loneliness and loss haunt these pages, Strout also supplies gentle humor and a nourishing dose of hope."-- Booklist (starred review)

" Olive Kitteridge still lingers in memory like a treasured photograph." --Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The Washington Post Book World * USA Today * San Francisco Chronicle * Chicago Tribune * Seattle Post-Intelligencer * People * Entertainment Weekly * The Christian Science Monitor * The Plain Dealer * The Atlantic * Rocky Mountain News * Library Journal
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2013
ISBN: 9780307967107
Characteristics: 1 sound file : digital
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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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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