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The Burgess Boys Audiobook

The Burgess Boys: A Novel

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, March 2013 - Jim and Bob Burgess escaped their Maine hometown just as soon as they could…but now their nephew’s ‘antics’ have brought them back home where they’re forced to relive the accident that killed their father and deal with the (not-so-pretty) realities of their relationships. Elizabeth Strout won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her last book, Olive Kitteridge, which I loved, so my expectations were high for this new novel. Similar to Olive, the protagonists here aren’t necessarily likeable, but the character studies are so insightful, so raw and real, you can’t help but be drawn in – especially with Cassandra Campbell at the helm. —Diana D., Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

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, Elizabeth Strout has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with listeners long after the ausiobook is over. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout’s newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art.

©2013 Elizabeth Strout (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (914 )
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3.6 (795 )
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3.9 (790 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Val L 08-03-16
    Val L 08-03-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    76
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    Story
    "Well written BUT"

    The characters were so unlikeable I struggled to finish. I would not purchase again even at special price.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joann 07-26-16
    Joann 07-26-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    177
    9
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    "Writing at its finest!"

    When the characters remain with you long after you're finished listening, and when you catch yourself wondering how they're doing, you cross over the invisible line where good fiction becomes a more powerful force for change than any work of non-fiction.

    We are introduced to complex characters with the flaws to which all of us are confronted and we discover that it is within the flaws themselves that our greatest strengths can blossom.This is a universal theme in good fiction. Not only did the main characters evolve, sometimes in spite of themselves, but I did too. It is not through confronting our shadow side alone and in isolation, but in the messy work of recognizing our shadow rather than projecting it and then being there for each other through the ugly and the profane without scapegoating. I became so proud of the siblings who slowly revealed bits and pieces of their pasts through surprising twists and turns. I also loved the mystery woman, the neighbor/tenant with a vision for seeing the world through a larger lens and the Muslim immigrant who had that same insight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Beauchamp 07-08-16 Member Since 2016
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    2
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    Story
    "Burgess boys"

    I didn't care for the story at all. I didn't think the ending was true to the characters that have been developed and left the reader dangling. I did think the recording was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann H. Yale 06-25-16
    Ann H. Yale 06-25-16
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    12
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    Story
    "Disappointed"

    Narrating wasn't up to snuff-
    Story so dark, not my cup of tea. Prefer warmer stories

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Happy Camper 05-09-16 Member Since 2012
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    15
    2
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    Story
    "Ansolutely Excellent!"

    Wonderful writing, compelling characters, well-constructed plot This is the first I've read in a long time that I was sorry to see end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Tracy 04-06-16
    Linda Tracy 04-06-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    9
    4
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    "And so the story goes..."

    As far back as the Bible and probably before that, strong women take back their inferior lovers.... while weak women hunt for needy men. Why is that? Could it be true, as the saying goes,' women seem to get the man they think they deserve.' This is a book about women, not men. Women trying to negotiate their way in a society that is often accepting of them.....not just in Somalia....but here. And, by their own neediness seem to foster another generation of the same self indulgent men.

    The prose was good. But I felt rung out by the story and totally sad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CL 01-28-16
    CL 01-28-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    44
    20
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    "Kept Waiting for it to improve"

    Not sure why I didn't return it. Only good part was the last 10 minutes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Walter 01-03-16
    John Walter 01-03-16 Member Since 2015
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    1
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    Story
    "Okay"

    Well written story with great themes, I'm sixteen so it was boring to me though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alicia Bloomsburg, PA, United States 10-08-15
    Alicia Bloomsburg, PA, United States 10-08-15 Member Since 2010
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    2
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    Story
    "The Burgess Family"

    If ever it were true, this story exemplifies the saying, "There's no place like home, no matter how humble."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Delberta 07-23-15
    Delberta 07-23-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    Story
    "Confusing."

    Although this wasn't the story I was expecting, it is okay. However, the characters seem ill-formed or overly vague or perhaps they just don't make sense to me. I became so impatient with the characters that I wanted to shake them or at least hurry along to get the book finished. I would not recommend this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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