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
"Deeply human... Though loneliness and loss haunt these pages, Strout also supplies gentle humor and a nourishing dose of hope.” (Booklist)
Raw, simple truth
The in-depth look into each character, showing both good and bad in a nonjudgemental way. The description of the town. The way the story unfolds, it takes it's time, but wastes no words.
Yes a wonderful reader. I loved the Maine accent and the way she emphasized certain words and phrases.
At certain times the harshness of the dialogue between the siblings was moving, but in a shocking way. The in-comprehensiveness that Bob had when given the news from Jim.
Yes, I recommended it to my book club. The characters could be people I know. The novel deals with contemporary problems and attitudes--unemployed and impressionable youth, immigration, unresolved family issues, arrogant and arriviste urban dwellers.
The surprising resolution of the court case. Also Jim's fall from grace due to hubris.
She portrayed the Maine accent very well, and that of the immigrants. She made Jim's wife, Helen, even more aggravating.
I sympathized with the plight of the Somali immigrants, the loneliness experienced when there is disruption in supportive "family" connections.
I was angered by Jim's disdain for his brother and sister. Of course the boys were the focus of the novel, but I wish the character of the sister had been developed more fully.
It was average. I listen to alot of audio books, and while I felt the story, the details, and the focus were all very interesting, the overall tone of the entire narration and story was so bleak and desolate that at each new depressing turn, I was like, well of course it just has to keep getting worse. There was very little relief from what I consider to be a story about life's expectations gone wrong. The ending was actually pretty uplifting but only relatively.
I liked the narrator, mostly, but at times she her pace was relatively slow. I wondered if it was her tone, or the tone of the story that was more depressing.
She over-emotes every line. She should remember that she's narrating a story, not "acting it out." Very annoying.at times.
I really tried to like this book. It is well written and the narrator was fine, so I had trouble assigning star ratings. But, if I had met these characters in life I would try to avoid them, so I certainly didn't want to spend any time reading about them. I had great hopes for liking Bob, but he couldn't save this depressing, miserable story. I will be exchanging this one.
Good to put you to sleep.
A great disappointment. I listened 3 times and still didn't get it.
Would give it 3 1/2 stars if possible. The family dynamics were interesting and enjoyed the inward conflicts each character dealt with. That having been said, the main incident of the story was a little depressing and repetitive. The book shed light on a subject that some people might shy away from. It was good to inform the reader about another culture and point out our bias toward these people, but it was a little too "in your face" at times. If you are interested in coming away with having learned something educational and moving; without having to feel like you have to be entertained in a totally shallow and make-believe way, i.e. predictable romances, murder mysteries, etc., then this might work for you. I also felt it was difficult for the narrator to change her voice enough to accomplish a distinction between some of the characters. I don't regret having used a credit.
Say something about yourself!
I could not identify with any aspect of the story--what a disappointment!
The narrator's voice was so grating that I almost gave up in the first 30 minutes--perhaps I should have because the book was so disappointing.
It was slow and the characters were dry. It was a struggle to get through
I would never listen to anything by Elizabeth Strout again
no redeeming qualities
dont read it
I have greatly enjoyed Elizabeth Strout's other books, including "Olive Kitteredge" and "Amy & Isabelle." "The Burgess Boys" is almost shockingly disappointing. The story is dreary, the characters utterly unlikable, and the narrator sounds clinically depressed (I guess I would be, too, if I had to read this drivel). I couldn't even finish the first half.
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