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)
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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.
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.
Good to put you to sleep.
A great disappointment. I listened 3 times and still didn't get it.
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.
Unlikeable characters, poorly thought out plot (really none, at all), banal writing, melodramatic reading.
Only if the book was well written
None. Really a waste of time.
I read this on faith because Olive Kitteridge was so good. Ms Strout should stick to what she does best—short stories.
The narrator. There is a comment in the story that people who imitate Maine accents are excruciating for Mainers to hear. This is the case with this narrator. The story really needs to be read by a native Mainer.
No. Because of the narrator.
Her Maine accent sounds nothing like the real thing.
Yes, because the story is engrossing.
The story was confussing & slow. The voice of the narrator was boring. The different accents were just bad.
Engrossing story, beautifully read, delineating all the characters so well. While basically a family drama, also covers issues of large scale immigration to a part of the US already in decline.
"Authentic characters make for a gripping listen"
After a tragic childhood accident, the Burgess children’s lives and personalities have all been deeply affected; not just in the ways in which their lives have turned out, but particularly in the way they respond to and treat each other. This has a knock-on effect on the sister Susan’s son, Zach and his actions threaten to destroy not only his own life but race-relations in their local community.
Elizabeth Strout has a rare talent for portraying her characters, not only as 3 dimensional, but as whole, totally believable people. As in real life, nobody is totally good (though Bob comes close to that description) or bad.
A narrator can make or break a book. Cassandra Campbell enhances this audiobook by bringing to life each character with its own instantly recognisable voice.
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