I m really conflicted on this one I love Elizabeth Strout, I love her writing style and the way she gets in to her character s heads I did not love this book I wanted to, but I just disliked the characters, and I didn t alw cue the music to the Brady Bunch theme songHere s the story,Of a lonely lady,Who was bringing up her very lonely son.He threw a pig s head in church,Just for the heck of it,Then he was on the run.Here s the story,Of the lady s brothers,Who were scheming, competing, cheating on their own.They were two men,Telling lies together, but they were soon both alone.Till the one day when the truth came NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Includes Elizabeth Strout S Never Before Published Essay About The Origins Of The Burgess BoysNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post NPR Good HousekeepingElizabeth 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, Elizabeth Strout Has Brought To Life Two Deeply Human Protagonists Whose Struggles And Triumphs Will Resonate With Readers Long After They Turn The Final Page 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 Look For Special Features Inside Join The Random House Reader S Circle For Author Chats And What Truly Makes Strout Exceptional Is The Perfect Balance She Achieves Between The Tides Of Story And Depths Of Feeling Chicago Tribune Strout S Prose Propels The Story Forward With Moments Of Startlingly Poetic Clarity The New Yorker Elizabeth Strout S First Two Books, Abide With Me AndAmy And Isabelle, Were Highly Thought Of, And Her Third, Olive Kitteridge, Won The Pulitzer Prize In Fiction But The Burgess Boys, Her Most Recent Novel, Is Her Best Yet The Boston Globe A Portrait Of An American Community In Turmoil That S As Ambitious As Philip Roth S American Pastoral But Intimate In Tone Time Strout S Extraordinary Narrative Gifts Are Evident Again At Times The Burgess Boys Is Almost Effortlessly Fluid, With Superbly Rendered Dialogue, Sudden And Unexpected Bolts Of Humor And Startling Riffs Of Gripping Emotion Associated Press Strout Is At Her Masterful Best When Conjuring The Two Burgess Boys Scenes Between Them Ring So True San Francisco Chronicle From The Trade Paperback Edition. Elizabeth Strout has written another novel about Maine and its people, but unlike Olive Kittredge, which is episodic, The Burgess Boys is a tightly woven novel about a family, its secrets, and how the guilt of one brother has defined his life, as well as that of his twin sister, their older brother, their spouses, and their children It also traces downward spirals some expected, some not and the possibility and limits of change and redemption Shirley Falls, Maine, home to many displaced Somalis, experiences a prank that is to be prosecuted as a hate crime Jim Burgess, famous trial lawyer and Bob Burgess, appeals lawyer, must return to the town from their homes in Brooklyn and help out their sister, Susan, whose son, Zach, has admitted to the crime The siblings fall into the roles they had as children Jim, the wisecracking, critical older brother, Bob the schmuck, and Susan the needy one who never could get he The Hook Is having a grandson with the last name of Burgess enough reason to read a book I guess it is as that was my motivation.The LineAnd she learned freshly, scorchingly of the privacy of sorrow The Sinker The Burgess Boys was a surprise really liked it I m not certain what I was expecting but I definitely got When a teenager, Zach throws a pig s head into a Somali Mosque during Ramadan, it sets a series of events in motion as you well can imagine Zach s arrest brings two New York brothers back to their childhood home in Shirley Falls, Maine, to help their sister Susan.There are characters here that I truly liked and a few that I loathed, but this did not ruin my enjoyment of Strout s writing The Burgess Boys is about family, loyalty, sibling rivalry, secrets that haunt one, fear of the u i am one of those people who went all gaga about Olive Kitteridge, which i thought did a magnificent, magic job at showing how someone who is by all accounts quite petty and unpleasant is also tremendously, tenderly, wonderfully human this book is ambitious in scope unlike OK, it encompasses a couple of cities, a couple of states, and a number of communities i am not saying that OK is not ambitious its spelunking into the humanity of a not very likeable woman is spectacular and daring it s just that, here, there are people and geography it seems to me that strout is trying to explore childhood damage, adult dysfunctionality, the mysterious relationships grown siblings have or don t have, miserable adolescence and place small town maine, nyc , all against the backdrop of the somali diaspora and its tragic complications it s not ambitious than OK, but it s dispersed there are people an I well remember the controversy in Lewiston, ME in 2006 when a pig s head was thrown into a Somali Muslim mosque It s one of the key events in The Burgess Boys, Strout s latest novel I loved Olive Kittredge I almost loved The BBs.Strout again interweaves stories and socio political issues I ve lived in Maine for 46 years and yet still am labeled from away And this novel is largely about being away from self, family, meaningful work, marriage, children, siblings, immigrants, tradition and change.Estranged by geography and the death of their father the truth of which unfolds in the end , the twins, Bob and Susan, and their older brother Jim don t like each other much Well, they look out after each othersort of I found Bob and Susan most endearing because they appeared able to change Jim not And spouses and ex spouses and Somali residents are deftly captured Much to think about regarding family, how each member remembers things, how reality and perception are often at odds, how leaving home doesn t mean home is really left behind.I went to college in Lewiston Strout mentions The Blue Goose reknowned for cheap beer and pickled eggs , Luigi s, the cathedral, Lisbon Street and the mills can well remember being in those places, walking those streets Now I live in a small town north o A solid four star read You may have to persevere at the beginning, because just about every one of the main characters may make you want to smack him her about the head and face repeatedly I loved Olive Kitteridge, so I stayed with it If not for Olive, I may not have I m glad I did The big story here is all of the familial relationships Husband wife, parent child, sibling sibling There are some messed up family dynamics here, but all of the characters showed considerable growth throughout, which earned this book a four from me I love the way Strout writes, and she does families and small town dynamics really, really well The audio was good, not great It was delivered very slowly, which was annoying at times However, she did the Somali voices really well The Somali storyline was interesting, but not the main event It was the impetus th PUTTING OUT THE FIRE WITH HONEYFoto di Wim Wenders Che cosa far , Bob Non ho pi una famiglia.S che ce l hai, rispose Bob Hai una moglie che ti odia Tre figli che ce l hanno a morte con te Un fratello e una sorella che ti fanno impazzire E un nipote che una volta era una nullit , ma a quanto pare ultimamente lo un po meno Questo ci che si definisce una famiglia.Innegabile la vena ironica di Bob, e quindi, della Strout ma entrambi credono davvero in questa asserzione, e io mi dissocio.Foto di Wim Wenders.D altra parte, questa citazione fa gi parte del finale, la zona dei suoi romanzi dove Elizabeth Strout apre il barattolo della melassa, e la sparge generosa, la zona dei suoi romanzi dove di solito io mi perdo Non ho bisogno di happy ending.Mai incontrata, finora, la Strout cos attenta e concentrata sulla trama la divisione in quattro libri, ciascuno a sua volta suddiviso in capitoli, mai cos brevi, e nel caso dei pi lunghi presente un ulteriore scansione in paragrafi.Ci sono molte parti in cu This novel poses a major question do you understand that other guy, that other woman Are you sure The book hit me between the eyes with the uncomfortable notion that we are imprisoned by our culture yes our beloved Thanksgivings and Christmases, our Midnight Masses, our Fourths of July, our sacred Yankees or Red Sox It s all wonderful even as it blinds us.For me, the book is all about understanding that other guy Hell, the Burgesses are family and they struggle with the issue among themselves They do not really know one another To be fair, it s a fragmented family The brothers Jim and Bob and sister Susan carry all the baggage that dysfunction can possibly bring and then some.But if you don t know your brother or sister, how do you understand a stranger from a foreign culture In The Burgess Boys the problem is compounded by a myriad of culture clashes, including these Americans vs Somali immigrants Shirley Falls, Maine vs New York City Open minded people vs xenophobic skinheads Traditional Somalis vs Somali BantusMs.Strout is a terrific story teller Her prose just rolls along, elegant and simple Her ear for dialogue is pitch perfect and her characters are genuine they love and hate, they celebrate sometimes they just make it through the day When the world knocks them down they get back up When the world is ugly they look the gray rat in the eye The Burgess siblings, now in their fifties, carry an immense burden fr