The Half Brother by Lars Saabye Christensen
A Novel

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Synopsis

The masterpiece that Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, hailed as 'one of the literary must-reads of the summer' and that the Independent in London likened to 'Paul Auster's The Book of Illusions meeting Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections' is now available in paperback. THE HALF BROTHER is a truly gripping, epic novel, hugely ambitious in scope and utterly compelling, a wonderful mixture of surreal comedy and touching intimacy. In stunning detail and elegant prose, it relates the lives of four generations of a far from ordinary family. It opens on May 8, 1945, when 20-year-old Vera, hoping to celebrate the end of World War II with her mother and grandmother, is brutally raped by an unknown assailant. From that crime is born a boy named Fred, a misfit who later becomes a boxer. Barnum, Vera's other son born several years later, and Fred form a bizarre but special relationship. 'I should have been your father,' Fred tells Barnum, 'instead of the fool who says he is.' Spanning 50 years, filled with a wonderful galaxy of finely etched characters, and structurally brilliant, THE HALF BROTHER has been both a literary sensation and a bestseller wherever it has been published.
 

About Lars Saabye Christensen

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Lars Saabye Christensen is the author of numerous short stories and poems as well as 12 novels, including the international bestseller "The Half Brother," one of the 25 Notable Titles of 2004 by the American Library Association.
 
Published June 2, 2005 by Arcade Publishing. 704 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Half Brother

Kirkus Reviews

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Another narrative and thematic strand explores the past of Barnum’s father Arnold, an itinerant con man who charmed the ingenuous Vera with tales of his youthful adventures, climaxed by joining a circus.

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The Guardian

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Other lives continually impinge on Barnum's own difficult one - he's a natural outsider, often but not consistently desiring an insider role - and not only those with whom Barnum becomes emotionally engaged: his greatest friend Peder, who loves him too much without comprehending his ideals, and V...

May 24 2003 | Read Full Review of The Half Brother: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Barnum finds companionship and love through his relationships with friends Peder and Vivian, eventually marrying Vivian, but their connection unravels, particularly with Vivian's pregnancy—a pregnancy that torments Barnum, who is secretly infertile.

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Examiner

While never merely sinister or technically malevolent, Fred is given to consistent silent laughter and coolly contrary behavior, making him easily the best rendition of “evil” I’ve seen in a modern work of fiction, infecting even Barnum’s friendship with Peder, with whom he met his future wife V...

Apr 17 2011 | Read Full Review of The Half Brother: A Novel

Reader Rating for The Half Brother
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