The Smallest Color by Bill Roorbach

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review



"I've admired Bill Roorbach's voice for a long time. He is a writer who is full of compassion and warmth for his subjects. We're lucky to have new work from him."-Rick Moody.
What am I now that I was then?
WMay memory restore again and again
WThe smallest color of the smallest day:
WTime is the school in which we learn
WTime is the fire in which we burn.
W-Delmore Schwartz

Coop Henry's terrible secret about his older brother is eating up his life. In this extraordinary first novel about two brothers-one alive, one presumed missing-the thirty-year secret that has kept Coop bound in silence suddenly threatens to leak. What really happened to Hodge Henry? His younger brother, Coop, certainly knows-yet he has managed to keep up a decades-long charade that has fooled everyone. When Coop's marriage falters, when his job as Olympic ski coach is threatened, when his canny mother threatens to hire the best detective in the country in one last, vain attempt to retrieve a missing son, Coop cracks. But lovely Veronica has suddenly come along-she's young enough to give Coop pause, compelling enough in mind and body to convince him to act, even if it means losing his job, his home, and his secret.

The Smallest Color is the story of Coop's attempt to remember the past, that devastating summer of 1969 when everything seemed possible, when his brother was still alive. Like Sue Miller in When I Was Gone, or Philip Roth in American Pastoral, Bill Roorbach re-imagines the sixties, when radical acts threatened to destroy a domestic bliss we may have had no claim to. Alternating between then and now, the two brilliant cables of the novel interweave the past and present into a portrait of time itself in this unforgettable story of brotherly love, loss, and deliverance.


About Bill Roorbach

See more books from this Author
BILL ROORBACH is the author of eight books of fiction and nonfiction, including the Flannery O'Connor Prize and O. Henry Prize winner "Big Bend, Into Woods, "and "Temple Stream. "The tenth anniversary edition of his craft book, "Writing Life Stories, "is used in writing programs around the world. His work has been published in "Harper's, "the "Atlantic Monthly, Playboy, "the "New York Times Magazine, Granta, New York, "and dozens of other magazines and journals.
Published October 1, 2001 by Counterpoint Press. 336 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Smallest Color

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Roorbach’s quasi-mystery (what really happened to Hodge?) works well as a device in explicating Coop’s current life choices, creating a fast-paced portrait of the fate of ’60s radicalism.

| Read Full Review of The Smallest Color

Reader Rating for The Smallest Color

An aggregated and normalized score based on 8 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review