Monday, December 29, 2008

Book Review: Brothers No More

It's been a while since I read this novel, so a lot of this is from my fuzzy memory. As I mentioned in my review of Saving the Queen, I approached this book with some trepidation because of William F. Buckley, Jr's penchant for long sentences and big words. Thankfully, this novel (his 11th) was extremely readable and very enjoyable.

Brothers No More starts out in World War II with best friends Danny O'Hara and Henry Chafee preparing for a nighttime assault on an enemy location. In a pulse-pounding opening chapter, Danny rises to the challenge of the occasion, but Henry suffers from a bout of cowardice. The following chapters detail their first meeting at Yale, the start of their friendship, and ultimately the fallout of their actions that fateful night. Instead of a long, drawn out narrative, each chapter is a snapshot in the lives of our characters - sometimes taking place decades apart. Instead of a gradual build, we get the broader picture of how one single act can define a man's life.

The book is mainly a character study of the two men. Buckley created two unique characters that the reader gets emotionally invested in throughout the course of the novel. It was a very quick read too (if I remember correctly).

Recommended for admirers of WFB and fans of character driven novels.

Andrew Ferguson's review here.

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