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giving this all the stars

The Brothers K - David James Duncan

So it's fall and I decided to read a baseball themed book. Baseball is one of those sports that is a strange blend of physical, psychological, and zen and I think it makes for a good story backdrop. I had no idea I how fantastic this would be.

The Brothers K is the great American novel of the late 20th century that you have never read. What happens when you mix a baseball playing father with a Seventh-day Adventist mother? To start, you get six kids, four brothers and twin sisters. Throw into the mix an atheist grandmother, reconstructive surgery, the Vietnam war and coming of age, and you get a touching, funny, poignant and simply wonderful family story.

I have never read "The Brothers Karamazov" so I cannot draw any parallels, I will leave that to the fancy NYT reviewers. I have read Jonathan Franzen, and I did recognize a similarity in the somewhat indulgent characterization and storytelling style. That comparison might be the kiss of death for some readers, but for me it's a definite plus.