The things a brother knows (by Dana Reinhardt)

9 08 2013

thingsbrotherSo this is what it feels like then? Being in a book rut. In the last 10 or so books, there’s only been one real wow book, but not on overwhelming “WTF how did I not know about this thing wow”, more like an expected wow… And then there was mediocre, after mediocre book… topped by a really bad one and then there is this: Dana Reinhardt’s The things a brother knows.

Levi’s brother Boaz, goes into the marines during the Iraqi war, right after high school. Boaz had a really promising future, so  when he decides to go off to fight a war, no one in his family really understands or even approves of his decision… But Boaz’s mind was made up. Now, Boaz returns and as can be expected (except by the family for some reason) Boaz is distant from everyone, and even locks himself up in his room. Levi is worried and when Boaz finally leaves his room he tells his family he is going on a hike of the Appalachian trail. Because Levi has been tracking what Boaz did on his computer, he doesn’t believe him, and decides to follow his older brother on the road trip. When he finally catches up with him, the two travel together and Levi slowly finds out what happened to Boaz.

So why does this book not make much of an impression on the cat? For one, because for the “mystery” surrounding Boaz, there really isn’t a lot of mystery surrounding Boaz, which makes much of the story a bit err… boring. Add to that the fact that the two main characters, Levi and Boaz aren’t really the world’s most interesting characters (Levi is a bland boy), and you end up with a book that is well… a little bit on the lackluster side. The things that could potentially make it more exciting (like e.g. Levi’s friend Pearl or Levi’s interaction with Céline – which only happened in the last quarter of the novel for some reason) are shoved too much in the background and don’t actually add anything to what this book is supposedly about: the bond between two brothers. The book itself is really a bit of drag up until about 75% into the book, when things start happening. So saying that pacing is off here is really an understatement.

All of this makes The things a brother knows a book that is very hard to connect with. Hence the book rut feeling…



One response

22 12 2013
The year 2013 in reading | Ringo the Cat's Blog

[…] during summer the cat thought 2013 would be a really weak reading year. And there have been some major […]

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