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Extended Audio Sample The Brothers K, by David James Duncan Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (6,251 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David James Duncan Narrator: Robertson Dean Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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David James Duncan’s first novel, The River Why, met with such enthusiastic praise for its journey of self-discovery that it became a contemporary classic, with readers comparing Duncan to J. D. Salinger, Ken Kesey, and John Irving. In The Brothers K, Duncan amplifies this considerable accomplishment with a tender and powerful story that centers around a Pacific Northwest family in the early 1960s.

The Chance family is wild about baseball and cantankerous about religion. Papa is a gifted but luckless minor-league pitcher whose big-league hopes are fading. Mama is a devout Seventh Day Adventist, constantly in motion to save her wayward sons. When a mill accident crushes Papa’s thumb and Mama’s inexplicable fanaticism threatens to shred what little the family has in common, parents and children find themselves embattled over the ideals represented by baseball and religion.

It is young Kincaid, the easygoing middle child, who chronicles the humor and spiritual beliefs that alternately sustain and confound this family in a small Washington mill town. And it is through his maturing voice, as his brothers leave town to enter one of the country’s most bewildering decades, that we hear the inescapable tensions wrought from one American generation testing another’s vulnerabilities. Through the Chances, David James Duncan asks sublime questions about life, self-sacrifice, and enduring love in an ever changing world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The pages of The Brothers K sparkle!”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Duncan is a wonderfully engaging writer.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “This ambitious book succeeds on almost every level and every page.”

    USA Today

  • “A stunning work: a complex tapestry of family tensions, baseball, politics, and religion, by turns hilariously funny and agonizingly sad.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “If John Irving reimagined The Brothers Karamazov as one of his kooky families and Thomas Pynchon did a rewrite, the result might be something close to this…it scores a home run.”

    Library Journal

  • “Marvelously detailed and poignant, and a garden of delights for baseball lovers.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A family drama of the highest order…Look no further for some of the most fallible, lovable, and utterly absorbing characters in modern literature.”

    Powells.com Staff Pick

  • A New York Times Notable Book
  • Winner of the American Library Association Best Book Award

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jennifer | 2/13/2014

    " Possibly my favorite novel of all time, competing with Potok's The Chosen. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Aimee | 2/8/2014

    " This book is epic. 5 brothers growing up in the sixties. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Heather the Hillbilly Banjo Queen | 2/1/2014

    " Duncan's use of language is amazing! That is a sad little explanation describing what he does and why this book is so great. He is just so honest with everything. I loved every second of this book and laughed until I cried while reading it. When you are done with the book, each main character has become someone you know personally and you love them and don't want it to end. I do have to warn the people that don't like to read salty language...it's in here. Beware. OK, I've done my duty. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by H. Ryan | 1/30/2014

    " (Thanks James, why didn't I read this years ago when you recommended it?) "

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