Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Burgess Boys: A Novel by Elizabeth…

The Burgess Boys: A Novel (original 2013; edition 2013)

by Elizabeth Strout

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0251448,270 (3.78)156
Title:The Burgess Boys: A Novel
Authors:Elizabeth Strout
Info:Random House (2013), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:LT Early Reviewers

Work details

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout (2013)

Recently added byprivate library, jilld17, janeajones, nancenwv, martinebs1, tennisbug, grace1950, LadyMuck, padmacatell



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 156 mentions

English (146)  German (1)  All languages (147)
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Although the writing was strong, I found it difficult to empathize with the characters. I really needed to hear Zachary's point of view early on in the story. ( )
  nancyjune | Sep 8, 2014 |
Without anything amounting to scholarly focus I have wondered whether authors can successfully depict the interior lives of characters of the opposite sex. It has seemed to me that authors are successful depicting characters of the opposite sex when they derive their depictions from what they have observed, and they fail at it when they try to infer intent and the workings of the mind. In The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout, a book very strong in unveiling character, the author gives us one brother almost entirely from the outside and another brother fairly often from the inside. Both are pretty much believable, but the one captured from the outside cannot be denied whereas the one whose intent seems to be limned sometimes seems slightly effeminate. Now he is a beautiful person, he fits the drama of the story well, and he is drawn in full detail, but the feeling remains that he was written by a woman.

I believe that male authors, mutatis mutandis, have the same problem, and I don't trust them when they try to get inside a woman's head.

I've read three important contemporary novels in the past couple of weeks, and this is the one that has got my attention. I will be looking at these people, as reflections on my own character, for some time to come. What are the doubts we have about how we have lived our lives? Where have our lives come from? How much are we involved with our families? Do our lives come from them? Do we have a duty to them regardless of our relations with them?... The novel by capturing mostly pretty much real and fascinating people brings these questions to life. ( )
1 vote Mr.Durick | Sep 7, 2014 |
not sure at first if I would like this, especially after Olive K., but the characters and the writing grew on me. In the end, as with O.K., the finely drawn characters, seen from differing perspectives was very interesting. ( )
  Lisa02476 | Aug 23, 2014 |
I tried many times to get into this book, but was unsuccessful. It was very slow and it was difficult keep with the plot. I finally, after 4 months of trying, gave up. ( )
1 vote breakingbooks | Aug 13, 2014 |
Droll and uninspired, there are less likable books out there with heavy-handed social messages, but not many. ( )
  Birdo82 | Jul 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To my husband

Jim Tierney
First words
My mother and I talked a lot about the Burgess Family. "The Burgess kids," she called them.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haunted by a freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possible could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a legal aid attorney who idolises Jim, has always taken it in his stride.

But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan - the sibling who stayed behind - urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has landed himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Catalyzed by a nephew's thoughtless prank, a pair of brothers confront painful psychological issues surrounding the freak accident that killed their father when they were boys, a loss linked to a heartbreaking deception that shaped their personal and professional lives.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
21 wanted3 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.78)
0.5 1
1 9
1.5 2
2 13
2.5 5
3 71
3.5 46
4 145
4.5 38
5 57


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,704,404 books! | Top bar: Always visible