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The Third Brother: A Novel by Nick McDonell
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The Third Brother: A Novel

by Nick McDonell

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When McDonnell's firts novel was released to critical acclaim I was among the many who summarily judged him as a rich boy with literary pretensions and advantageous contacts. This speaks volumes about my own prejudices but is an unfair dismissal of a talented and mature author. Mick McDonnell is an excellent writer: he has a gift for building suspense, misleading his expectant reader and exploring the nastier side of familial relations without resorting to cliche or jumping the shark. ( )
  Johnny1978 | Feb 18, 2010 |
I loved his first novel Twelve so was looking forward to seeing what his next book would be like. I was left a bit disappointed with this one - perhaps it was because my expectations were so high. It wasn't a bad book, it was well-written and quite easy to read, but it didn't live up to the hype surrounding the author. The part set in Thailand didn't really interest me that much, perhaps because in real life the cliche of western backpackers "discovering" Thailand bores me. The parts about the family were more interesting, but I feel that the youth of the author (despite his obvious talent) means he hasn't experience much to draw on, and can only write about what he knows about, which isn't that interesting. Perhaps when he is 40 he will have something more to say. ( )
  sanddancer | Sep 30, 2008 |
Not as lively as his first although admittedly deep and contemplative. ( )
  notmyrealname | Jan 24, 2006 |
Strange little book. It's about a guy, Mike, who gets assigned a story about drug use by tourists in Thailand. He's working as an intern for a friend of his dad's. His family is not exactlywhat one would call stable, and some things happen in Thailand which affect Mike and are somewhat intertwined with his family issues. Then he comes home and 9/11 happens, along with some other personal tragedies, and his brother Lyle is hallucinating the existence of a third brother in their family.

Odd, and written in 100-something extremely short chapters, jumping between present and past tense. Quick to read, but I'm still not entirely sure what I thought about it. ( )
  ursula | Oct 18, 2005 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802142672, Paperback)

Nick McDonell's debut novel, Twelve, was a publishing sensation. It was an international best seller and established its seventeen-year-old author as an important literary voice. In The Third Brother, McDonell delivers another remarkable novel, a haunting tale of brotherly love, family tragedy, and national grief.

Mike was a lucky child: a vacation house on Long Island, famous family friends, an Ivy League education, and also an older brother, Lyle, who looked out for him. It's 2001, and Mike is a summer intern at a magazine in Hong Kong. Sent on assignment to Bangkok, Mike finds the city electric with violence and hedonism. Nothing goes according to plan. When terrible news about his brother arrives from home, Mike rushes back to the States. Lyle is unstable and suffering from visions of an imaginary third brother. And then, a clear September morning is broken by catastrophe. While the Twin Towers burn, Mike makes an epic trek through the ghostly streets of New York to find and save Lyle. From Patpong to the World Trade Center to Harvard Yard, as his life and country come apart, Mike struggles to find his footing and go on. The joke, it turns out, is on him.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A young man interning for a newspaper in Hong Kong finds himself in Thailand searching for a missing journalist and also exploing his own identity amid the steamy streets and illicit pleasures of Bangkok.

» see all 3 descriptions

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