BROTHERS by Bart Moeyaert


The Oldest, the Quietest, the Realest, the Farthest, the Nicest, the Fastest, and I
by & translated by
Age Range: 10 - 13
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Moeyaert’s memoir, translated from the Flemish, consists of 42 brief vignettes of childhood exploits with six older brothers. The young Moeyaert is a willing, often baffled accomplice as his brothers ogle a neighbor girl, lob a toad onto a scorching-hot tin roof or attempt to steal a pie from the bakery van. In several touching pieces, the author allows himself starring roles: In “Ground,” he stays behind to tend a tiny new garden patch long after his brothers have run off; in “Seldom,” he finds a rare shell at the beach, marveling at his father’s profound reaction. While the English subtitle seems to portend unique characterizations of each brother, quite the opposite occurs: They career along in tale after tale as a seething, unified mass of boy-energy—one organism with seven heads, many flailing limbs and a single intent, whether to enjoy a nice game of playing dead or thwart an annoying summer guest. Moeyaert laces the unaffected observations of his tag-along child self with the rueful, elegiac tones of the adult looking back. The result—wistful prose tinged with irony—is best suited to mature readers, similarly equipped to cast a net back on childhood memories. (Memoir. 10-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2005
ISBN: 1-932425-18-7
Page count: 168pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2005


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