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My Brother and His Brother Paperback – 26 May 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: BRUNO GMUNDER VERLAG (26 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3867870853
  • ISBN-13: 978-3867870856
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.9 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 330,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 April 2011
Format: Paperback
At fifteen years, Jonas begins to take an interest in his older brother, Paul, who was killed in 1968 in an accident at the age of fifteen just seventeen months before Jonas himself was born. This interest will consume Jonas for the next three years, until at the age of eighteen his investigations really take off and when he is eventually able to solve many answered questions.

Jonas pursues his investigation with rather like a young Sherlock Holmes, and he soon discovers that his brother had an intense love affair with another boy about a year older prior to his accident; but what he really needs to learn now is whether his brother's death was an accident of intentional, especially in the light of further shocking discoveries. With help, surreptitiously from his parents, more openly from his mother's childhood friend Daniel, and with the aid of Paul's diary and old photographs, Jonas is able to put together all the pieces.

The image created of Paul is of an intense, thoughtful and caring boy with a great interest in nature; and Jonas is very much like his brother, both in nature and, although physically no more alike than just brothers, he is yet very much the image of his older brother.

This is a delightful story, Jonas is totally unphased by the discovery that his older brother was gay, accepting it without question. In his first person narrative Jonas often writes as if he is addressing Paul directly, and increasingly through the account Paul becomes more alive, and the distance between the two boys narrows, at time it is almost as if they are one. Jonas is a very perceptive young man with a very reasoning mind, for a few chapters he creates a moving and frank third person account of the activities and the beautiful relationship Paul and his lover shared.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Richard Thomas on 13 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A lovely story with the classical sad misunderstanding. The original was in Swedish; this English translation is by the author. I have mixed feelings about this; the English is far from perfect but on the other hand a definite Swedish atmosphere is produced giving the book a somewhat other worldly feel. An English speaking translator would have produced a very different, possibly inferior, result.
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Jonas's brother Paul died before he was born. His parents' grief, though softened by time, has overshadowed his life as their only other son. In his mid-teens, he becomes very curious about this phantom brother: he thinks about him, dreams about him, feels he is growing closer to him in his imagination; it almost becomes an obsession. By finding clues hidden around the house - clothes, letters, diaries, photos - and by questioning his parents and a family friend Daniel, who knew Paul intimately, Jonas is gradually able to piece together his brother's tragic story.

His main discovery is that at the age of fifteen Paul began a love affair with a sixteen year old Czech boy from another school who - improbably - turned up in his art class one day to pose as a nude model (what an introduction!). The progress of their brief but intense love affair is beautifully told through letters and diaries and Jonas's own writings. But a double tragedy destroys the boys' affair before it was allowed to develop into something deeper. To get at the truth of this, of what happened to the two doomed boys, Jonas has to dig deep, not only into the reluctant testimonies of his mother and of Daniel but into himself. A surprise encounter at the end of the story brings some measure of consolation.

Through a simple, intense, spare style the author (this is his own English translation) keeps the narrative focus firmly on Paul and his boyfriend, which he makes credible, touching and romantic, as all first loves should be. What is interesting, however - and for me this was something of a weakness - is how little we learn of Jonas who is telling the story and who is the hero of the present: after all, this book is his emotional journey too.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marcus on 14 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback
Keeping it simple - a good book and a great read. It has that suspense quality at the end of each chapter that makes you come back to see what happens!!
Reccomended to anyone!
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