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O Brother

John Niven author

Format:Paperback

Publisher:Canongate Books

Published:6th Jun '24

Should be back in stock very soon

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O Brother cover

AN INSTANT SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
SHORTLISTED FOR THE GORDON BURN PRIZE
A GUARDIAN BEST MEMOIR OF 2023
A WATERSTONES BEST BOOK OF 2023

John Niven's little brother Gary was fearless, popular, stubborn, handsome, hilarious and sometimes terrifying. After years of chaotic struggle against the world took his own life at the age of 42.

Tracking the lives of two brothers in changing times - from illicit cans of lager in 70s sitting rooms to ecstasy in 90s raves - O Brother is a tender, affecting and often uproariously funny story. It is about the bonds of family and how we try to keep the best of those we lose alive. It is about black sheep and what it takes to break the ties that bind. Fundamentally it is about how families survive suicide, 'that last cry, from the saddest outpost.'

Vivid, visceral, brilliantly funny in places, dispensing sharp punches to the gut in others . . . [O Brother] made me sob more than once, and I suspect it will do the same to you * * Guardian * *
Riotous and yet bracingly moving . . . Often exuberant, laugh-out-loud funny, touching, sad and rueful * * Observer * *
Heartbreaking, and told with tenderness and honesty . . . The writing is first rate, without announcing how good it is. I can't recommend it strongly enough * * Spectator * *
An honest epitaph for a troubled soul, tender and sentimental, but shot through with anger and regret for the things left unsaid * * The Times * *
Oh my God, this book! O Brother feels like war-level reportage from the nuclear-blast that suicide inflicts on a family. [. . . ] A book whose genuine importance is only equaled by its sheer, visceral, compulsive readability -- CAITLIN MORAN
Absurdly well-written, painfully funny and painfully painful -- ADAM KAY
Tender, raw and beautiful . . . Niven is a tremendous storyteller. It is a memoir, it is a remembrance, and it is a guttural cry for us all to take those we love and hold them closer, to love them harder - to fight for them, in a society that gives up on men like Gary all too easily * * iPaper * *
As moving, scalding, funny and harrowing as any memoir I've ever read -- IAN RANKIN
O Brother is an extraordinary memoir; as devastating as it is colourful, forensic in its examination of family dynamics and oh so beautifully written. I earmarked so many pages that my copy doubled in width. Do not read the final chapter without a box of tissues -- JOJO MOYES
A brutal and brilliant sibling memoir. It's with both humour and pathos that [John Niven] recalls his and Gary's early life growing up in Irvine, Ayrshire, their diverging adult trajectories * * Guardian * *

  • Short-listed for Gordon Burn Prize 2024 (UK)

ISBN: 9781805303343

Dimensions: 198mm x 130mm x 23mm

Weight: 270g

384 pages

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