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The third brother : a novel
Nick McDonell
Adult Fiction MCDONEL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

McDonell's first novel, published when he was 17, was an acclaimed 300,000-copy bestsellerAa daunting achievement for this emotionally intricate but iffy sophomore effort to match. The author of Twelve, now 21, is a bit too experienced to be a boy wonder, but he's not quite a mature writer, a 'twixt phase that bedevils this novel about tragic family secrets, sibling madness and the abrupt onset of adult responsibility. Part one of the rat-a-tat-tat taleAmost chapters are two or three pagesAis set in Thailand, where Mike, a well-bred Harvard freshman interning for the summer at a Hong Kong magazine, is researching a story on stoned Western travelers. Part two takes place back in Manhattan as September 11, 2001, nears: Mike's quarrelsome parents are dead in a house fire and his revered older brother, perhaps responsible for the blaze, is prone to paralyzing hallucinations. McDonnell has a knack for capturing place with sharp-eyed, vivid prose: scenes set in Bangkok's whirl of sex and drugs, and his evocation of 9/11 disbelief and horror are both charged with a reality that's reportorial in its authenticity. But the two halves of the novel, linked loosely by Mike's search for the truth about his family, don't quite gel. Agent, Melanie Jackson. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

After receiving a tremendous amount of attention for his first novel, Twelve, which he wrote at the tender age of 17, McDonell, now 21, has followed it with a more meditative effort that reflects a more sophisticated, experienced outlook on life. Mike's well-connected father has helped him land an internship with a magazine in Hong Kong. The work primarily consists of tedious Internet research until Mike's editor, an old college friend of Mike's father, sends him on an assignment to Bangkok both to help a veteran reporter on a story and to find an award-winning journalist from the magazine who hasn't been heard from in months. As Mike searches for the reporter, while also experiencing the licentiousness of Bangkok life, McDonell intersperses the narrative with flashbacks to Mike's privileged but troubling childhood and his close relationship with his older brother. McDonell's authorial confidence borders on audaciousness when he includes the events of 9/11 in the book's denouement; there are still signs of his youthfulness-for example, one hopes that he will eventually expand his average chapter length to more than a few pages. Still, McDonell's prodigious talent is without question, and his current development is evident throughout this work. Recommended for most general fiction collections.-Kevin Greczek, Ewing, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Mike
Well-bred; attending Harvard; interning at a magazine in Hong Kong; sent on an assignment to find a missing journalist; parents died in a house fire possibly caused by his older brother who suffers from hallucinations.
College student

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