The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers by Thomas Mullen

9 04 2010

And I'm a big fan of the cover, too.

Sometimes I read a really great book, one that I really enjoy and have already started recommending to friends and family, but when I go to write a review I get completely blocked.  Usually I just end up letting that book slide into oblivion, hoping that at some later date I’ll be able to express how freaking awesome it was.  Then I start to feel sort of guilty about that – I mean, I should just get over myself and give you a good book recommendation.  So, go read The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers.  Or listen to it, I’m sure it’d be a good audiobook.  Quick synopsis – bank robbing brothers in the early 1930s wake up in a morgue riddled with bullet holes and at a loss to how they ended up dead or why they came back.  Most of the story is told in flashbacks as each of the brothers contemplate their lives and try to figure out their deaths.  The book is essentially a family drama filled with love and jealousy and pride and guilt and miscommunication.  It is against this backdrop that Mullen relates the history of the era – the politics of Prohibition and the Great Depression, the strange glamour of bank robbers, the creation and rise of the FBI – weaving everything into a book that goes beyond any one genre.  It is a mystery, a drama, a comedy, a romance, a period piece, a serious book that doesn’t feel serious – and it is simply fantastic.

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