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& Sons by David Gilbert

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

There is a classic feel to this challenging, big, ambitious, American novel about fathers and sons. First the some time narrator, an unreliable voice, has the feel of Ford Madox Ford’s narrator in The Good Soldier and second the renowned, yet reclusive author, the subject of the tale, has a J D Salinger touch to him, and then there is the book itself, well that is very The Brothers Karamozov as the reclusive author Dyers gathers his sons for the first time in ages to relate a secret. We get all the stories, in fact three generations in two families. Each section starts with a letter from the heads of each family, beginning when they were 8-year old boys to the death of one 70 years later.

If you like David Gilbert you might also like to read books by Maggie Shipstead, Jonathan Franzen and Milan Kundera.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


& Sons by David Gilbert

Who is A. N. Dyer? For fans of 'The Art of Fielding' and 'Wonder Boys' - this is the panoramic, deeply affecting story of an iconic novelist and the heartbreaking truths that fiction can hide. The Manhattan funeral of Charles Henry Topping would have been a minor affair but for the identity of the eulogist: reclusive author A. N. Dyer, whose novel 'Ampersand' stands as a classic of teenage angst. Now Andrew Newbold Dyer takes stock of his own life, the people he's hurt and the novel that will endure as his legacy. He realises he must reunite with his three sons before it's too late. Eldest son Richard is a screenwriter in Californian exile. In the middle is Jamie, who has spent his life capturing the sorrow that surrounds him. And last is Andy, now a pupil at the boarding school that inspired 'Ampersand'. It is only when the hidden purpose of the reunion comes to light do the sons realise what's at stake - for their father, themselves and three generations of Dyers. Daring, entertaining and insightful, '& Sons' establishes David Gilbert as a writer to be treasured.


Praise for '& Sons': 'David Gilbert's & Sons is that book you've been waiting for without knowing you were waiting. Big, brilliant and terrifically funny
Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins

'The writing is gorgeous - not only the prose but the power of David Gilbert's observations ... this is a terrific story'
John Irving

'A contemporary New York variation on 'The Brothers Karamazov', featuring a J. D. Salinger-like writer in the role of Father, and a protagonist who turns out to be as questionable a tour guide as the notoriously unreliable narrator of Ford Madox Ford's classic 'The Good Soldier' ... a big, ambitious book about fathers and sons, Oedipal envy and sibling rivalry, and the dynamics between art and life, talent and virtue. The novel is smart, funny, observant and ... does a wonderful job of conjuring up its characters'
memories of growing up in New York City in layered, almost Proustian detail

Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
'Gilbert has a rich theme, and plenty of talent ... Gilbert often writes superbly, his sentences crisp, witty, and rightly weighted ... Some of [his metaphors] realign the visual world, asking us, as Nabokov's best metaphors do, to estrange in order to reconnect ... Every page proposes something clever and well turned. Gilbert is bursting with little achievements

James Wood, New Yorker
'Not just a great book - maddeningly smart, mercilessly funny - it is, in all the ways that matter, a large one; it contains multitudes

Mark Slouka
'A grand book, even extraordinary

Lev Grossman, Time

About the Author

David Gilbert is the author of the short-story collection 'Remote Feed' and the novel 'The Normals'. His stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's, GQ and Bomb. He lives in New York City with his wife and three children.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


David Gilbert

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