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*Download Kindle Ú The Good Brother Ü Virgil Caudill has never gone looking for trouble, but this time he s got no choice his hell raising brother Boyd has been murdered Everyone knows who did it, and in the hills of Kentucky, tradition won t let a murder go unavenged No matter which way he chooses, Virgil will lose The Good Brother, Chris Offutt s finely crafted first novel, is the story of Virgil s struggle to find his real self in the wake of an impossible choice Traversing the American landscape from the hollows of Eastern Kentucky to the plains of Montana, Offutt explores the hunger for belonging that drives our most passionate beliefs, and in the process shows himself to be one of our most powerful storytellers An interesting and lyrical book that centers on a man whose life is obligations and whose light fades compared to the charismatic figures around him like his older brother Boyd who is killed Virgil is expected to avenge this death according to Kentucky holler law He is a tree in the shade made of a few codes like a working class ethic that proclaims each mans dignity better than any high school social studies text.Offutt s rendering of the metaphorically lush but spare syntax of Kentucky pidgi An interesting and lyrical book that centers on a man whose life is obligations and whose light fades compared to the charismatic figures around him like his older brother Boyd who is killed Virgil is expected to avenge this death according to Kentucky holler law He is a tree in the shade made of a few codes like a working class ethic that proclaims each mans dignity better than any high school social studies text.Offutt s rendering of the metaphorically lush but spare syntax of Kentucky pidgin English is a revelation He contrasts that with the diction of the mountain west of Montana Offutt brings his new home, Missoula, into the story and uses it as he writesof a bildungsroman than a thiller or detective story Virgil becomes Joe, and in his exile his finds himself He finds his voice arguing against prejudice He finds his heart with a woman whose two boys remind Joe of growing up with his late brother Boyd The sunshine of big sky country makes the shade addled holler boy of Kentucky grow, make choices, and find whatever true adult he was supposed to become in the best of all worlds Worth the read I hear his short stories are great I really liked this book until it got very heavy handed with the pro militia vs anti militia debate in the second half of the book Although the dialog of those debates seemed realistic, and even fit the context that Offutt established, it still seemed to turn the book into an excuse to debate the topic The beginning of the book was just great in how it set up the inevitability of Virgil s task I particularly liked how everyone kept coming at him letting him know what he had to do And even b I really liked this book until it got very heavy handed with the pro militia vs anti militia debate in the second half of the book Although the dialog of those debates seemed realistic, and even fit the context that Offutt established, it still seemed to turn the book into an excuse to debate the topic The beginning of the book was just great in how it set up the inevitability of Virgil s task I particularly liked how everyone kept coming at him letting him know what he had to do And even better was the way he did it on his own terms that was a nice touch for deepening the character based conflicts The middle part of the book with its themes of identity and belonging and alienation worked quite well also And even the militia stuff is tied into the book s main theme by raising the question of belonging The writing is incredibly beautiful at times As in his short stories, he seems to excel at merging states of mind with the setting, where external details seem in sync with the psychological state of the characters Not my favorite Offutt book but still very good If you are new to this author, read his newest book or short stories before this one You will haveappreciation for it if you have a firm understanding of his Kentucky. This one was pretty far out of my comfort zone I will remember this one.