Books·Canadian

Crimes Against My Brother

This novel by David Adams Richards is about the inescapable bond between three blood brothers.

David Adams Richards

Harold, Evan and Ian are inseparable as boys — so much so that one night, abandoned in the forest by the careless adults around them, and raging against society and the uncaring gods others worship, they seal their undying brotherhood with a blood bond. But soon after, a horrific accident scars each of them in a different way, testing their bonds and leaving each with a debt to be paid. As adults, seeking to rise above debt and advance in life, each man decides upon a very different path — but over time, all three discover they are tied to each other in intricately tangled, sometimes violent, and surprising ways that none of them has been wise enough to foresee.

In Crimes Against My Brother, literary legend David Adams Richards is at his finest, reprising some of his most complex and beloved characters (such as Sydney Henderson from Mercy Among the Children), introducing unforgettable new ones (such as the beautiful but fatally foolish Annette Brideau; and the wily, charming, money-hungry manipulator Lonnie Sullivan), and weaving a tale of such force, gravitas, complexity, universality, and compassionate understanding that he reaffirms his status as a master storyteller who has, book by book, used his rare genius to create an entire, teeming universe alongside a river in a small northern part of the world. (From Anchor Canada)

From the book

I spoke to my students often — all of whom had written their interminable essays, their left-leaning theories on the dispossessed, their brilliant studies of our disenfranchised, every piece so polished you would think it is publishable in The Globe and Mail — about these three. Yet I realized that not one of my students had ever slept in a room with rats walking across the floor like Ian Preston had. Not one of them, at fourteen, had stood up against men coming in at night drunk to fuck his mother, like Evan Young. Not one had carried a water bucket up a gangplank, or tossed wood all day until dark, like Harold Dew. Not one had cut his own wood for the winter, trapped beaver against a black brook, killed an animal with a stick. Or gone at twelve years of age to work for Lonnie Sullivan. That is, even as I taught these students, these pleasant, affable upwardly mobile young men and women, I wondered what could their inestimable essays ever say beyond what I myself had known in my blood by the time I was ten years old? And why did my mother and father want this for me — this world where I had become something of a figure of merit? To fuss and preen over me when I came home?


From Crimes Against My Brother by David Adams Richards ©2014. Published by Doubleday Canada.

Other books by David Adams Richards