Review Blog

May 20 2013

My Brother Simple by Marie-Aude Murail

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Translated by Adriana Hunter. Bloomsbury, 2012. ISBN 9781408814710.
Highly recommended. I was unaware of this French author's pedigree as a writer but will, after reading this fine book read more. A household name in her native France, Marie-Aude Murail has with this book achieved something great. By turns funny, sad and heart-wrenching, this book never patronises or preaches. My Brother Simple; follows the story of two brothers; seventeen year old Kleber and his Twenty-two year old brother, Barnaby, the 'Simple' of the title. Simple has learning difficulties and Kleber is struggling to look after him whilst completing his final year of high school.
In an attempt to rescue Simple from the Institution he has been living in since their Mother died, the two young men embark on a heart-warming yet darkly comic adventure in share-housing amid the tenements of Paris.
It is a thoroughly accomplished, poignant story of brotherly love and family responsibility and coming of age. Lovers of Mark Haddon's excellent Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time will find plenty here to entertain and ponder.
Highly recommended.
Stephen Bull

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