Customer Reviews for

The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers: A Novel

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    If You Like Robert Parker, You'll like this!

    This takes place during the depression, but it invites reflection on today's economic conditions. At first, I thought the plot premise implausible, but after twenty pages I was hooked! The characters and storyline provides grist for great discussions. Once again, Mullen has taken an historical viewpoint that somehow holds a magnifying glass to our current milieu. A spectacular and fast-paced read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    the Firefly Brothers adventures are a timely allegorical historical

    In 1933 and the first half of 1934, a Great Depression frightened public adore the Firefly brothers though Jason and Whit Fireson are violent bank robbers. The siblings do what many dream of doing but are too afraid when they boldly commit robberies.

    However, in August 1934, proud law enforcement authorities announce the end of these vicious felons as the bullet ridden corpses of the Firefly brothers lay in an Indiana morgue. Their girlfriend Darcy Veronica are heartbroken with grief as is their mom and though a straight shooter their brother Weston. However, the cops prove premature with their bloody announcement as Jason and Whit wake up and calmly leave the morgue to begin the further escapes in legends of The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers.

    Although how the siblings stay alive through their dangerous capers is never explained, fans will not care as the Firefly Brothers adventures are a timely allegorical historical; desperate people have given up on a pathetic government and turned to antiheroes as champions. Action-packed, this is a terrific parable that uses the war on crime during the Great Depression in comparison with the war on terrorism during the Great Recession. The stark reality of the Great Depression on the lives of ordinary people is enhanced by the fantastic Firefly brothers who symbolize the frustration with government that fails to act (Henry Higgins Effect of Democrats in charge) or unwilling to act (Pygmalion Effect of Republicans in charge) when the need is obvious, which implies in charge or not Republicans win and people lose so they turn to antiheroes.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers

    The Many Deaths of the Firefly by Thomas Mullen is an amazing book. It is one of those rare titles where everything works. Starting with the outside, it has a deep red jacket with a fedora clad silhouette walking towards the reader its trench coat flapping slightly. It has an intriguing title that makes you want to pick it up, and it is a hefty in size. The book is about a pair of Dillinger-esque bank robbers called the Firefly Brothers. As you read Mullen's beautiful prose you settle into a non-chronological account of two men caught up in their own story. For this book is very much about story - the stories in the newspapers, the stories they tell each other (and the ones they don't), the history and mythology of the era, and even the stories they can't remember.

    ".people need to tell their stories to place themselves somewhere solid in this great swirl." - Mullen

    Jason is the dapper one, as charmed as he is charming. He didn't want any part of his father's store and the two strong men butted heads. So, Jason took off to become a driver for a bootlegging operation. Sure it was illegal, but wasn't Prohibition the real crime, seemed to be the thought process, besides he like the fast cars and the good clothes. Two jail stints and his father's death, which haunts the book, escalated him bootlegger to bank robber. He honestly hadn't wanted to get his brothers involved in what he did, but eventually he saw no choice, especially when it came to Wit.

    Wit, the youngest Fireson, is rougher around the edges then his brother and not nearly so vain. He is on the path of anger fueled self-destruction and Jason figures if he takes him along then at least he can attempt damage control. Together they have adventures galore and the next big score is always right around the corner. Jason tries not to think of the killing as his fault -self defense or an over zealous conspirator. He tries to reject the newspapers myth making and see himself as level-headed.

    But, little of this do you find out right away. See, Jason and his brother Wit are introduced to us waking up on cold metal slabs in a police morgue. They'd been killed and have the bullet holes to prove it. They know who they are, but not how they got there. The book bounces around in time telling you stories from various points of view. Some are from past, many are from the present and they all stitch themselves together nicely. Conjuring as if by magic, what it meant to live in that era, why people mythologies some criminals, and how these men found themselves in that life, even if they are not sure why they are alive.

    "She wanted to breathe the brothers back into life with their stories." - Mullen

    Books like this one enthrall me. I listened to this one audio too, even though I love the physical book. The audio production is superb. It is read by William Dufris whose voice I remembered from listening to a Richard K. Morgan novel a while back. He really breathes life into all the characters. The author talks about the phoneme of someone speech or there geographically dialect and Dufris keeps pace with it all. In the end The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers is a wonderful historical fiction that I'm sure my co-workers will get tired of me raving about. It is the kind of wonderful that makes me afraid that any clumsiness in my review will turn somebody off to it, yet I can't just leave it at, "A Must Read!"

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