BN.com Gift Guide

The Brothers Boswell

( 3 )

Overview

"In 1763, James Boswell and the literary celebrity Dr. Samuel Johnson take a boat down the Thames to visit Greenwich. Unknown to this pair, they are being stalked by John Boswell, James's younger brother, who has recently been released from an asylum for the insane. John carries a pair of miniature pistols that each fire a single golden bullet, and there is murder in his heart." "James is twenty-two years old, son of a stern Scottish judge, heir to the family fortune, and he has just arrived in London from Edinburgh, a provincial backwater as far ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (32) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $1.99   
  • Used (23) from $1.99   
Brothers Boswell

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$14.00 List Price

Overview

"In 1763, James Boswell and the literary celebrity Dr. Samuel Johnson take a boat down the Thames to visit Greenwich. Unknown to this pair, they are being stalked by John Boswell, James's younger brother, who has recently been released from an asylum for the insane. John carries a pair of miniature pistols that each fire a single golden bullet, and there is murder in his heart." "James is twenty-two years old, son of a stern Scottish judge, heir to the family fortune, and he has just arrived in London from Edinburgh, a provincial backwater as far as Londoners are concerned. He is eager to advance himself in Society, to appear elegant and sophisticated; John is an embarrassment, to be carefully hidden away from his new London connections. Eaten up with envy, and burdened by secrets he can never disclose to his family, John has come up to London seeking revenge for slights he believes he has suffered - inflicted not only by James, but by the author of the Dictionary himself" The psychological motivations of rivalrous siblings are compellingly portrayed in this meticulously researched literary thriller. Eighteenth-century London comes to life as an unpredictable killer tracks his prey in the shadows of a turbulent city.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Patrick Anderson
Make no mistake, this is a thriller, however literary. When John finally has his brother and Johnson in his grasp…the reader, even if he strongly suspects that both men lived well past 1763, is caught up in the passion and terror of the moment. One of the novel's several wonders is that the mad brother is just as compelling a character as his soon-to-be-immortal sibling. If you're interested in Boswell and Johnson, or in 18th-century England, or in brilliant storytelling, The Brothers Boswell is not to be missed. And if you enjoy it, you might want to seek out The X President, because it's great fun, too.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Baruth (The X-President) shows his versatility with this chilling literary thriller. In 1763 London, John Boswell, the resentful younger brother of Samuel Johnson's future biographer, is stalking Boswell and Johnson, who have recently become friends. John bribes the boatmen who ferry his quarry on the Thames for the smallest details of their conversations. As he remembers the past, John reveals a personal link with the great lexicographer, with whom he once shared a brief, close relationship. Despite the inherent lack of suspense about the outcome of John's murderous quest, the subtle way the author examines his character's twisted mind draws the reader in, as does the evocative prose, as illustrated, for example, in a passage describing St. James's Park at night ("the vast empty dirt-packed space... takes on a dull luminosity, picks up the leavings of the moon and gives back a quarter-light, just enough to perceive the outline of figures moving at one slowly from the trees"). (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

In this literary thriller, Baruth (English, Univ. of Vermont; The X President) uses the relationship between diarist James Boswell and his brother John as a lens to examine the complex and often troubled bond between the eldest son and a younger brother. The plot revolves around a boat trip Boswell took to Greenwich in 1763 with his famous literary patron, Samuel Johnson. John, recently released from a lunatic asylum and bearing two pistols, follows them there to force a violent confrontation-a sign not simply of his madness but of his lifelong ambivalence about James and his envy of James's burgeoning relationship with Johnson. The suspense is somewhat blunted by the reader's knowing that Johnson and James Boswell obviously weren't killed in 1763. Nevertheless, the book has a strong narrative thread and builds to a dramatic confrontation between the characters. Baruth grounds his narrative firmly in the extensive source material produced by Johnson and Boswell, and his depiction of Johnson is particularly convincing. For fans of historical fiction. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ1/09.]
—Douglas Southard

Kirkus Reviews
Samuel Johnson and his biographer find themselves at the mercy of Boswell's mad younger brother in a literary conceit from Baruth (The X President, 2003). They're an odd couple, the London literary lion and the Scottish acolyte more than 30 years his junior, yet they're already fast friends just two months after their first meeting. On a summer day in 1763, they have planned an excursion down the Thames, unaware they are being shadowed by James Boswell's 19-year-old brother John. He has been tracking his brother since dawn; he watched James flirting with two whores in the park, then followed him to a house where James made love to Peggy, a Scottish skivvy. When John bursts in on Peggy after his brother's departure, brandishing pistols and vowing to kill her if she sees James again, we realize he is, as he tells Peggy, "genuinely mad." Indeed, he had been confined in an asylum only months earlier. Arriving in London, he has discovered James's journal. The realization that his brother has been excluding him from his social circle enrages John; he has planned this July 30 as a day of reckoning when, armed and dangerous, he will confront and expose James and Johnson simultaneously. (John has an animus against Johnson too, because he's persuaded himself that the writer is his clandestine platonic lover.) Baruth interrupts his story of the big day with flashbacks to the Boswells' Edinburgh childhood and James' social climbing in London, combining John's unreliable first-person narration with James' point-of-view. The story only works if we find John as worthy of interest as his famous targets; sadly, we don't. Madness is not inherently fascinating, and John's asylum experience is barely touchedon. Baruth does manage to whip up suspense around the eventual showdown at a coffeehouse; elsewhere our enjoyment derives from the story of James Boswell's ascent, buttressed by delightful period detail. Elegant prose and an occasional frisson mask, for a while, the ultimate pointlessness of this tall tale.
From the Publisher
“An exciting, suspenseful story. . . . Not to be missed.”—The Washington Post

“[An] accurate, original, and entertaining fictional reconstruction.”—The Boston Globe

“Remarkable.”—David Liss, author of The Devil’s Company

“It is a beautifully written novel, with the flavor of a literary work.”—Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569475591
  • Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2009
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    an intriguing biographical suspense thriller

    In 1763 London, John Boswell hates his older brother James who has become friends with renowned lexicographer Samuel Johnson; by default John also loathes Johnson due to the company he keeps. Obsessed with his sibling, John stalks both men and pays Thames River boatmen for information on what the pair discussed when they ferry them.-------------

    John recalls when Johnson was his friend before his sibling usurped his relationship. Increasingly he considers fratricide as a means to right the wrong he believes James has done to him. He ponders whether to kill both men to ease the rage vibrating in his gut that seems to grow with every thought about the pair.------------

    THE BROTHERS BOSWELL is an intriguing biographical suspense thriller that stars real Georgian Era writers. The triangle comes to life as each of the key three players seem genuine especially their interrelationships. Though the ending is obvious for anyone familiar with the classic biography Life of Johnson;, fans will feel the tension throughout as increasingly John is losing control of his mind fogged by his hatred, envy, and deep conviction that he has been wronged by his sibling and his former friend.------------

    Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)