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The James Boys has 56 ratings and 15 reviews. William said: A really fun read. Every page is full of big vocabulary words that you don't often see but wh.
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  1. THE JAMES BOYS by Richard Liebmann-Smith | Kirkus Reviews.
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While Henry James, crossing Missouri after a western lecture tour, is talking to vivacious Elena Hite, their train is ambushed by the James Gang. In the melee, Henry and his younger brother Jesse recognize each other. If this sounds ridiculous, it is—but charmingly so.

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The James Boys: A Novel Account of Four Desperate Brothers

The story sometimes gets swamped by bookish apparatus, and one may long for more concentrated attention on the brothers, rather than constant quotations of reference material and celebrity-spotting at one point in Paris, the detective William Pinkerton, trying to arrest Henry, is pummeled into humiliation by a group of writers including Turgenev, Zola and others—this happens at the salon of Flaubert, with whom well-traveled Elena is having a fling.

Yet Liebmann-Smith mostly makes it work, thanks to a playful style and a lively humor. His command of the source material is impressive, and his ingenious plot manipulations illuminate some of the mysteries and gaps in the biographies of William and Henry James.


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  • KIRKUS REVIEW.
  • A debut novel that imagines that two sets of real-life James brothers, novelist Henry and psychologist William, and desperadoes Frank and Jesse, are related. Liebmann-Smith co-creator of the animated Historian Otis Pease once remarked that the story of nineteenth-century Historian Otis Pease once remarked that the story of nineteenth-century America could be encompassed in the lives of the two sets of James brothers—William and Henry in the East, Frank and Jesse in the West.

    The James Boys goes further by making all four of them the fruit of the same family tree and showing how it shakes out.

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    I will read this one again. May 23, Nancy Packard added it. Read this book for our book club. Not a great response from the club. Vocabulary was too fussy and a little vulgar in places.

    The James Boys: A Novel Account of Four Desperate Brothers by Richard Liebmann-Smith

    Mar 10, Nicole rated it it was amazing Shelves: It was like Lemony Snicket for adult academics. Beautifully constructed, fantastic use of vocabulary, and a terrifically witty spoof on academic writing.

    The James Boys A Novel Account of Four Desperate Brothers

    May 30, Mary rated it liked it Shelves: Aug 14, Nicole rated it liked it. Colleen rated it it was ok Feb 05, Aaron rated it liked it Aug 13, Karen rated it it was ok Mar 14, Sparkledaisy rated it did not like it Nov 26, Karen rated it it was ok Jul 15, Paulette Illmann rated it it was ok Jul 31, Greg Olson rated it liked it Aug 11, JMCR rated it liked it Apr 08, Olga rated it did not like it May 18, Hannah rated it liked it Jun 07, Dan Friedman rated it it was amazing Sep 19, Daniel Donatelli rated it it was ok Nov 17, Deedee rated it really liked it Apr 03, Gina rated it it was ok Jul 09, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

    Books by Richard Liebmann-Smith.


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