The Brothers Boswell

Philip Baruth, Author . Soho $24 (329p) ISBN 978-1-56947-559-1

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)

Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 329 pages - 978-1-56947-635-2
Open Ebook - 201 pages - 978-0-85789-060-3
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