by Marc Jampole
Owl Canyon Press (June 1, 2021)
Paperback : 298 pages
ISBN-13 : 978-1952085079
Jules and Leon Silver sit at a dusty Formica table in a cold kitchen, drinking warm sugar water. Downstairs in the basement, their mother is unconscious, having swallowed hundreds of Librium while the brothers were at Boy Scout camp, her latest suicide attempt. The food cupboards are empty. The phone doesn't give a dial tone. As the sun goes down, the kitchen grows cold. The boys sit in silence, waiting for their mother to die. She doesn't, but the guilt and anger they feel haunt the brothers for decades. The Brothers Silver follows Jules and Leon as they try to find their unanchored way through the cultural upheavals of the second half of the 20th century. The younger Leon lives on the drug-addled edges of society. The older brother, Jules, falls into a destructive relationship that parallels his past insecurities and chaos. What lies in store for the Silver brothers? Recovery or turmoil?
The 12 chapters of The Brothers Silver unfold in ten voices, each of which has its own language and style, making the novel a tour de force of technique in the American tradition of accessible literary innovation established by Heller, Pynchon, and Wallace.
The Brothers Silver: a Novel
Marc Jampole wrote Music from Words (Bellday Books, 2007) and Cubist States of Mind/Not the Cruelest Month (Poet’s Haven Press, 2017). His poems and short stories have appeared in many journals and anthologies. A former television news reporter and public relations executive, Marc has written about 1,800 freelance articles for a wide range of magazines, newspapers and scholarly journals.
The Brothers Silver … represents a new high-water mark in the history of novels written by men concerning the impact of childhood trauma… Jampole's deep and intense interest in the possibilities inherent in the use of the English language is evident from the very first page.
—Jessica de Koninck, Midwest Book Review Reviewer's Bookwatch (March 2021)
Jampole writes tempestuously, with rising and flipping wordplay…. The passages involving music are particularly strong.
—Sensitive Skin, May 30, 2021
The tale is told in a dozen voices and styles, with Jampole writing in that liminal space between narrative and lyric, and reveling in the exploration of language.
—Jewish Currents, June 11, 2021
Jampole… unflinchingly explores the origin and impact of childhood trauma in a manner not frequently observed in novels by men…. The changes in voice and style, from verse to dramatic monologue to dialogue and every place in between, permit Jampole to create a more complete perspective of character and situation.
—The Chicago Review of Books, June 4, 2021
"The Brothers Silver requires patience and persistence, but an adventurous reader will find much to entertain and provoke."
—Violet Snow, Modern Literature