At heart The Brothers K is about the Chance family during the times before and in the 1960s. Told through the eyes of Kincaid, the youngest of four brothers in the family, this story relates the adventures of the family through many events. Some examples are the ups and downs of Papa Chance’s baseball career, the ins and outs of Mama’s ardent Seventh-Day Adventism, and the varying responses of Peter, Everett, and Irwin to the draft during the Vietnam War.
Of course, this description can’t possibly convey to you how hilarious,
thought-provoking, and moving this book is, or how incredibly fresh and readable.
Even if you’ve never found baseball statistics faintly interesting, you’ll
find yourself intrigued by them in this book. And you’ll most likely be
on the floor with laughter at the Attic Documents, such as Irwin’s
freshman English essay entitled "The History of my Dad from His Birth Up
to Kincaid’s," which has been replicated complete with misspellings,
poor grammar, and brown-nosing parenthetical statements for Mr. Hergert’s
benefit. And that’s just the beginning…
In spite of its title and length, The Brothers K has no close relation
to Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. And though a comparative
literature scholar could definitely draw some parallels, there’s definitely
no need for anyone who’s scared of Russian novels to be remotely afraid
of The Brothers K. Duncan’s novel is funny, thoughtful, and pretty
much a work of genius. You’ll want to enjoy every bit, then pick it up
and read it again. And then make someone else read it. At least that's been my experience of this, one of my favorite novels (and I've read a lot). All I can say is, enjoy.