Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Brutal Art - Jesse Kellerman

The Brutal Art

If you check my Goals page you will see that I have read 7/25 books for the year (yes, my goal for reading is only 25 books...I'm setting the bar low, in the hopes that I can leap very far over it). The latest completed read was Jesse Kellerman's The Brutal Art. Below are my comments, which I have tried to keep spoiler-free, and which therefore may or may not make any sense at all to the reader.

The Kellerman family is of course famous for it's work, but I must confess I haven't read much of their stuff. In fact, I'm not sure if I've ever read any before this.

From the description on the back of the book, I expected something a little different - a classic murder mystery, you know? But I was happily surprised by this book. Not that I don't like murder mysteries. But yeah, this was different to what I expected. I guess I didn't expect it to be as well-written as it was, or as compelling. It's not your typical "omg character is about to die arrgh who's gonna save him?!" murder mystery. It was more a family saga, and the murder aspect was almost incidental.

What I like about our main guy, Ethan Muller, is that he's very far from perfect. He's flawed and he knows it. He definitely grows as a person across the span of the book, and comes to accept that he's always going to be just a little bit ordinary, compared to the geniuses of the world. And he comes to the conclusion that being ordinary isn't a terrible thing. I think he grows up by the end of the book.

The story kept me guessing a lot of the time, and I liked that my guesses turned out to be completely off the mark. I was trying to guess what was happening to Ethan but was also trying to predict what revelations would come about the Muller family history. There was that magical moment in one of the "interludes" when a certain surname was spoken, and at that moment things began to fall into place. That was the moment in the novel that made me gasp.

In case you haven't noticed already, I don't really write book reviews - not properly, anyway. I just like to talk about the books I've read, and I'll say whatever pops into my head.

Which is what I just did!


  1. Is Jesse Kellerman related to Jonathan Kellerman? Because I love Kellerman's long-running series with Alex Delaware. I think I'll definitely have to check this book out. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Yes, he's the son of Jonathan and Faye :) I do recommend this novel, and it's a relatively short read.

  3. Psst... check out my most recent post ;)

  4. I love stories that keep me guessing :)

  5. Sounds like a gripping read :O)

  6. @Jenni - thank you! ;)

    @everyone else - if you like this sort of genre, I recommend you read this one. Cheers!


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