Meet the Drumms, led by matriarch Melissa Craig, a former business show star whose affection for her sons is far surpassed by her self love. William is the oldest, a film producer who seems to have inherited his mother’s narcissism (and her favoritism) along with a bit of misogyny. Next is Brian, one year younger, who was a teacher and switched to managing finances and entertainers, most notably his younger brother. He seems steady and amiable but has a quiet ruthlessness about him with a smoldering anger ready to erupt with the right provocation. Lastly, there’s Luke, a sensitive but troubled soul who stumbled into fame and fortune as the lead singer of a rock band. The story begins at the funeral of one of the brothers but we don’t yet know which. And that’s the journey, told to us through each brother’s narrative in shifting timelines.
Let me first declare you’re either going to love this book or be completely turned off. I don’t believe there’s middle ground here and I’m one of those who loved it. I was hard pressed to find any redeeming qualities in any of these men but there were so many moments where the possibility was there, just at the surface. The shifting timelines were disconcerting at first but they soon developed a rhythm that made sense, especially when there was a change in the point of view. I’d develop an opinion about a situation William describes but then Luke or Brian would recount the same situation from an entirely different perspective. Ultimately, I was able to determine the reality, which made this such an interesting and intriguing story.
Only Nugent can consistently craft stories where most of the characters are highly unlikable but it’s a highly enjoyable reading experience. I’m so very happy I chose to listen to the book because the narrators were pitch perfect for their characters and were fantastic at storytelling. This was a cleverly designed domestic thriller that had me off balance from beginning through the end. And, oh that ending. It’s the kind where you sit there for a few minutes after it’s over and have that “aah” moment. I had a tough time putting this down and am grateful I got to listen to half of it during a long road trip. I don’t even remember the ride!
- Release Date: November 10, 2010
- Narrators: Sam O’Mahoney, Stephen Hogan, Paul Hickey, Dermot Crowley &Mary-Lou McCarthy
- Audio Length: 10 hours, 36 minutes
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
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(Thanks to Simon & Schuster Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)