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Books

A family novel that pulls up the carpet before you're even in the door

David Gilbert's second book, & Sons, is so clever and knowing that I don't think it'd mind that I don't like it

22 February 2014

9:00 AM

22 February 2014

9:00 AM

& Sons David Gilbert

Fourth Estate, pp.430, £16.99, ISBN: 9780007552795

I first mistook David Gilbert’s second novel for the sort of corduroy-sleeved family saga at which American writers excel. The main character, Dyer, is an elderly author gathering his sons about him in Manhattan after the funeral of a boyhood friend, Charles. There’s Richard, a Hollywood screen hack whose teenage journal Dyer lifted for a prize-winning novel; his half-brother Andy, 17, on a mission to pop his cherry with Dyer’s sassy young agent; and Jamie, a documentary maker whose time-lapse footage of an ex-girlfriend’s death from cancer has gone viral.

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