The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers (Thomas Mullen)


Follow the Depression-era adventures of Jason and Whit Fireson, bank robbers known as the Firefly Brothers by the press, the authorities, and an adoring public that worships their acts as heroic counterpunches thrown at a broken system.

Now it appears they have at last met their end in a hail of bullets. Jason and Whit’s lovers — Darcy, a wealthy socialite, and Veronica, a hardened survivor — struggle between grief and an unyielding belief that the Firesons have survived. While they and the Firesons’ stunned mother and straight-arrow third son wade through conflicting police reports and press accounts, wild rumors spread that the bandits are still at large. Through it all, the Firefly Brothers remain as charismatic, unflappable, and as mythical as the American Dream itself, racing to find the women they love and make sense of a world in which all has come unmoored.

Complete with kidnappings and gangsters, heiresses and speakeasies, The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers is an imaginative and spirited saga about what happens when you are hopelessly outgunned—and a masterly tale of hardship, redemption, and love that transcends death.

This was the first book I snagged through the Goodreads Giveaway Program (and yaaaay! for that), but, well, it never actually arrived in the mail. I borrowed a copy from my library to read and review instead and, now that I’ve read it, I’m kinda glad I went that route. This isn’t a book I need to own.

It was very, very neat to read a novel set in Great Depression. I know nearly nothing of that time period, and I found it incredible to read about. I wound up with a very strong urge to phone up my grandparents after I completed this; some of their earliest memories are set during this time.

I wasn’t, however, overly impressed with the plotline of the book, and the characters never pulled me into their story. The aspect of Firefy brothers dying over and over again was an interesting idea, and yeah, eventually the book explains the hows and whys the brothers died that crucial first time, but the book never explained why the brothers kept coming back to life and that really bothered me. And this returning-to-life twist doesn’t seem to have much of a purpose outside the direct plot of the story — it’s not like the brothers were learning much or growing at all along the way.

This was only a meh shading to an okay read.

ETA (Late) July 2010: Book arrived!

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Posted March 2010, moved October 2013
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