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A teenage boy's image of his older brother is shattered by tragedy in this "remarkable first novel" by the author of Midnight Cowboy (New York Herald Tribune Book Review).
Some families get a reputation for being strange, and so it is with the Williamses of Seminary Street. The father, once an outspoken socialist, now keeps to his rocks glass. The mother has a reputation for scaring children. But the older son, named Berry-berry, is the most whispered-about of them all. A traveling vagabond, he's known for his cleft chin, loose morals, and streaks of violence.
Then there's sixteen-year-old Clinton, who spends his time filling notebooks with every conversation he can overhear, word for word. When Clinton escapes the confines of home to find his big brother, he hopes to make a connection more real than anything he's put down on paper. But finding Berry-berry in coastal Florida will set off a tragic series of events that will stay with Clinton, and his family, forever.
"There is something very wonderful about this book; it has a luminous thing that is the best thing in writing or any kind of art." --Tennessee Williams
"Herlihy writes with an edge of iron." --Nelson Algren, National Book Award-winning author of The Man with the Golden Arm