Kings of the Earth
A NovelBook - 2010 | First edition.
The edge of civilization is closer than we think.
It's as close as a primitive farm on the margins of an upstate New York town, where the three Proctor brothers live together in a kind of crumbling stasis. They linger like creatures from an older, wilder, and far less forgiving world--until one of them dies in his sleep and the other two are suspected of murder.
Told in a chorus of voices that span a generation, Kings of the Earth examines the bonds of family and blood, faith and suspicion, that link not just the brothers but their entire community.
Vernon, the oldest of the Proctors, is reduced by work and illness to a shambling shadow of himself. Feebleminded Audie lingers by his side, needy and unknowable. And Creed, the youngest of the three and the only one to have seen anything of the world (courtesy of the U.S. Army), struggles with impulses and accusations beyond his understanding. We also meet Del Graham, a state trooper torn between his urge to understand the brothers and his desire for justice; Preston Hatch, a kindhearted and resourceful neighbor who's spent his life protecting the three men from themselves; the brothers' only sister, Donna, who managed to cut herself loose from the family but is then drawn back; and a host of other living, breathing characters whose voices emerge to shape this deeply intimate saga of the human condition at its limits.
From the critics
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Proctor brothers live on run down farm their parents left them. Oldest brother dies and youngest is somewhat coerced into confessing he killed him. It is never really clear whether he did or not. The brothers are not hermits, but odd, to say the least. They dont bathe, they go to town on their tractor. Middle brother is mentally disabled. They have a sister who left home and became a nurse. Her husband is a jerk and her son is growing marijuana on the farm. The brothers kind of know and one even smokes it, but they dont know the extent of the field and what it is worth. Nosy but kind neighbor helps the brothers a lot.
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