Kleber has trouble searching for somewhere to live with his brother Simple who has learning difficulties giving him the IQ of a three year old. Taking matters into his own hands, Kleber moves himself and Simple into a flat with some university students to show his father that Simple does not need to go back to the institution that frightens him.
Somehow the flat mates have to accept Simple and Kleber for who they are whilst dealing with the issues in their own lives.
This book is like nothing I've ever read before. It was very strange at first. It was written in the third person which I don't usually like because I find it difficult to connect with the characters. But somehow this still felt personal. I understood all the characters and wanted to know more about them. Not at first however. The flat mates took some getting used to as at first I hated them all. But I think you're supposed to.
Getting back to the way it was written, it switched from point of view as do many third person novels, but unlike them, it was done without a break between characters. We could be following Kleber and then all of a sudden we're following Simple without anything to tell us other than Murail's voice. Even though it wasn't obvious when we were changing, it was still clear, if that makes any sense at all. I always knew who was in the spotlight at which points and that is pure genius. Murail really does have a talent for voice.
I don't really have much else to say. It was odd. It made me think. I enjoyed reading it.
The only other thing I can think of is that I had no idea where the plot was going but not in a good way. I was reading and there was no hook because I didn't know where it was going. It almost felt like a sitcom and not a novel. I enjoyed it nonetheless.
This will be the shortest review of all time because I'm still unsure what I really thought of this book.
Plot - 7/10 - very interesting idea
Way Plot Was Pursued - 6/10 - I wanted more to happen but maybe that's the beauty of this book - that it's so Simple
Characters - 7/10 - I liked them but that took time
Style - 8/10 - felt weird to read but the 'voice' was great.
Pace - 8/10 - nothing wrong with it but nothing to keep me reading
Would I recommend it? - Yes, especially if you're looking for something different.
Would I look up the author? - No. This was a translation from French and maybe that was why I found it so odd.
My Brother Simple was heart-warming and special, there won't be much else like it.
Author / Editor / Blogger / Reviewer / Wrimo / Movellian / ZA Ready