The Brothers Silver Book Cover
“Jampole rejects any negative assessment concerning subject matter, and unflinchingly explores the origin and impact of childhood trauma in a manner not frequently observed in novels by men…. What a delight for a reader who reads for writing…. The changes in voice and style, from verse to dramatic monologue to dialogue and every place in between, permit Jampole to create a more complete perspective of character and situation.”
The Brothers Silver … represents a new high-water mark in the history of novels written by men concerning the impact of childhood trauma and the strategies necessary to cope with or survive that trauma as an adult … Jampole’s deep and intense interest in the possibilities inherent in the use of the English language is evident from the very first page. His use of rhyme and rhythm to capture voice is riveting as is his turn to dramatic dialogue.”
“Jampole’s novel is robust with poetic prose and intriguing characters living in extreme circumstances that most of us will relate to in our own individual ways…. Because Jampole depicts his characters’ lives with a palpable and heartrending realism, the novel inevitably offers its fair share of wisdom.”
“Jampole writes tempestuously, with rising and flipping wordplay…. The passages involving music are particularly strong.”
“Jampole experiments with the novel form, blowing it open through an array of styles and viewpoints…The Brothers Silver requires patience and persistence, but an adventurous reader will find much to entertain and provoke.”
“In an unspoken way this is a book about Jews in America, and the tragic losses they suffered as a culture… There is much psychological wisdom in The Brothers Silver.”
- Diagram #21.3, June 2021
“Integration of Jewish themes and practices in the chapters heighten the imagery of the novel and lend it a personal authenticity and a sort of sacredness, yet these themes remain subtle enough to not overpower the rest of the narrative…. The novel is ideal for those who appreciate poetic writing with a Jewish undercurrent and want a realistic look at what it means to survive with unresolved trauma.”
- The Jewish Chronicle, July 9, 2021
“Jampole’s experimentation is an intriguing, if sometimes challenging, way to stretch the novel form. Readers who are willing to put in a little work to digest the meandering poetic style will enjoy its freshness.”
- Main Street Rag, Fall 2021
“The novel unfolds in numerous voices, each expressed in a unique literary style…. The cumulative effect of this diverse narrative approach is akin to a multilingual Greek chorus that both propels the narrative and responds to it.”
- Dalhousie Review, 2022
“Through memory and dialogue that ring true, Jampole thrusts the reader into the maelstrom of a dysfunctional family, where no silver lining awaits…”
“Jampole sees present-day America as a brutal right-wing Inferno, where the sufferers become the opposite of their gentle youthful incarnations… The recent riot/failed coup/insurrection/tantrum/ragefest at the Capitol in Washington, DC, makes Jampole’s warnings look prescient.”
The Brothers Silver, the newly published first novel by poet and essayist Marc Jampole, meshes the story of an adult’s struggle to survive childhood trauma with the legacy, in the early 21st century, of the generation that came of age in the 1960s. The tale is told in a dozen voices and styles, with Jampole writing in that liminal space between narrative and lyric, and reveling in the exploration of language. The story is deeply conscious of its place in the literary tradition, subtly evoking the Bible, The Brothers Karamazov, and On the Road, to name a few. It puts the reader to be in conversation with this tradition while simultaneously letting them wrestle with the difficult themes of trauma and helplessness. The opening lengthy chapter, which I read in one sitting, is written in verse laid out as prose and narrated in the voice of the protagonist, Jules Silver, as a child. The child’s voice sounds authentic, and the rhyme and meter emphasize the poignancy of the situation in which the brothers find themselves. Later chapters are written in various forms—dramatic monologue, dialogue, a letter. The different styles, as much as the distinct voices, each offer different perspectives and understandings of the events depicted.”
“Lyrical, assured storytelling, fully fleshed-out characterization, and moving insights contribute to a story that’s guaranteed to make a lasting note in readers’ minds. Fans of literary fiction won’t want to miss this one.”
“The story unfolds in numerous voices, each expressed in a unique literary style. The cumulative effect of this narrative approach is akin to a multi-lingual Greek chorus that both propels the narrative and responds to it.”
- Compulsive Reader
“There’s an interesting contrast in how the brothers feature and are portrayed in The Brothers Silver: the story shows more of Jules’ perspective, but it shows more of Leon from other characters’ perspectives. This neatly reflects their different natures and the differing treatment they have received.”
The Brothers Silver is an emotionally wrenching tale of a family that plays out over fifty years. The emotions on display throughout are various and palpable. When the narrative shifts, from Jules to Leon to Edwin or Ethel, the reader’s mood will adapt to that persona and will find themselves empathetic, sympathetic, or occasionally the exact opposite. The characters are not necessarily likable in all circumstances, but they are relatable.”
“One of my favorite things about this book is the short stories within the book about [the protagonist] Jules’s adventures. Jules goes to so many interesting, and sometimes sketchy, places and tries out many different things, good and bad, along the way. Author Marc Jampole writes with such ease as we picture through the eyes of Jules, the cities and people Jules meets. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good nostalgic story full of tales and adventures.”
“In The Brothers Silver, poet Marc Jampole experiments with the novel form while describing the adventures of two boys who emerge from their traumatic youth and take divergent paths into adulthood.
The Brothers Silver by Marc Jampole is a remarkable coming of age tale.”
“Wow. I think that sums up this book pretty well… An absolutely captivating story, that I plan to read again.”
- Goodreads Review
“The prose is at times poetic, at times virally pungent using raw language when appropriate, and the end result is a novel that glows. Creative, innovative, and unique, The Brothers Silver is a remarkably fine new work from a gifted writer.”
- Bookbub Review
“Marc Jampole’s The Brothers Silver is a funny, tragic, poignant, intricately constructed journey through the life and times of two brothers, growing up in a family fraught with more demons than any one soul should even have to contend with. But rather than reading like a social worker’s case study or a police procedural, the narrative arc is a mesmerizing tale, often written in poetry, some obvious, some more hidden…. Above all, it’s a rawly emotional study of lives lived, of well-meaning folks swimming against the current of nature, nurture and cultural norms. The Brothers Silver will capture you. It will haunt you. Force you to examine your own stumbling path towards authenticity. In short, it will change you.”
- Amazon Review
“Marc Jampole is a terrific storyteller.”
“All the elements were flawless: the characters, the setting, the narrative, the dialogue. This book had a strong opening that instantly put me in a trance, compelling characters that are multifaceted, an absorbing story that pierced through my soul, and sharp dialogues that spoke of the characters’ different perception and personalities.”
“This book is so good as I said I hated to put it down and when it was over it was bittersweet.”
- Amazon Review
“It’s been a while since I’ve read something with a prose as inventive as what I encountered in this book.”
- Goodreads Review, June 8, 2021
“It’s truly as if you were listening to someone’s thoughts… jumping, shifting, repeating. You feel his emotions, guilt, fear, anger, not because he describes what happened in his life but because the speed of his thoughts rush through you as if you were feeling the emotions with him.”
- Goodreads Review. May 22, 2021
“That is the sign of great writing; capturing the emotion of the character so well that it resonates deep within you. A coming-of-age story that is sensitively drawn yet is filled with difficult themes like abuse, womanizing, drugs, and more, this book is highly recommended.”
- Amazon Review
“Lovers of the use of language will enjoy this read.”
- Amazon Review