Book Buzz: Fathers and sons

Book Buzz salutes all fathers and anyone acting as a father this week in celebration of Father’s Day. This week’s book list is a round-up of fiction portraying fathers and sons. Happy reading!

A Father’s Law

By Richard Wright

Adult Fiction Wr

The centennial of Richard Wright’s birth occasions the publication of this still-unfinished crime novel, which Wright was working on when he died in 1960. Ruddy Turner, a black Chicago police officer, is appointed the police chief of a rich Chicago suburb. As Ruddy settles into his office, a woman is found dead in the Brentwood Park woods. Ruddy’s son, Tommy-a brilliant sociology student who makes his dad uneasy because of his difficult temperament-knew one of the murder victims well and has been studying Brentwood Park. In an atmosphere of mounting hysteria in town, Ruddy’s unconscious cop mind begins to connect Tommy to the murders. Is it due to some Freudian rivalry between the father and the son, or to the facts of the case? For another father and son on different sides of the law check out The Poacher’s Son by Paul Doiron.

The Brave

By Nicholas Evans

Adult Fiction Ev

As a student at the Ashlawn Preparatory School in 1959 England, eight-year-old, cowboy-crazy Tommy Bedford learns that his glamorous sister is really his mother. Soon afterwards, she and Tommy move to L.A., where she falls for TV cowboy Ray Montane, and into a tortured relationship. In a parallel, present-day plot, 50-ish Tom, now a writer and filmmaker who specializes in the American West, is divorced and estranged from his adult son, Danny, who has been accused of committing an atrocity while serving in Iraq, for which he will be tried in a military court. Alternating past and present, Evans expertly juggles his twin narratives until they come together as father and son yield to the combined weight of the secrets they hide.


Cutting for Stone

By Abraham Verghese

Adult Fiction Ver

Author Verghese mines his own life and experiences in a magnificent, sweeping novel that moves from India to Ethiopia to an inner-city hospital in New York City over decades and generations. During an arduous sea voyage from Kerala, India to Yemen, Sister Mary Joseph saves the life of Thomas Stone, an English doctor bound for Ethiopia, who becomes a key player in her destiny when they meet up again at Missing Hospital in Addis Ababa. Seven years later Stone has twin boys: Shiva and Marion, the latter narrating his own and his brothers long, dramatic, biblical story set against the backdrop of political turmoil in Ethiopia, the life of the hospital compound in which they grow up and the love story of their adopted parents, both doctors at Missing. The boys become doctors as well and Verghese weaves the practice of medicine into the narrative of a fascinating story. For another well-reviewed tale of father and brothers in Ethiopia try Maaza Mengeste’s Beneath the Lion’s Gaze.

Envy the Night

By Michael Koryta

Adult Fiction Kor

Revenge drives this stand-alone mystery from Edgar-Award-finalist Koryta. U. S. Marshall Frank Temple II, commits suicide after a tip leads to the exposure of his secret life as a hit man. Seven years later, Frank II’s 24-year-old son, Frank Temple III, heads to his father’s cabin in a remote Wisconsin town to confront Matteson, who first recruited his father into the assassination game. Temple realizes that there’s more at stake than his vendetta, as he encounters a group of ruthless killers and joins forces with Nora Stafford, the owner of an auto repair shop. For other thrillers featuring fathers and sons try Tom Clancy’s Dead or Alive or Tami Hoag’s Deeper than the Dead.

How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe

By Charles Yu

Adult Fiction Yu

Charles Yu, time travel technician, helps save people from themselves in Minor Universe 3, a vast story space on the outskirts of fiction. When he’s not taking client calls, Yu visits his mother and searches for his father who invented time travel and then vanished. Accompanied by TAMMY, an operating system with low self esteem and a non-existent but ontologically valid dog named Ed and using a book titled “How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe” as his guide Yu set out and back and beyond in order to find the one day that he and his father can meet in memory.

Last Night in Twisted River

By John Irving

Adult Fiction Irv

In 1954 in the cookhouse of a logging and sawmill settlement in northern New Hampshire, an anxious 12 year old boy mistakes the local constable’s girl friend for a bear. Both the 12 year old and the father become fugitives, forced to run from Coos County to Boston, to southern Vermont, to Toronto pursued by the implacable constable. Their lone protector is a fiercely libertarian logger, once a river driver, who befriends them. This interesting tale spans five decades.

The Long Fall

By Walter Mosley

Adult Fiction Mos

Leonid McGill and New York City private detective tries to put his past life behind him. But it isn’t that easy when someone like Tony “The Suit” Towers expects you to do a job, when an Albany PI hires you to track down four men known only by their youthful street names and when your 16 year old son is getting in over his head with a suicidal girl.

Once a Spy

By Keith Thompson

Adult Fiction Tho

This wildly original debut from Huffington Post columnist Thomson is a darkly satirical thriller that features an unlikely, if endearing, father-son spy duo: retired appliance salesman Drummond Clark, who at age 64 suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, and Charlie Clark, a down-on-his-luck gambler who owes $23,000 to Russian loan sharks. Soon after Charlie rescues Drummond from the Brooklyn streets, where he’d been wandering, the older man’s house blows up and the two barely escape with their lives. Clark and son begin an adrenaline-fueled cross-country flight in which they must evade ruthless CIA assassins long enough to understand why they’re being targeted. During rare moments of lucidity, Drummond hotwires a car and effortlessly kills multiple assailants, suggesting to Charlie he was once much more than just a washing machine salesman. Also look for Twice a Spy by the same author.

The Boys are Back

Directed by Scott Hicks

DVD Adult Fiction B

Clive Owen delivers a critically acclaimed performance in this heartwarming and uplifting drama about a man who is suddenly thrust into the role of single parent. Successful sportswriter Joe Warr finds himself completely unprepared to raise his rambunctious 6-year-old son Artie and juggle the challenges of a demanding job, running a household and the possibility of romance. Determined to bring joy back into their lives, he develops a revolutionary approach to parenting no rules, no chores. It’s a home filled with love and chaos and then Joe’s estranged teenage son comes for a visit. Inspired by a true story and filled with emotional honesty, this poignant film will touch your heart and lift your spirits. You may also be interested in these other father/son movies: The Horse Boy, When Did You Last See Your Father, The Kids are All Right, Remember Me, or The Pursuit of Happiness.

• Carolyn Larson, head librarian at Lihu‘e Public Library, brings you the buzz on new, popular and good books available at your neighborhood library. Book annotations are culled from online publishers’ descriptions and published reviews.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.