The Third Brother
Twenty-one-year-old Nick McDonell’s follow-up to 2002’s insanely hyped Twelve is like the nephew you haven’t seen in years — more mature but still in search of meaning. While interning at a newsmagazine in Hong Kong, Mike is sent to Thailand for an Apocalypse Now-lite assignment: Find a journalist who has disappeared and may be crazy. Mike descends into his own heart of darkness and then returns to New York, only to run smack into Sept. 11. Though McDonell’s prose in The Third Brother resembles a Hemingway parody (”Mike picks up the mallet to test it and it feels good in his hand”) and has a tendency toward repetition, it still manages to convey the angst of a whiny rich boy. Only, who cares about whiny rich boys?