Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Great Brain by John Fitzgerald

The Great Brain (Great Brain #1)I've heard about this book for many years and finally read it. I gave the book a rating of four out of five. The setting is in a small rural town in the 1890's. The narrator is J.D., John Dennis, but The Great Brain is his brother, Tom. Tom comes up with creative ideas in each chapter, most of them to make money, and J.D. sometimes tries to out think him. That never works. Tom tries to make money when work is being done to install the first indoor toilet in the town. He comes up with a plan to help the sheriff find some kids lost in a cave. He helps a Greek immigrant boy learn to defend himself and learn English. Tom profits from all of these plans, and more, so the reader begins to wonder if Tom has compassion for others.

The book was not what I expected. I thought the Great Brain would be the narrator, and he would create all kinds of wacky inventions. I thought the Great Brain would help others, but Tom came up with all kinds of schemes to get money out of people. Each chapter had its own plot, and Tom's character seemed to change a little as the book moved along. It was funny to see two brothers interact in typical ways and to see how Tom could change almost any situation into a money-making opportunity.

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