The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers
By Thomas Mullen
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780812979299, 432pp.)
Publication Date: February 8, 2011
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In award-winning author Thomas Mullen’s evocative and spirited novel, we follow the Depression-era adventures of Jason and Whit Fireson—bank robbers known as the Firefly Brothers by an adoring public that worships their acts as heroic counterpunches thrown at a broken system. Late one night in August 1934, following a yearlong crime spree across the Midwest, the Firefly Brothers are forced into a police shootout and die in a hail of bullets. Or do they? Jason and Whit’s girlfriends—Darcy, a wealthy socialite, and Veronica, a hardened survivor—struggle between grief and an unyielding belief that the Firesons are alive. Wild rumors spread that the bandits are still at large. Through it all, the Firefly Brothers remain as charismatic, unflappable, and as mythical as the American dream itself, racing to find the women they love and to make sense of a world in which all has come unmoored.
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Thomas Mullen is the author of The Last Town on Earth, which was named Best Debut Novel of the Year by USA Today and Best Book of the Year by Chicago Tribune, and won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for excellence in historical fiction. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and son.
“A stunning work of fiction that is intense, deeply satisfying and always uniquely American . . . reminiscent of Michael Chabon’s best.”—Los Angeles Times
“A complex brain-teaser . . . riveting . . . Mullen’s absorbing tale of larger-than-life criminals, car chases, and shootouts is not to be missed.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Magic noirism . . . wonderfully illuminates why 1930s America spawned so many dark heroes, and how similar that depression was at times to the recession we’re experiencing now.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Stylish storytelling [that] brings to life an earlier era to speak to our own . . . Mullen is a spirited writer, delivering consistently smart dialogue. . . . The women of the novel . . . form its emotional core.”—The Boston Globe
“A full-throttle page-turner [with] a palpable sense of time and place . . . a high-wire balance of historical fiction and pulp fantasy”—Toronto Star