The New Yorker Reader: “Brother on Sunday,” by A.M. Homes

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02/26/2009 10:00 AM |

If I gave you diamonds and pearls…

This reminds me a bit of Donald Antrim’s “Another Manhattan”, from the Winter Fiction Issue, inasmuch as it satirizes upper-class morals and manners without actually having much of anything to say about class.

I suppose it’s at least ironic, centering your story around a plastic surgeon who’s actually the least superficial person in the entire story — and Homes has a silver tongue for dialogue and a narrowed eye for detail — but, you know, still. It is arguably pretty superficial to skewer the superficiality of the upper class in such an insular, knowing way.

2 Comment

  • alternate ending(s):

    And, with that, Sandy says, "Get him," and Tom stabs Roger with the butcher knife. "You killed me. . .You ungrateful little . . . son of a . . . "

    or

    suddenly, with a thundering explosion, a plane crashes into their house, ending their miserable upper class lives in a ball of fire…

  • film adaptation:

    (1955), Fritz Lang directing, Bernard Herrmann scoring, Humphrey Bogart plays Tom, James Cagney as Roger, Gloria Grahame as Sandy.

    They use the boat mentioned in the story to dump the body. All sorts of complications arise as the other guests start asking “where’s Roger?” It all ends quite badly…