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I especially like the flow of the book, especially how it starts off slow and works its way up to a fast pace. However, it is probably a very worthwhile book for teenagers to read, since it delivers an important message about the dangers of drink driving. It was very realistic, with Tom's mum not being able to get out of bed, and the author didn't try to make anyone a hero, [she] just tried to portray the different people's emotions accurately.

I enjoyed it immensely.

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The Story of Tom Brennan by J.C. Burke

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Jun 15, Norman rated it did not like it. I was taking a dump while reading this book, when it suddenly I smelt something real bad but then it hit me, it wasn't the feces falling out of my anus that was causing the smell. View 2 comments. Mar 03, Beans rated it did not like it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

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The Story of Tom Brennan Summary

I hated this book. Most of the way through this book Tom is a self-centered teenager who sees the whole world as negative. His whole family basically denies that anything is wrong for most of the book, and then his mum is sitting around and nobody has the guts to go and talk to her. The way he seems to see Fin only as an object that reminds him of the accident that ruined his brother's life pisses me off.

To be honest, the best part of the story was the car crash. It was the only exciting p I hated this book. It was the only exciting part that wasn't full of Tom just moping around as he explains every detail of rugby. And after he's finished moping around he starts perving on Crissy like a damn dog that humps people's legs. The writing style is forced and unimaginative.

It's repetitive and always seems to try too hard to be "hip" and teen. Eg: "We'll be up before the sparrow's fart. Just because it's aimed at Australian teens doesn't mean everyone has to speak like Crocodile Dundee. View all 7 comments. Jun 16, Jess rated it did not like it. I was hoping the ending would change my perception of the book and end with something regarding Daniel or fin but the ending was a huge letdown and I thought it was stupid.

Dec 22, Zoe rated it did not like it. Sad boy meets girl and gets happy. Thats it, reading it I wasn't even interested in the gradually building back story because its just so obvious whats happened.

Depiction of the World in a Novel The Story of Tom Brennan

I feel so sorry for all the other poor HSC kids forced to read this. Oct 08, Shirley Marr rated it really liked it Shelves: aussie-ya. Firstly - I must mention that the endorsement on the front cover by David Koch, from Channel 7 Sunrise almost put me off. I am not saying that this is a bad thing non-Australians can tune off right about now.

Kochie's a top bloke and he's probably got excellent literary taste - but c'mon, a book endorsed by a former Father-of-the-year type saying "A must read for all teens"? Will this book be hidden-agenda laden with a strong community-service 'don't drink and drive kiddies' message? Daniel Brennan, talented rugby player, oldest and cherished son of the Brennan clan manages to throw his entire life away when a drunken car ride causes an accident that kills two of his mates and paralyses his cousin Fin.

The novel is an account of the aftermath through the eyes of the younger brother Tom Brennan, who is a perfectly pitched narrator as he's the middle child sandwiched between the members of his family and also the other factions that develop - the Brennans against the outraged small town and the Brennans against cousin Fin's family.

The opening prologue is excellent and chilling - in the middle of the night the entire family crawls into their car, past their garage with an gratified insult and escapes into the night and back into Grandmother's home in the town their mother grew up, which would now be their home as they can never return to their own. The first chapter itself I found hard-going as it is very dense with happenings within the family and also the introduction of many characters within a short space of time, but having read Burke's novel "Pig Boy", I understand that this is her style, and the payoff is always good after some initial groundwork, so I persevered.

And I was right. I am glad I read this novel. What I find striking about the novel is that it sets itself up as any other novel about a family disaster - everything is all happy families on the surface, until a tragedy causes everyone to fall apart and it is revealed that cracks had been there all along Instead of being melancholic and reflective, it is full-blown emo-core all the way.

And it hardly lets down. At times I had to put the book down because it was so heavy-going.

And at times I wondered if it was too overdone, but you know what? I really loved how intense it all was. There's nothing "don't do this kiddies" about it at all, just an acute and realistic examination of the forensics left after the scene of a car crash and it's wide-felt and reverberating impact. Heck I should know, I've been involved as a party in a major car crash. I think JC Burke is a marvelous writer and I really loved reading this story packed with honesty, rawness and very real characters that are sometimes hard to emphasise with, but easy to understand and feel for. I really loved every character nuances, from the mother who shows her true colours on which son she loves more when Daniel is sent to jail I have no interest in rugby, but I even found the subplot of the inter-school rugby competitions and it's implications for the two-brothers who had always played side-by-side and what it means to win and lose, very interesting.

The only thing I am not too sure of is the ending where view spoiler [Tom Brennan finally finds "himself" again through a romantic relationship via a pash scene hide spoiler ]. I understand what it's trying to say in terms of reconciliation and redemption and "coming home", but I would have rather it was a scene between the key players we met during the novel ie: Daniel and Tom would have been on top of my list.

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Rather than being with a minor romantic-interest character, who despite the author's best intentions to make her well-rounded, was too minor and inconsequential for my liking to be a player in something as important as the ending view spoiler [bury the kissy-kissy scene somewhere else! So a bit of a fizzler ending for me I kinda wanted it to roar out of the gate instead, finish the job of tearing me apart and taking my heart with it. Anyway, just my thoughts. Overall, JC Burke is such a strong writer. She does male POV stories so well with such precision and beauty. Heck, I'd read whatever she's willing to scribble on the back of a dirty napkin.

PS - Go Kochie! View all 5 comments. Jun 07, David rated it did not like it. The best part of the book is when Tom got head from Chrissy, other than this the book is a piece of shit. View 1 comment. Apr 01, Matthew Goodwin rated it it was ok. The Story of Yawn Brennan! Burke's novel, "The Story of Tom Brennan" reads like a recipe for "how to write a novel that will be read in high schools. The result? A mash-up of scenes that an adult author simply believes young adult readers wil The Story of Yawn Brennan! A mash-up of scenes that an adult author simply believes young adult readers will find amusing.


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A drinking scene, a car crash scene, teenage boys swearing, teenage boys moping around, ample amounts of infuriatingly simplistic dialogue "You right? The real problem, however, is in the plot itself: there isn't one. The story is framed around a series of flashbacks and insufferable foreshadowing of a tragic event that does not directly involve our protagonist.

The rest of the novel consists purely of a useless, and aimless, protagonist, moping around and talking to people about life and regret. If the tragedy was more directly linked to him, instead of him simply being a bystander, then perhaps our protagonist would have more motivation.

He is a passive protagonist, who doesn't have any motivation or goal.