Malloy, Brian. “Brendan Wolf”. St, Martin’s 2008.
Who is Brendan Wolf?
What Brian Malloy tells about Brendan Wolf is that he is gay and 35 years old and grew up in an emotionally disturbed home. He loved to read about people who had adventures and he is not happy at the little progress he has made in life. He wants adventure so when his brother, Ian, and his wife offer him a chance to become involved in a plot to steal money which had been donated to a right-wing Christian lobbying organization, he jumps at the chance. Brendan has not been able to support himself. He had dropped out of college and so now he is ready for the plan to have money. They are going to steal the money from a pro-life group and Brendan, himself, infiltrates the pro-lifers by lying.
Brendan lives with an older guy named Marv and then he meets his boyfriend, Sean but Brendan realizes that the only family he will ever have is with his brother and sister-in-law.
Malloy turns Brendan into a person that the reader begins to care about and I am not exactly sure why. He is a guy who wants a second chance at life and as we read we learn that his life and his name are aliases. He is lost and has no real identity other than the one he uses at any given moment.
Here is a book about a bunch of losers and the story is both funny and depressing. Nothing good happens to any of the characters. Brendan Wolf elicits strong feelings in the reader and the contemporary story line gives it relevance. The writing is good but I hate to admit that I found myself identifying with an unsympathetic and self-destructive character.