I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
A young man growing up in the 70s navigates the world around him and in turn showcases to readers how the generational failure of that era connects to the world we live in today in author Jeff Rosen’s coming-of-age story, “The Nothing Brothers”.
Land with the solid thud of a body dropped onto a beanbag chair, back in the 1970s where everything and nothing happened all at once.
Wedged between the aspirations of the 1960s and the cynicism of the 1980s, Jensen Coaxials pounding until they blow, Leo Kraft and his fellow Nothing Brothers stagger around suburban NY in search of something. Simultaneously over-parented and invisible, Leo finds inspiration first in heavy metal, then in his Grandfather’s Bronx-fleeing generation and a former hippy sleepover camp, where he feels seen for the first time. We experience the 1970s through the bleary eyes of teens who wait for album releases, attend stadium shows, sit in gas lines, fight with tribal ferocity over music loyalty and generally ridicule and mock everything around them, until they are left with only one thing to mock: themselves.
In The Nothing Brothers, Jeff Rosen recreates a gripping real-time depiction of growing up and through the 1970s, transcending the bell-bottom centered nostalgic treatment of this lost decade. Rosen’s return to the 70s gives the reader a glimpse into the connection between that generational failure and the world we live in today.
This was such a unique and memorable read. The author found such a great balance between nostalgia and self-reflection through these characters and their journey. The way the author was able to tap into the vibes and atmosphere of the era and this generation of teens during a tumultuous time in American history was remarkable to see come to life on the page, and the tension that life builds up around the cast of characters is a great reflection of life during this era in particular.
The heart of the narrative lived within the character arcs that the story found. As a coming-of-age story, the narrative honed in on the group mentality of the teens as they faced the hardships and struggles of the era while also allowing the reader to feel connected to the protagonist and his journey. The author also does a remarkable job of showcasing the pitfalls of ignoring the larger issues around us when we don’t see the value or impact it has on our own lives in the here and now, and how the rebellious nature of the early rock and metal scene led the wave of conflict within many a household during that time period.
Richly dynamic, captivating, and thoroughly engaging, author Jeff Rosen’s “The Nothing Brothers” is a must-read coming-of-age story that perfectly captures teen life in the 1970s. The attention to detail the author paid to the era and the powerful imagery the author’s writing conjured up allowed the reader to feel connected to this story, in much the same way the nostalgia side of Stranger Things connects audiences to the 80s. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!
About the Author
Always the Ice Cream Man, Jeff has worked as a CFO in philanthropy and now teaches Impact Investing. Jeff is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, where he crossed campus to serve as the editor of the literary magazine, Praxis. In high school, he drew many a rainbow on many a desk, paying homage to Blackmore’s Rainbow.
Jeff started the Nothing Brothers in 1982, finished it in 1987 and refinished it in 2022. At this pace he expects to release his next book in 2061.
He lives in Northampton MA, with his wife, three children and their forever puppy, Ginger. And just because he is not busy enough, he also runs a traditional Tai Chi school.