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Run, Brother, Run: A Memoir of a Murder in My Family Hardcover – June 11, 2013
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In 1969, when hit man Charles Harrison was tried for the murder of Houston carpet salesman Alan Berg, the victim’s brother, rookie lawyer David Berg, could only follow the proceedings helplessly outside the courtroom. More than 40 years later, he recalls his frustration with the ineffective prosecutor and the unethical defense attorney, who ensured Harrison was found innocent and freed to murder again. As both a grieving brother and a now-famous trial lawyer, Berg reflects on the crushing impact of a murder on his family and fantasizes a more effective prosecution of the defendant. Painting a stark picture of Texas law enforcement at the time, he raises questions about the ethics of criminal jurisprudence everywhere. Having interviewed surviving witnesses, lawyers, and family, he reconstructs the short life of his reckless brother and tells about his own coming-of-age in a brutally frank family memoir that will attract readers of true crime. --Rick Roche
"What is remarkable about the book, though, is Mr. Berg’s writing. He elegantly brings to life the rough-and-tumble boomtown that was 1960s-era Houston, and conveys with unflinching force the emotional damage his brother’s death did to his family." (New York Times)
"Berg's story is compelling—and leaves you convinced that the truth did not prevail." (People's Magazine)
“This book has everything…The story is filled with the dusty small town criminal wheeling and dealings of a Grisham novel, and there’s plenty of courtroom drama. The book inhabits the worlds of Texas, Washington DC, Las Vegas and Hollywood. Berg knows how to keep an audience engrossed.” (Guardian US, Best Memoir on the Summer Reads Awards)
“Berg is a very fine writer — thorough, lucid and logical, but never dry. The emotional resonance and sheer vital force of this story extend far beyond its pages. It is the story of a bond so strong that his older brother's absence still wakes Berg up in the middle of the night.” (Nashville Scene)
"David Berg has written a book that makes me think I’d like to be friends with him. No book that I’ve encountered so far this year has a voice that is as assured and entertaining as Berg’s in this uncanny, addictive memoir." (Claiborne Smith, features editor Kirkus)
“We are in Mary Karr memoir territory here, in Texas noless, with parents behaving badly and children behaving even worse. DavidBerg's superb tale of his brother's shocking murder is true crime at its mostintimate, and most personal.” (S. C. Gwynne author of Empire of the Summer Moon)
“Run, Brother, Run is a home run for David Berg andhis readers. Part memoir, part mystery, it's all of a piece—a true story ofHouston that's impossible to put down.” (Mimi Swartz author of Power Failure)
"David Berg has written a funny and haunting memoir of a very particular family in a very particular place and time. It is also a universally American story of hope in the face of defeat. Suffused with a tragic sense of humor and deep pathos, one can't help but think of Willy Loman with a Texas twang when reading Run, Brother, Run." (Jon Meacham)
"Searing, funny, heartbreaking—and true. Berg’s tale of a brother’s murder, miscarried justice, and savage Texas suburban family life kept me riveted from the first page.” (Marie Brenner author of Apples and Oranges)
“Having interviewed surviving witnesses, lawyers, and family, he reconstructs the short life of his reckless brother and tells about his own coming-of-age in a brutally frank family memoir that will attract readers of true crime” (Book List)
"An engrossing family history and an appealingly salacious tale, related in a bemused tone that does not hide the social ugliness and personal heartbreak underneath." (Kirkus)
"Berg writes with brio, vividly sketching the roughhouse atmosphere of oil-boom Houston in the 1960s, and the obstacles that faced a pair of liberal, Jewish brothers in the segregated South. While he is often funny, and rarely politically correct, Berg also delivers a complex take on family dynamics and the ways in which intelligent people can be deceived." (Publisher’s Weekly)
"Run, Brother, Run is a fascinating look at a Texas family's history, written in darkly humorous, direct and powerful prose. Trial lawyers are known for being smooth talkers, but Berg proves himself a graceful writer as well." (MSN Page-turner)
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Top customer reviews
While reading the story I could hear Mr. Berg's voice and felt the raw emotions as he wrote the words. For me, reading of his family's fall into dysfunctional was as equally heartbreaking as the murder of the older brother. I cried throughout the reading of this family's nightmare and grief.
I enjoyed recognizing the high profile legal individuals who were regulars on the nightly news or on the sidewalk when I answered my jury summons.