• Brother & Sister

  • A Memoir
  • By: Diane Keaton
  • Narrated by: Diane Keaton
  • Length: 4 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (186 ratings)

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Brother & Sister  By  cover art

Brother & Sister

By: Diane Keaton
Narrated by: Diane Keaton
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Publisher's Summary

From the beloved film star and best-selling author of Then Again - a heartfelt memoir about Diane Keaton's relationship with her younger brother, and a poignant exploration of the divergent paths siblings' lives can take.

When they were children in the suburbs of Los Angeles in the 1950s, Diane Keaton and her younger brother, Randy, were best friends and companions: They shared stories at night in their bunk beds; they swam, laughed, dressed up for Halloween. Their mother captured their American-dream childhoods in her diaries, and on camera. But as they grew up, Randy became troubled, then reclusive. By the time he reached adulthood, he was divorced, an alcoholic, a man who couldn't hold on to full-time work - his life a world away from his sister's, and from the rest of their family.

Now, Diane is delving into the nuances of their shared, and separate, pasts to confront the difficult question of why and how Randy ended up living his life on "the other side of normal". In beautiful and fearless prose that's intertwined with journal entries, letters, and poetry - many of them Randy's own writing and art - this insightful memoir contemplates the inner workings of a family, the ties that hold it together, and the special bond between siblings even when they are pulled far apart. Here is a story about love and responsibility: about how, when we choose to reach out to the people we feel closest to - in moments of difficulty and loss - surprising things can happen. A story with universal echoes, Brother & Sister speaks across generations to families whose lives have been touched by the fragility and "otherness" of loved ones - and to brothers and sisters everywhere.

©2020 Diane Keaton (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"[A] brave memoir ... Keaton takes a long, hard look at her relationship with her younger brother, Randy, whose descent into mental illness parallels her climb to the stratosphere of stardom.” (Elisabeth Egan, The New York Times Book Review

"Immersive and haunting...Keaton eloquently and unflinchingly examines her younger brother’s life, drawing from excerpts of his poetry and her mother's journals and letters.... A cohesive, honest look at an entire family impacted by a troubled individual, as well as how Keaton maintained a bond with her sibling despite tremendous challenges. A must for Keaton’s fans and for those seeking to comprehend the nuances of sibling and family relationships." (Library Journal)

"A resonant family memoir - a slim but weighty book. Keaton focuses on her complex relationship with her younger brother, whose escalating instability - vividly described - affected Keaton, her parents, and her two sisters. The author, who became the "family documentarian" after her mother's death, utilizes family letters and journals to enhance the narrative.... Keaton talks about the complexities of loving a brother she never quite knew; of watching him become consumed by alcohol and then 'falling into the process of dying'; and of wishing she had done more to help him.... A haunting meditation on mortality, sibling love, mental illness, and regret." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Brother & Sister

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  • Overall
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Beautifully Sad

Loved it! So many comparables to my own family of 3 sisters currently trying to help our alcoholic brother whom we love so much. Thank You Diane Keaton, (one of my all time favorites), for sharing your story. It just may help us help our brother, God Willing. God Bless You Always!

4 people found this helpful

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A sad memoir of a lost boy

This was somewhat unexpected and spoke of loneliness and isolation and mental illness alcoholism and Alzheimer’s. It kept me interested and left me sad for the boy who never figured out how to fit in.

3 people found this helpful

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Regrets

An icon in the movie industry revealing her brothers deep dark secrets all the way to his grave. The frustration of battling between his alcohol dependence and mental illness must’ve been overwhelming. Amazing that she was still able to asend and cultivate a life for herself:This book helps to eradicate the stigma of mental illness. And alcoholism.

2 people found this helpful

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Engaging story and presentation

Anyone who has loved a 'Randy' will appreciate the authenticity of the author's story.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful and sad

Just finished listening to Diane Keaton’s book about her brother. Truly heartbreaking and so filled with deep love. Beautifully written and beautifully read with agonising vulnerability.

1 person found this helpful

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Only Diane Keaton could narrate

This book feels like my old friend came for the weekend and we sat together on the sofa for hours with mugs of tea as she shared her reflections on life with complicated family members, at a time in her life when she was assimilating their complexities with true compassion and the desire to understand.

1 person found this helpful

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Diane Keaton

I love Diane Keaton’s narration. I have grown to appreciate her so much more over the years I think she has gotten better with age. Thank you Diane

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  • TJ
  • 03-30-20

A different kind of love story.

Keaton gets to know herself and her brother through a non judgemental memoir. it's a beautiful mess. of family relationships examined with empathy and kindness.

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Diane Keaton writes an endearing memory

Diane Keaton gives us the gift of reading the
Book she wrote. She has such a melodious
Voice, and her delivery is flawless. For all of us
Who have lost siblings, she brings us healing
Memories. Thank you Diane. Keep writing!

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Love Diane

Stick with your day job. Every family has tragedy and loss and drama. Unless you have the skills, you are just recounting.