Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast

by Bill Richardson

Paperback, 1997




St. Martin's Griffin (1997), Edition: 1st A Wyatt Book for St. Martin's Press Pbk. Ed, 152 pages


The Bachelor Brothers' Bed &; Breakfast is a rustic retreat on one of British Columbia's beautiful Gulf Islands. Its owners are the endearingly eccentric Hector and Virgil, twins by birth, though not by nature. Their B&;B attracts a particular and sometimes peculiar clientele of slightly confused and gentle bookish people. Bachelor Brothers' Bed &; Breakfast relates the many stories of the comings and goings and doings at the guest house in Hector and Virgil's own words, including the romantic, improbable and even shocking story of how their mother came to conceive them. They reveal the origin of their large library in tales of boxes of books mysteriously arriving throughout their youth, offerings from their travelling salesman father, unknown to them in any other fashion. They detail how the forces of circumstance, in the form of their motley inheritances - a big house on a small island, an enormous library, an aged parrot given to profanity and channeling, and a dozen musical eggcups - led to but one conclusion: opening a guest home. In addition to these remembrances of things past are more recent misadventures, by turns moving and hilarious. Also included are excerpts from their visitors' book, Brief Lives, in which their guests describe the mysterious paths that led them to this haven of old-world charm that time has thankfully passed by.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member mckait
This was an amusing and entertaining read. There is a place that is called Bachelor Brothers
Bed and Breakfast. It lies in a valley in a secret spot. The brothers are twins named Virgil and Hector.
They were born to a single mother who sounds rather Katharine Hepburn-ish. She had a way with automobiles
and was very competent and quite happy being single. She has sadly passed, but left behind the
now fifty something brothers, a cat named Waffle and Mrs Rochester the parrot. Both of whom made
their way to the B&B on their own, when it was just a home.

There are brief descriptions of life at the B&B by each of the brothers, but also contributions by
some of their guests. Entertaining, amusing and poignant these tales, and absorbing, each and every one.
The place itself could not be what it is without contributions from the group of locals who are equally as entertaining and many of whom are characters in their own rights. For instance the women who run the
Rubyfruit Jungle auto repair business, where they get a great deal of help from the deceased uncle of one
of the women . She channels him as needed, and sometimes uses a Ouija board to contact less familiar

This is a keeper for me, and will be for you, as soon as you manage to acquire a copy, which I hope for your sake, will happen soon.
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LibraryThing member victrola
What a lovely book. Pleasant and cozy with plenty of giggly moments. I wish it were longer and its delightfulness could just keep going. It put me in a good mood every time I picked it up, even when the moments and musings were bittersweet.
LibraryThing member BookAngel_a
My favorite sentence in this book is when a character describes himself and his guests as "gentle, bookish, and ever so slightly confused." This book will be loved by people who feel they too are "gentle, bookish, and ever so slightly confused." It is truly a gentle book. It is relaxing, refreshing, and if you are a book lover you feel you are among friends while you read. I laughed out loud two or three times, especially at the part where the characters discover music's effect on the rate that chickens lay eggs. It's an easy quick read, and it definitely made me want to stay at a bed & breakfast like this one.… (more)
LibraryThing member thornton37814
After reading this slim volume, I'm ready for a nice relaxing vacation to the Bachelor Brothers' wonderful establishment where I can just relax and read. The story alternates between the twin brothers Virgil and Hector and some of their guests. This is a book that will resound with book lovers.
LibraryThing member autumnc
A short and quick read, great for the weekend. And if you are a bibliophile you will appreciate the generous lists of great Canadian authors that guests at the B&B suggest. I also thought the stories about the brothers were hilarious, and definitely gave alot of insight about a relationship between brothers. Fun to guess which island/where the B&B is located if you are a resident of BC. "On Monday I decided to change my name and move to Mexico. But the next day was Tuesday. Ever notice how the world can seem different on Tuesday?"… (more)
LibraryThing member elliepotten
When I heard that this book was about literature-loving twin brothers, running a bookish B&B where guests could come to read and escape, I had an idea it might be right up my street. I wasn't disappointed! It was like reading the love child of 84, Charing Cross Road and a P.G. Wodehouse novel.

Part of the charm of the book lies in its whimsical structure. Hector and Virgil (named not after the classics but after twin bulls born locally on the same day) each 'write' their own sections of their story, and their narrative is interspersed with testimonies from guests at their B&B, recipes and book and author lists. The brothers share stories of their eccentric mother, thoughts on their opinionated parrot Mrs Rochester and mouse-killing cat Waffle, and musings on love, life and books. Each guest has their own tale to tell, perhaps of how they came to visit the B&B, or about their love for a particular author. There's even a little poetry from the so-bad-he's-good local poet.

I'm not sure I'd read it again, and it lost a star for a couple of slightly less sparkling sections and the way the bookish side of things slipped away a little towards the end, but this was still a thoroughly enjoyable novel. It is original, very amusing, full of charming characters and astute observations, and is a perfect book to curl up with on a Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea and a slice of cake. Enjoy!
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LibraryThing member ZufarIsmailZeid
Well, I found this book whilst browsing a charity shop in London, and what a find it was. It's quite a simple read and of course an enjoyable one. The continuous musings of Hector and Virgil (And of course, the guests) kept me entertained, and the brothers' mother reminded me of my own. In short, a thoroughly pleasant read and my praise goes to the author for injecting humour and drama through the words of two fifty year old bachelors.… (more)
LibraryThing member SqueakyChu
This is such a cute little book. It's about Hector and Virgil, middle age fraternal twin brothers who run a bed and breakfast in Canada. Inside their cozy B&B guests can find a cat named Waffle, a feisty parrot named Mrs. Rochester, and many books with recommendations.

This book is written in such a way as to make this B&B seem as if it were a real place. In fact, a friend of mine who read this book wanted to know where the B&B was and didn’t believe the place was fictitious! Since it really doesn’t exist, I'll just have to be content with Bill Richardson’s funny story, the muffin recipe, the poetry by Solomon Solomon and quite a few noteworthy quotes that I had stop and write down in the midst of reading this book. Here is just the kind of quick and enjoyable read that’s great to pass along to friends who are in need of light and thoroughly enjoyable entertainment.… (more)
LibraryThing member cbl_tn
After reading this collection of brief reflections on and reminiscences of life, literature, family, and community, bibliophiles everywhere will want to pack their bags and head for rural Canada and the Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast. If they can find it. For most guests, their first visit to the B & B happens by chance since the proprietors, middle-aged fraternal twins, have never advertized their accommodations. The guests that do find their way there share a love of reading, and many return again and again. Letters from satisfied customers are interspersed with stories written by each twin, recommended reading lists, poetry, and more. Virgil, the more melancholy twin, provides a list of books to read when you're feeling low. His brother, Hector, shares his list of favorite authors for the bath. There's a glaring omission in both lists. To Virgil's list I would add Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast, and to Hector's list I would add Bill Richardson.… (more)
LibraryThing member quixotic-creator
Always a pleasure to read, Richardson spins a tale of two twin bachelor brothers who run a B&B tucked somewhere on B.C.'s island coast. Filled with many delightful antics and stories, this is a treasure that to which I return again and again.
LibraryThing member tututhefirst
It is a calming, soothing, elegant, portrayal of the life of twin brothers who, now in their late middle years, have turned the family house where they grew up into a bibliophile's retreat. There is no TV, there are no nearby restaurants, there is little to do except show up, eat good food, and read good books. No the BBB&B (as they call it) is not in heaven, but it sure sounds pretty close to it to me.

There is a resident cat Waffles, whose naming story begins the telling of the tales. There is an articulate swearing parrot in residence named Mrs. Rochester, whose appearances throughout the book add just the right touch of colorful zest. The brothers themselves, Hector and Virgil, give us their birth history (including their conception under the oil pan of a truck), and a portrait of their unmarried (and never married) mother who raised them with a love of books that has never left them. The twins give us reading lists of favorites, among them: "Virgil's List of Books
for when you're feeling low" and Hector's "List of Favourite Authors for the Bath."

In the story "Love and Skincare" we meet Altona Winkler, the local Avon lady, newspaper reporter, and novelist wannabe whom Hector describes thus: " association with Altona Winkler..has gone on for a long time now. It suits us both.It is relaxed and casual. Comfortable. In one way or another, we tend to each other's needs."

Guests come toting bags of books to be read, or find an appealing volume in the BB's library. Breakfast is served by the brothers every morning, but guests, who are given the run of the kitchen, are responsible for fixing their own lunch and dinner. Lasting friendships are formed, and guests are encouraged to leave their thoughts in the guest book. In between vignettes from Hector and Virgil, we are treated to stories written by various temporary residents, some of whom have been returning for years.

Virgil, who took up playing the bassoon several years ago, shuts himself in a closet to practice under the watchful eyes and ears of Mrs. Rochester. He also can recite from memory hundreds of poems he learned as a child, including the poetry of the town's now long dead reigning poet Solomon Solomon. This talent is especially well regarded since the local newspaper where the poems were published never kept an archives, and old copies don't seem to exist anymore.

Speaking of his poetry reciting prowess Virgil says "I love the phrase learning by heart, especially when it is applied to poetry, because it seems such a perfect description of the process of memorizing words that have been carefully chosen and weighed and handled. The heart, I think, which is the home of all things rhythmic, is where learned poems go to live."

This small easy-to-read tome is easy to love. It gives us literature, poetry, enchanting vignettes of life and makes us want to find this real Shangri-la in the Pacific Northwest. When I find it, I probably won't tell though. I want the whole place to myself.
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LibraryThing member refashionista
This book is, without exception, on of the funniest books I have ever read. I fell in love with it listening to the author reading excerpts on CBC and enjoyed it so much I bought my own copy. Now I pick up extra copies whenever I see them to pass along to friends. It follows the humorous exploits of a pair of brothers running a remote British Columbian bed & breakfast.… (more)
LibraryThing member lbradf
This was a very pleasant read, particularly well-suited to the bathroom, which is where I read most of it. I enjoyed the balance of Virgil and Hector's observations with those of the guests. Every now and then I was startled to realize it was set in current times--in many ways it felt more like a 40's book to me.
LibraryThing member overthemoon
Excerpts from the guest book in a B&B on an island off the west coast of Canada. I think I would feel very much at home here, where there isn't much to do but read, talk to the cat, wander around the countryside, sleep, dream, laugh a bit, take stock of one's life, spot the birds... or write poetry. I gave it one star short of five because I didn't want it to stop.… (more)
LibraryThing member tloeffler
Hector and Virgil are fraternal twins, in their 50's, who run a Bed & Breakfast on a remote island in the Straits of Georgia in western Canada. This book is written as a series of "dispatches" from the brothers, as well as occasional additions from their guests. The brothers share their home with Mrs. Rochester, their late mothers parrot, and Waffles the cat, who got his name from an interesting adventure with a waffle iron. This book kept me smiling from start to finish. Highly recommended.… (more)
LibraryThing member phlegmmy
An absolutely delightful read! It made me laugh out loud all the way through it. I found this book by perusing another LTer's library and I have no idea who it was. So thanks to all of you who have this book in your library, one of you is responsible for leading me to this gentle little book. :-)
LibraryThing member Cecilturtle
A delightful account of a B&B dedicated to readers. Full of quaint anecdotes and wonderfully written, this book offers simple stories that warm the heart and spirit. I also dutifully noted the book recommendations...
LibraryThing member Nickelini
If spending a weekend at a B&B on one of the beautiful Gulf Islands with some quirky characters and a pile of books is appealing, this is the book for you. Odd, thoughtful, often funny. Highly recommended.
LibraryThing member jepeters333
Brothers who are avid readers run a B&B in Canada.
LibraryThing member CharlaOppenlander
I liked this book...It is one I never would have picked up on my own, but it was a book club choice so I gave it a try! A quick and easy read, it is a compilation of stories about the brothers and their guests. I actually laughed out loud at a few of them. A good one!
LibraryThing member ChrisWeir
A quick fun read, read it in an afternoon. This follows the story of bachelor brothers who own and run a bed and breakfast as the title implies. The brothers are also bibliophiles. They tell a little of their own story as well as that of some of their guests as recorded in their guestbook. Altogether a fun read, the language gets a bit high handed at times for me and made me reach for my dictionary more than once but was still very enjoyable.… (more)
LibraryThing member sbsolter
Very light reading, but well-written and entertaining.
LibraryThing member CharlaOppenlander
I liked this book...It is one I never would have picked up on my own, but it was a book club choice so I gave it a try! A quick and easy read, it is a compilation of stories about the brothers and their guests. I actually laughed out loud at a few of them. A good one!
LibraryThing member mahallett
very bill richardson. warm, funny
LibraryThing member NeedMoreShelves
I went into this book not knowing what to expect, and goodness it was delightful! Definitely character-driven rather than plot-driven, but these characters are so endearing you don't want the story to end. I'm so grateful to have been introduced to Virgil and Homer and spent a few days in their world. Recommended.




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