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September 18, 2015 5:23 PM

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“The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait by Blake Bailey, the author of the definitive biographies of the tortured mid-20th-century writers John Cheever and Richard Yates.

He turns his eye to the demons that plagued his older brother Scott. His chronicle of the gradual implosion of the Bailey family is funny and harrowing and always brutally honest. No one, including himself, is spared accountability for their failure to save Scott from his inevitable fate. This isn’t...

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