Big Bad Love: Stories

Overview

Larry Brown caught the rapt attention of readers and critics with the 1988 publication of Facing the Music, his prize-winning first collection of stories. The following year, his first novel, Dirty Work, won national acclaim as a work of uncompromising power and honesty. Big Bad Love, his third book, collects ten new stories. Dealing with sex, with drink, with fear, with all kinds of bad luck and obsession, these stories are unflinching and not for the fainthearted. But as is true of all of Brown's fiction, these...

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Big Bad Love: Stories

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Overview

Larry Brown caught the rapt attention of readers and critics with the 1988 publication of Facing the Music, his prize-winning first collection of stories. The following year, his first novel, Dirty Work, won national acclaim as a work of uncompromising power and honesty. Big Bad Love, his third book, collects ten new stories. Dealing with sex, with drink, with fear, with all kinds of bad luck and obsession, these stories are unflinching and not for the fainthearted. But as is true of all of Brown's fiction, these ten stories are linked in a collective statement of redemption and hope. These stories come as close to the truth as any human expression can.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Brown, whose novel Dirty Work was published to high praise last year, returns to short fiction in this virtuoso collection that parades a club of backwoods loners--men who swill too much beer, want too many women and write too many short stories. A casual glance suggests invasion of Raymond Carver territory, but Brown stakes out his own turf by dint of his integrity and wit; his heroes are savants of the down-and-out set, harrowingly aware of their own limitations without abandoning hope of salvation. Brown's people are disempowered but canny: at the end of ``Falling Out of Love,'' the narrator says, ``I saw with a sick feeling in my heart that our happy ending was about to take a turn for the worse.'' In ``Discipline,'' presented as a play, a writer sentenced to ``hacks' prison'' comes before the parole board; he claims that the guard--a senior editor--has punished him for his poor writing by forcing him to prostitute himself. The final story, ``92 Days,'' constitutes a type of coda: a man otherwise immolated in grief turns to fiction, embroiling his characters in situations that mirror his own desperation and abandoning them--and their stories--when he cannot construct solutions for them. (Sept.)
Library Journal
From the author of Dirty Work , a searing war/antiwar novel LJ 7/89, comes a rich, moody collection of stories. All feature male protagonists of the beer-drinking, pick-up truck-driving persuasion, who are awkwardly trying to relate to women in a raunchy, sentimental way. Most seem stranded by a failure to communicate, a yearning to connect with others. ``Discipline'' is a different style, effectively told as a courtroom interrogation. The final long story, ``92 Days,'' is an almost too-real chronicle of a writer trying to get published, struggling with a lack of money and a bitter ex-wife, drinking too much, but still driven by the need to write. Brown, an ex-firefighter from Oxford, Mississippi, might just become another powerhouse Southern writer.-- Ann H. Fisher, Radford P.L., Va.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780945575467
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 9/30/1990
  • Series: Vintage Contemporaries Series
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.69 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author


Larry Brown was born in Lafayette County, Mississippi, where he lived all his life. At the age of thirty, a captain in the Oxford Fire Department, he decided to become a writer and worked toward that goal for seven years before publishing his first book, Facing the Music, a collection of stories, in 1988. With the publication of his first novel, Dirty Work, he quit the fire station in order to write fulltime. Between then and his untimely death in 2004, he published seven more books. His three grown children and his widow, Mary Annie Brown, live near Oxford.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2000

    This is a severe storm alert

    I became recently acquainted with the work of Larry Brown through my sister. She told me that my own writing was similiar and that I would enjoy this collection. So I checked it out, feeling the need to replace dead favorites of mine, Ray Carver and Charles Bukowski. I found this collection to fill that void, but best of all, I enjoyed it entirely without the ghosts. Mr. Brown was entertaining and amusing in his own right. This work may be too rough for some friends of Tipper Gore, but *heck* this is a winner.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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