Dirt [NOOK Book]

Overview

The year is 1985, and twenty-two-year-old Galen lives with his emotionally dependent mother in a secluded old house surrounded by a walnut orchard in a suburb of Sacramento. He doesn't know who his father is, his abusive grandfather is dead, and his grandmother, losing her memory, has been shipped off to a nursing home. Galen and his mother survive on the family's trust fund—old money that his aunt, Helen, and seventeen-year-old cousin, Jennifer, are determined to get their ...

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Dirt

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Overview

The year is 1985, and twenty-two-year-old Galen lives with his emotionally dependent mother in a secluded old house surrounded by a walnut orchard in a suburb of Sacramento. He doesn't know who his father is, his abusive grandfather is dead, and his grandmother, losing her memory, has been shipped off to a nursing home. Galen and his mother survive on the family's trust fund—old money that his aunt, Helen, and seventeen-year-old cousin, Jennifer, are determined to get their hands on.

Galen, a New Age believer who considers himself an old soul, yearns for transformation: to free himself from the corporeal, to be as weightless as air, to walk on water. But he's powerless to stop the manic binges that overtake him, leading him to fixate on forbidden desires. A prisoner of his body, he is obsessed with thoughts of the boldly flirtatious Jennifer and dreams of shedding himself of the clinging mother whose fears and needs weigh him down.

When the family takes a trip to an old cabin in the Sierras, near South Lake Tahoe, tensions crescendo. Caught in a compromising position, Galen will discover the shocking truth of just how far he will go to attain the transcendence he craves.

An exhilarating portrayal of a legacy of violence and madness, Dirt is an entirely feverish read.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
Vann's celebrated 2008 collection, Legend of a Suicide, established him as a fearless navigator of dark themes. His new novel…cements that reputation…Vann writes in a sure-footed, mostly straightforward style, but with a penchant for verbless sentences…This syntax at first seems affected, but it comes to feel apt, giving the descriptions immediacy and reflecting the static, suffocating setting.
—Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow
Washington Post Book World
“Searing. . . . Vann has an extravagantly literary sensibility, and his novel is full of echoes: One thinks of the stately inevitability of classical tragedy, of Chekhov’s lost souls, of the hallucinatory quality of Faulkner’s rural fantasia, and of Stephen King’s depictions of an unraveling mind.”
Boston Globe
“There’s a lot of humor here, of a very dark vein. And Vann, a Guggenheim fellow, excels at sly truths”
The Economist
“Brilliant narrative. . . . This is a novel of violence, destruction and ruin. There is no salvation. And yet Mr. Vann’s soaring writing carries it forward-a reminder of the beauty that can grace even the beastliest things.”
The Daily Beast
“The book is wonderfully twisted, but a sinister humor keeps things from getting too bleak. What begins as a literary family drama turns slowly into a heady horror story, part Stephen King and part Immanuel Kant.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“Brave and brilliant. . . . Dirt is showing us something unexpected, and unexpectedly stunning . . . Vann’s details here, as always, are pitch-perfect.”
Booklist
“Multi-award winner Vann writes undeniably powerful prose, whether he is blithely satirizing transcendental meditation, or meticulously detailing Galen’s descent into madness.”
Denver Post
“David Vann excels at writing about the darkest side of the human heart. . . . Vann fully exhibits the writer’s chops that served him well in his earlier works, and he again plumbs the darker parts of the human psyche. This novel is simultaneously disturbing and haunting.”
San Jose Mercury News
“Harrowing. . . . Vann, a professor at UC San Francisco, is often compared to Cormac McCarthy; he exerts a powerful grip here, as Galen learns how far he’s willing to go to get free.”
BookPage
“This experience is prolonged to the very last page, graceful paragraph, stunning word. Then it reverberates. Vann’s book is art, and not to be missed.”
The New Yorker
“His language is sharply funny, even as his characters enact a tragedy of Greek proportions.”
Financial Times
“Haunting.”
Philadelphia Inquirer
“Vann truly is brave. . . . there is no denying we emerge indelibly affected.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062121080
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/24/2012
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,154,949
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Published in twenty languages, David Vann's internationally bestselling books have won fifteen prizes, including best foreign novel in France and Spain, and have appeared on seventy-five Best Books of the Year lists in a dozen countries. He's written for the New York Times, Atlantic, Esquire, Outside, Sunset, Men's Journal, McSweeney's, and many other publications, and he has been a Guggenheim, Stegner, and NEA fellow.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2012

    Worst book I have ever read

    I
    Can not believe I wasted my time finishing it. This book is about absolutely nothing; just keeps going on and on. I guess if you like Catcher In the Rye you may like it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 12, 2012

    Good read

    Although this book twists and turns and keeps the reader guessing, it ends in a shocking conclusion that makes the reader question his or her own family values and haunts you to the core. Deeply disturbing,but a page turner nevertheless. You will not be able to put it down!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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