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Dirty Work
     

Dirty Work

4.5 2
by Larry Brown
 

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Braiden Chaney has no arms or legs. Walter James has no face. They lost them in Vietnam, along with other, more vital parts of themselves. Now, twenty-two years later, these two Mississippians — one black, the other white — lie in adjoining beds in a V.A. hospital. In the course of one long night they tell each other how they came to be what they are and

Overview

Braiden Chaney has no arms or legs. Walter James has no face. They lost them in Vietnam, along with other, more vital parts of themselves. Now, twenty-two years later, these two Mississippians — one black, the other white — lie in adjoining beds in a V.A. hospital. In the course of one long night they tell each other how they came to be what they are and what they can only dream of becoming. Their stories, recounted in voices as distinct and indelible as those of Faulkner, add up to the story of the war itself, and make Dirty Work the most devastating novel of its kind since Dalton Trumbo's Johnny got his gun.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Two devastatingly wounded Vietnam vets, Chaney, who is black, and James, white, both sons of the South, lie in a veteran's hospital and talk freely about combat, movies, sex, old loves, their boyhoods, how it feels to kill a man and why God allows wars to happen. PW described this novel as ``wrenching'' and ``memorable.'' (Oct.)
The New York Times
"There has been no anti-war novel . . . quite like Dirty Work."—The New York Times
The Washington Post
"A novel of the first order. . . . A gem."—The Washington Post
The Kansas City Star
"Explodes like a land mine. . . . A marvelous book."—The Kansas City Star
Newsday
"A real knockout."—New York Newsday
Reviews

“An unforgettable, unshakable novel.”—The New York Times Book Review

“The writing, the characters, and the plot are so compelling that you can't help but stay with the book until its conclusion.”Washington Post Book World

“There has been no antiwar novel . . . quite like Larry Brown'sDirty Work.The New York Times

“One of the most powerful antiwar novels in American literature.”The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“A marvelous book . . . Brown's swift, intuitive dialogue explodes like a land mine and leaves the reader dizzy with shock.”The Kansas City Star

“A real knockout.”New York Newsday

“A powerful and original work all its own that moves along in short, staccato chapters with indisputably authentic language.”The New York Times

“Stunning power . . . Dirty Workmakes the human cost of war achingly real.”USA Today

“An unsparing book, at once brutal and compassionate, horrible, yet funny, too.”The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Courageous . . . It's hard to imagine a more powerful effect than the one Brown creates with his attentive, unsparing prose.”St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“[Brown] has created two fully realized, believable—and often very funny—characters . . . No one who reads this book is likely to forget them.”The Houston Post

“A novel of the first order . . . A gem.” The Washington Post

From the Publisher
“An unforgettable, unshakable novel.”—The New York Times Book Review

“The writing, the characters, and the plot are so compelling that you can't help but stay with the book until its conclusion.”Washington Post Book World

“There has been no antiwar novel . . . quite like Larry Brown'sDirty Work.The New York Times

“One of the most powerful antiwar novels in American literature.”The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“A marvelous book . . . Brown's swift, intuitive dialogue explodes like a land mine and leaves the reader dizzy with shock.”The Kansas City Star

“A real knockout.”New York Newsday

“A powerful and original work all its own that moves along in short, staccato chapters with indisputably authentic language.”The New York Times

“Stunning power . . . Dirty Workmakes the human cost of war achingly real.”USA Today

“An unsparing book, at once brutal and compassionate, horrible, yet funny, too.”The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Courageous . . . It's hard to imagine a more powerful effect than the one Brown creates with his attentive, unsparing prose.”St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“[Brown] has created two fully realized, believable—and often very funny—characters . . . No one who reads this book is likely to forget them.”The Houston Post

“A novel of the first order . . . A gem.” The Washington Post

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679730491
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/12/1990
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries Series
Pages:
236
Product dimensions:
5.23(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.59(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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Dirty Work 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We are reading this book for book club. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago