Synopses & Reviews
Larry Brown's highly praised novel Dirty Work established him as one of the fiercest and most powerful new voices in Southern literature, a writer who understands the sorrows and joys of everyday life. That same compassionate regard for ordinary people shines on every page of Big Bad Love, whose heroes in these stories have a fatal weakness for beer, fast women, and pick-up trucks, and who find a kind of salvation in the reckless pursuit of love.
"Brown's Facing the Music was an extraordinary first collection of short stories, marked by the tough, humorous, unusual voices of quite ordinary Southerners. His next book, the novel Dirty Work, proved that he could represent the enduring terror in the lives of Vietnam veterans with great sensitivity. His third book, a collection of ten stories that deal with love, depression, and sex, is less satisfying than his earlier work. His minimalist techniques lead to a superficial treatment of intense emotions, a pandering to prurient interests. The stories do not entertain or enlighten; they disappoint." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"An entirely worthy successor [to Dirty Work], enlivened by a racy metaphor [and] invested with stunning presence and complexity." The New York Times Book Review
"Big, bad and wonderful....A stunning collection of stories about real people and real life." Atlanta Journal and Constitution
"Rather like some perfect object one has come across in a wilderness, these are stories of affirmation...human, compassionate and compelling." Harry Crews, Los Angeles Times
"A voice as true as a gun rack, unpretentious and uncorrupted. [In] a surprising combination of sharp wit and great sorrow...comes a sure sense of a compassionate writer deeply in touch with the sorrowful rhythms of not just Southern, but human, life." Philadelphia Inquirer
"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." Publishers Weekly
"[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....Brown...might just become another powerhouse Southern writer." Library Journal
About the Author
Larry Brown was born in Oxford, Mississippi, in 1951. He served in the Marine Corps from 1970 to 1972, and in 1973 joined the Oxford Fire Department, where he served as captain until 1990; he now writes full time. Mr. Brown is the author of the novels Dirty Work and Joe, and of two short-story collections, Facing the Music, which received the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters 1989 Award for Literature, and Big Bad Love. His most recent book is On Fire, a work of nonfiction. He and his wife, Mary Annie, have three children and currently live in Yocona, Mississippi.