Synopses & Reviews
"Brilliant . . . Larry Brown has slapped his own fresh tattoo on the big right arm of Southern Lit." --The Washington Post Book World
Now a major motion picture starring Nicolas Cage, directed by David Gordon Green.
Joe Ransom is a hard-drinking ex-con pushing fifty who just won't slow down--not in his pickup, not with a gun, and certainly not with women. Gary Jones estimates his own age to be about fifteen. Born luckless, he is the son of a hopeless, homeless wandering family, and he's desperate for a way out. When their paths cross, Joe offers him a chance just as his own chances have dwindled to almost nothing. Together they follow a twisting map to redemption--or ruin.
"With this powerful novel of poverty-mired Mississippi... Brown comes into his own, illuminating the painful lives of his characters with compassion and eloquence." --Publishers Weekly
"Bright with pain and liquor, this raw and gritty novel ranks with the best hard-knocks, down-and-out work of Jim Thompson and Harry Crews. It's lean, mean, and original." --Kirkus Reviews
"Larry Brown is establishing himself as one of the most authentic literary voices of our generation. It's a voice framed, as many great voices have been, in the inflections of the South. It's a voice as true as a gun rack, unpretentious and uncorrupted, full of wit and sorrow." --Baltimore Evening Sun
Set in the Mississippi backroads, this unflinchingly realistic novel focuses on the relationship between Gary Jones, the 15-year-old son of dissolute itinerant laborers and Joe Ransom, a hard-drinking ex-con who becomes his unlikely savior.
Nearing fifty, Joe Ransom won't slow down, not in his pickup, not with a gun-and certainly not with women. But all the fast living in Mississippi won't fill the hunger Joe can't name. At fifteen, Gary Jones is already slipping through the cracks. Part of a hopeless, homeless wandering family, he's desperate for a way out. He finds it in Joe. Together they follow a twisting map to redemption-or ruin.
About 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.