In this heartbreakingly beautiful book of disillusioned intimacy and persistent yearning, beloved and celebrated author Andre Dubus III explores the bottomless needs and stubborn weaknesses of people seeking gratification in food and sex, work and love.
In these linked novellas in which characters walk out the back door of one story and into the next, love is "dirty" - tangled up with need, power, boredom, ego, fear, and fantasy. On the Massachusetts coast north of Boston, a controlling manager, Mark, discovers his wife's infidelity after 25 years of marriage. An overweight young woman, Marla, gains a romantic partner but loses her innocence. A philandering bartender/aspiring poet, Robert, betrays his pregnant wife. And in the stunning title novella, a teenage girl named Devon, fleeing a dirty image of her posted online, seeks respect in the eyes of her widowed great-uncle Francis and of an Iraq vet she’s met surfing the Web.
Slivered by happiness and discontent, aging and death, but also persistent hope and forgiveness, these beautifully wrought narratives express extraordinary tenderness toward human beings, our vulnerable hearts and bodies, our fulfilling and unfulfilling lives alone and with others.
©2013 Andre Dubus III (P)2013 Audible Inc.
“Dubus is an outstanding author, for sure, and here his narrator's voice shines just as brightly as his literary one.” (AudioFile)
“First rate fiction by a dazzling talent.” (Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review)
“I can think of no novelist who renders the gritty, down-and-out corners of New England better than Dubus, and those beautifully specific, contained slices of American life open into whole universes of love, violence, guilt, and betrayal.” (The New Republic)
With Debus III you come to know you will get people. You will be taken inside them. You will inhabit their lives and see through their eyes. But you will also feel the torpor of their loins and the fatigue in their muscles and you will bear the harpies in their heads and be enlisted to shoulder the burden of their souls. When he takes you down the lanes of these fucked up people, which we all are, that empathy he feeds you can be a very bitter pill. Maybe that best sums up Andre Debus III's writing for me, NO SUGAR COATING. And when your medicine is being administered - all his characters struggle with their medicine - you think, a little sugar might go along way. But he's unrelenting in his eye of honesty. And in his own voice reading it to you like so much truth upon truth, it all wounds and heals at the same time. There were moments in this book where I felt I couldn't go on. But by the end, it had ended far too soon, as Crazy Love always does.
Dubus is an excellent writer and these stories explore all manner of nuances of human relationships.
But Dubus is not an actor. He would be perfectly fine to listen to for an hour were he to give a reading; but he cannot be expected to read an entire book the way a good actor would. The reading interfered with my enjoyment of the excellent prose.
I honestly feel bad saying that the author of the book, who is a wonderful author, does not do the reading of this justice.
His pace is very laboured and dull and since the book has such a heavy subject matter it is hard to listen to.
I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
Ok here's what I think worked in this book..... The novellas/ short stories/novel held my interest throughout. The authors desire to delve into the emotions and messiness of romantic relationships was apparent from beginning to end, making the story/stories interesting and somewhat insightful. And many of the characters were well developed and interestng.
Ok......so what I think didn't work so well was this author again decided to narrate his own book. Mr Dubus'111 narration this time, in attempt I believe to avoid the monotone issue of his narration in his memoir Townie, Dubus111 narrates this book in a sing song style that for me is reminiscent of the style of slam poets. I found this narration style distracting and unfortunately not a positive asset to this book.
Also what is going on with so many authors recent works? The endings are non-endings. The "endings"seem to be from the "figure it out for yourself" school of thought. Is it just my imagination that more and more authors now are choosing to end their books this way?
So if I could I'd give this book a solid 3.5. Good, not great.
Toning down on the oral sex.
Not sure if I will listen to another book by this author. "Sand & Fog" was AWESOME and it got me hooked on this author, but "Dirty Love" was "Down-Right Dirty" to me. IMHO there was too much talk about the young lady and her exploits!
Narration should have been performed by someone else to keep my attention.
The over-the-top and amount of time/effort on the exploits of the young lady.
Initially, I was intrigued and liked the book, but as the story developed I lost interest and then got a little disturbing to me.
First story was repetitive and should have been edited more. The author's tone of voice made it very hard for me to listen, just grating, lackadaisical, whining and irritating to me. I stopped after 6 plus hours and could not bring myself to finish. Please hire someone like Scott Brick.
Edit the first story. Way too much internal dialogue.
I love to listen to books while I'm driving. Unfortunately, this book will not be on my listening list because I'm afraid I'll fall asleep. Even if the book is good, I'll never know because the performer was so dreadful.
Amy Tan's newest
Irritation and boredom.
I probably would have liked this book, but the performance was so droll and unemotional I couldn't listen. I made several attempts, but got to the point where I was unable to follow the story line because of that irritating voice.
I usually find short stories and the audiobook medium to not lend themselves to each other, as the unchanging narrative voice can mislead the listener into a blending of storylines, themes, and styles. This can’t be said for Dirty Love, in which the four stories contained all revolve around not only the same themes (realistic, frustrated, and trying love), but also build a snapshot of different communities in the Northeast. The novellas and novel as a whole ask the listener/reader to reconsider the societal distractions and sicknesses that dilute the purity of romance and
To the reviewers that had a problem with Dubus’ narration, I thought that his tired, weary, and at times angst driven performance was perfectly fitting for the stories. His distinctive Northeastern drawl matches the setting of the stories, and he guides the listener forward slowly, often pausing to allow us to take in the gravity and implications of its characters, conversely, the age in which we live. I’d especially recommend this to those who enjoyed Townie, as disappointment, disbelief, and devastation that make up these stories can be traced back to the author’s own upbringing.
I enjoyed listening to the author read it, but it may have taken on a different feel if read by someone else.
Probably not. Did not enjoy this story much. Very dark characters that have like able characteristics despite their addictions to sex and booze. But they never get out of the hell they are in. I wanted to hear more about what happened to a character and the book would move onto a new character. I thought that at the end there might be a revisiting of characters as to what happens to them even if it was sad.
Dark story of dirty love with lots of sadness in their life's. While I don't mind reading about sorrow and loss, their seems to be no redemption.
Just stupid of me - that's all I can say. I've not followed my earlier in life protocol for picking books and I'm highly paying for it. :(
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