The Mississippi countryside is Joe Ransom's world. There, whiskey, fast trucks, and a hard right fist are the badges of manhood. But middle age is approaching, and Joe tries to not think too much about the future. At 15, Gary Jones' life is painful and unpredictable. His days are spent avoiding his brutish father and caring for a damaged mother and sister. When Joe's and Gary's paths cross, the resulting friendship is a bizarre rite of passage for both of them.
Throughout the story, Brown deftly maintains a balance between action and destruction, compassion and compulsion. His characters are riveting; the conclusion is shocking. This novel will leave you astonished and grateful for Larry Brown, a major talent.
©1991 Larry Brown; (P)1996 Recorded Books, LLC
"Powerful...Brown comes into his own." (Publishers Weekly)
"Brown delivers....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)
I cannot be objective about anything Larry Brown ever wrote. His humanity grabs me every time...with such a powerful grip that I would follow him page after page wherever he chose to take me. I shall miss him terribly. We have lost a giant.
yes - this superb reader builds a character with his voice - the story comes alive in a whole new way. His voicing of old man Wade is especially memorable.
one of the funnier parts of the story was when Gary has his first encounter with a hooker and she tells him to go brush his teeth
Joe's relationship with the law is also memorable
so much to like. He handles the different voices so well without sounding contrived or affected - and his handling of the southern accent is remarkable. He gives each character such close attention. Wade sounds evil and Gary sounds pure and lost - its all Tom's doing
I must admit upfront that I enjoy entertaining writers such as Carl Hiason and Nelson Demille. Perhaps "Joe" is just too high-brow for me but I listened for about 90-minutes before giving-up on it. I have listened to a lot of books and Joe is one of the few that I just decided to "put-down" and look for something else.
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