Download Controlled Burn: Stories of Prison, Crime, and Men Audiobook

Controlled Burn: Stories of Prison, Crime, and Men Audiobook, by Scott Wolven Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Scott Wolven Narrator: William Dufris Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2005 ISBN: 9781400171613
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (91 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Once or twice a decade, an unknown short-story writer blazes onto the literary scene with work that is thrilling and new. Scott Wolven is such a talent, and his raw, blistering tales of hard-bitten convicts, dodgy informers, and men running from the law make for "the most exciting, authentic collection of short stories I have read in years," says George Pelecanos.

Brooding, edgy, and sometimes violent, Controlled Burn's loosely linked stories are each in some way a distillation of hard time — spent either in prison, the backwoods of Vermont, or the badlands of the American West. Peopled by boxers, drunks, truck drivers, murderers, bounty hunters, drifters traveling under assumed names, and men whose luck ran out a thousand miles ago, these stories feel hard-won from life, and if they are moody and stark, so too are they filled with human longing.

Controlled Burn is divided into two sections: "The Northeast Kingdom" and "The Fugitive West." In each, Scott Wolven reveals a broken world where there is no bottom left to hit. In the haunting "Outside Work Detail," convicts stoically dig graves for their fellow prisoners yet reserve their deepest grief for the senseless death of a deer. "Crank" introduces Red Green, a maniacally brilliant addict who brews his own crystal meth in a backwoods lab, and whose high-energy antics inspire both cautious admiration and mortal fear in his business associates. In "Ball Lightning Reported," Red Green's ultimate fate is revealed. In "Atomic Supernova," a revenge-obsessed sheriff deputizes a known cop-killer to help him hunt down a counterfeiter and drug lord. The unexpectedly tender and heartbreaking "The Copper Kings" concerns a father facing the dark truth behind his son's disappearance. And in "Vigilance," a hunted man struggles to escape his past, always yearning for an honorable yet perhaps unreachable future.

Powered by a spare, ruminative prose style that recalls the best of Denis Johnson and Thom Jones, Controlled Burn is an unforgettable debut. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Dufris masterfully embodies each character with a hard-edged truthfulness.”


  • Dufris masterfully embodies each character with a hard-edged truthfulness. AudioFile

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J. | 8/26/2013

    " The world of Scott Wolven's loggers, drug runners, burnouts and fighters inspires itself--bad guys doing bad things. Its characters are their own misguided heroes, and it was clearly written by a person who wrote the book he wanted to read. There's something to be said for that. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott | 4/19/2012

    " Some stories were excellent, others just so-so. I would like to read a new collection by him if it comes out. I like his hard-hitting prose. Tough, gripping, outdoor literature like Pinckney Benedict, Breece Pancake, or Larry Brown. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stanley | 4/4/2012

    " i liked this. i liked the speed-freaks and misfits and weird scenery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 12/21/2010

    " I've already read many of Scott Wolven's short stories in the annual Best American Mysteries series edited by Otto Penzler et al. This is a great collection of short stories for anyone who appreciates gritty literary fiction. Can't wait for his next book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rudy | 8/29/2010

    " Outstanding noirish short stories. I loved each of them. I appreciate endings that make you ask, "What" The characters are memorable and some of the words poetry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aris | 1/18/2009

    " Two really awesome stories, and a number of fine stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim | 5/14/2007

    " One of the finest collections of short stories I've read in a long time, just about every story in here was one I reread after finishing it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 3/30/2007

    " Reminds me of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned and almost as good. Another short story collection of men in trouble. Wolven writes dialogue well and has a devastating laconic delivery. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 1/27/2007

    " Forget what you know about Carver, this guy is the loose on bail version of Carver. Damn, this guy writes like a hurricane. He creates stories that never leave your side. "

About the Author

Scott Wolven lives in upstate New York. His work has been selected three years in a row for the Best American Mystery Stories for 2002, 2003, and 2004.

About the Narrator

William Dufris attended the University of Southern Maine in Portland-Gorham before pursuing a career in voice work in London and then the United States. He has won more than twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, was voted one of the Best Voices at the End of the Century by AudioFile magazine, and won the prestigious Audie Award in 2012 for best nonfiction narration. He lives with his family in Maine.