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Extended Audio Sample Dirty Work Audiobook, by Larry Brown Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (612 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Larry Brown Narrator: Ed Sala, Peter Francis James Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2016 ISBN: 9781440799655
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This gripping novel is not only one of the best books written about Vietnam; it is also one of the most powerful anti-war novels in American literature.

Walter James has no face. Braiden Chaney has no arms or legs. They lost them twenty-two years ago in Vietnam. Now, in the course of one long night in a VA hospital, these two soldiers—one black, the other white—reveal how they came to be where they are and what they can only hope to become.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An unforgettable, unshakable novel.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “The writing, the characters, and the plot are so compelling that you can’t help but stay with the book until its conclusion.”

    Washington Post Book World

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Whoverstreet Overstreet | 2/15/2014

    " I read Brown's Big Bad Love last summer in about 2 days. Loved it. A great collection of short stories. But wasn't prepared for the knockout of Dirty Work. Very powerful - and especially moving for a Mississippian. NY Times called it a "devastating anti-war novel." Indeed. Story of two Vietnam veterans from Mississippi who happen to end up next to each other in a DC hospital. One is black and has lost all his limbs. He maintains his sanity by living in a dream world. The other is white and has lost his face in battle. Depressing, yes - but also beautifully written. Moving story of how these two men bond and benefit one another over a long night. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kbheiner7 | 1/31/2014

    " A powerful anti-war book - the best of Brown I have read yet. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Corinna | 1/24/2014

    " I was excited to read another Larry Brown. The writing is excellent, but neither the characters nor the story did it for me. Set in a VA hospital in the 1990s, two Vietnam vets talk through the night, and realize that they have a lot more in common than they thought. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 1/6/2014

    " One of the best novels I've read in I don't know how long. Alternately poignant and gritty, horrifying and transcendent, brutal and beautiful, after reading this book, I see why Brown was compared to his fellow Lafayette County, Mississippi novelist, William Faulkner. It isn't style, because where Faulkner soars, Brown stays gritty and focused. It's in the fact that both writers approached nothing less than, as Faulkner explained when he won the Nobel Prize, the old verities which comprise the touchstone of human goodness and existence. Let that commend "Dirty Work"-- that and one shocking plot twist that will drop the bottom out of your stomach. I'm giving it five stars only because I can't give it more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 brandon | 1/2/2014

    " I just finished Dirty Work and I loved it. My first Larry Brown novel and I am very impressed. The characters are genuine and vibrant, even though injured and broken. Wonderful book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Phillips | 1/2/2014

    " this was my first Larry Brown book. I think I expected too much. It was a good read but I figured out the ending about 50 pages too soon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly Crase | 12/25/2013

    " he completely nails the dialog. lots of great sentences. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 11/14/2013

    " Powerful book. A page-turner, but tough to handle emotionally. Very well-done. One more quality Mississippi writer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Helena | 11/12/2013

    " The way this story is told makes it worth reading. It's a quick read, on the very familiar topic of war ruining the live it touches. For me, there wasn't any new ground covered here. However, Larry Brown is a masterful storyteller. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carin | 11/6/2013

    " a shocking and heart-wrenching story, all told in one night, of two Vietnam vets talking in bed in a VA hospital. Both are missing most of their limbs and will never get out of the hospital. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Taylorcbigler | 11/6/2013

    " Don't read this unless you want to be depressed, but it is a really powerful anti-war novel without being anti-war in context. It's about 250 pages but it reads really fast. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marc | 10/13/2013

    " Larry Brown's first novel shows a lot of promise. It's a shame he died early, he's a born storyteller unlike that Larsson guy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 10/10/2013

    " Great novel that deals with suffering and how we cope. I love these two characters, which makes me vunerable to Brown's uncanny ability to show the unfair but real sufferings that make up life and leave you scared. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin | 9/11/2013

    " I normally wouldn't care for "war books" but Brown's first novel goes far beyond that into a deeper human story. This is a staggering experience. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tomherndon | 1/1/2013

    " I'm fortunate to never be in any of the conditions/positions characters faced. I've thought about this book many more hours than I took to read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amelia | 12/24/2012

    " Simple but poignant. Impressive first novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bob | 11/29/2012

    " Still my favorite Vietnam era book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 9/12/2012

    " Didn't enjoy this as much as Big Bad Love, but not bad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Hartnett | 11/16/2011

    " Powerful writer and a very solid book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beve | 10/2/2011

    " I liked the authors ability to bring the reader each man's tradedy in his language--very gripping "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 7/28/2011

    " powerful, powerful shit. The world has been granite-hard on us poor for eternity, and the crisp descriptive dialect in this short novel nails it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 MG | 3/12/2011

    " A very powerful and poignant work. Tremendously moving story infused with dark humor and illuminating despair. Sad and just damn good. A book that's a long walk under gray skies with nothing but a bent umbrella. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elaine | 2/10/2011

    " This is a hard hitting book. Very well written. Very engaging especially as you really know what goes on in the characters' minds. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amelia | 1/2/2011

    " Simple but poignant. Impressive first novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marc | 1/1/2011

    " Larry Brown's first novel shows a lot of promise. It's a shame he died early, he's a born storyteller unlike that Larsson guy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kbheiner7 | 9/23/2010

    " A powerful anti-war book - the best of Brown I have read yet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 6/27/2010

    " he completely nails the dialog. lots of great sentences. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elaine | 2/18/2010

    " This is a hard hitting book. Very well written. Very engaging especially as you really know what goes on in the characters' minds. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ousel | 1/5/2010

    " The way this story is told makes it worth reading. It's a quick read, on the very familiar topic of war ruining the live it touches. For me, there wasn't any new ground covered here. However, Larry Brown is a masterful storyteller. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bob | 8/2/2009

    " Still my favorite Vietnam era book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Taylorcbigler | 7/30/2009

    " Don't read this unless you want to be depressed, but it is a really powerful anti-war novel without being anti-war in context. It's about 250 pages but it reads really fast. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ian | 7/8/2009

    " Pretty good psychological, without the thriller part. Just strange.

    A great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 5/1/2009

    " Powerful book. A page-turner, but tough to handle emotionally. Very well-done. One more quality Mississippi writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Johnsergeant | 4/11/2009

    " 5 CD / 5.75 Hours
    Narrated By: Peter Francis James , Ed Sala
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 12/11/2008

    " Great novel that deals with suffering and how we cope. I love these two characters, which makes me vunerable to Brown's uncanny ability to show the unfair but real sufferings that make up life and leave you scared. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 12/11/2008

    " Didn't enjoy this as much as Big Bad Love, but not bad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 11/11/2008

    " powerful, powerful shit. The world has been granite-hard on us poor for eternity, and the crisp descriptive dialect in this short novel nails it. "

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About the Author
Author Larry Brown

Larry Brown (1951–2004) was an American novelist, non-fiction, and short story writer. He won numerous awards including the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award for fiction, the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Award, and Mississippi’s Governor’s Award For Excellence in the Arts. He was also the first two-time winner of the Southern Book Award for Fiction.

His notable works include Dirty Work, Father and Son, Joe, and Big Bad Love. In 2013 a film adaptation of Larry Brown’s Joe was released, featuring Nicolas Cage.

About the Narrators

Ed Sala has narrated dozens of audio books throughout his career. His readings include Harlan Coben’s Tell No One, Stephen Sears’ Gettysburg, and Cormac MacCarthy’s Outer Dark.

Peter Francis James is an accomplished actor on both the stage and the screen. His theater credits include roles in On Golden Pond, Much Ado about Nothing, and August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean. His many film and television credits include Jahfree Neema in Oz, Raymond Parks in The Rosa Parks Story, Joe Gould’s Secret, The Guiding Light, Law & Order: SVU, and Third Watch.