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Extended Audio Sample Dogfight, A Love Story, by Matt Burgess Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (311 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Matt Burgess Narrator: Ozzie Rodriguez Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Alfredo Batista has some worries. Okay, a lot of worries. His older brother, Jose—sorry, Tariq—is returning from a stretch in prison after an unsuccessful robbery, a burglary that Alfredo was supposed to be part of. So now everyone thinks Alfredo snitched on his brother, which may have something to do with the fact that Alfredo is now dating Tariq’s ex-girlfriend, Isabel, who is eight months pregnant. Tariq’s violent streak is probably #1 worry on Alfredo’s list. 

Also, he needs to steal a pit bull. For the homecoming dogfight. 

Burgess brings to life the rich and vivid milieu of his hometown native Queens in all its glorious variety. Here is the real New York, a place where Pakistanis, Puerto Ricans, Haitians, An ­glos, African Americans, and West Indians scrap and mingle and love. But the real star here is Burgess’s incredible ear for language—the voices of his characters leap off the page in riotous, spot-on dialogue. The outer boroughs have their own language, where a polite greeting is fraught with menace, and an insult can be the expression of the most tender love. 

With a story as intricately plotted as a Shakespearean comedy—or revenge tragedy, for that matter—and an electrically colloquial prose style, Dogfight, a Love Story establishes Matt Burgess as an exuberant new voice in contemporary literature. The great Queens novel has arrived.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With an acute ear for dialogue and the poetry of the street, Burgess…gives us the pizzerias and bodegas, playgrounds and schoolyards, barbershops and bowling alleys of his home turf. His is a cliché-free depiction of gritty urban reality, reminiscent of Richard Price”

    New York Times

  • Selected for the November 2010 Indie Next List
  • Nominated for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Bridgette | 2/5/2014

    " Starting to read this 2011 Alex Award Nominee. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Dana | 2/1/2014

    " Matt's brilliant...and I'm not just saying that because he married one of my great friends from high school and we have become friends...he really is brilliant. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Alison | 1/29/2014

    " Another nice surprise from the library shelves (although it might be 3.5). It is love story Queens style with a low level drug dealer as the protagonist who is trying to organize a dogfight for his brother's prison homecoming. There is so much tension throughout the book and the characters are great. It is just a story about some kids from Queens so even when they win they are still stuck- the end is this perfect mix of happy and heartbreaking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jen | 1/29/2014

    " I liked it - a completely new story, and characters so very real. A very slight part of my enthusiasm may come from my current infatuation with Brooklyn (though the book takes place in Queens - I felt a connection). I recomend it. "

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