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Extended Audio Sample Dogfight, A Love Story Audiobook, 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: September 2010 ISBN: 9780307749284
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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.

Download and start listening now!

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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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia | 1/19/2014

    " 3.5, but parts of this book are so good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 1/18/2014

    " A New Yorker transplanted to Minneapolis, writes a New York story through and through. A hapless drug dealer, a botched robbery, and a dogfight to welcome his brother home from prison. It all goes profoundly wrong. Great descriptions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 1/17/2014

    " Enjoyed reading this for bookclub. There were definitely some interesting characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 1/17/2014

    " Definitely an entertaining and quick paced story. I didn't connect with any one character but I still felt like I knew each one and understood their struggle. The plot was good, at times funny and the ending left me satisfied. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paige | 10/29/2013

    " A really good book that is filled with flawed characters that you care about and by the end, you all want to know more about them. Just a glimpse of life in Queens. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/20/2013

    " I really liked this book, surprisingly. Even though some of the content was difficult to read (drug use, violence, dysfunctional family relationships, and a dogfight), the story was interesting and kept me engaged as a reader. There was plenty of action and the characters were easy to follow. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rebecca Renner | 10/17/2013

    " It started out strong but failed to keep that momentum. Somehow I lost interest as soon as we entered Tariq's perspective. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dora | 10/4/2013

    " Though not of a content I would generally read, the novel was well done. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dysmonia Kuiper | 10/3/2013

    " An unfortunate title for a surprisingly good novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurelyn | 8/22/2013

    " Well written and entertaining but I didn't really like any of the characters so it was only three stars for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vanessa | 4/22/2013

    " this book gave me some Junot Diaz and Raising Victor Vargas vibes. the second half of the book is a bit darker and the ending falls a little flat but this book was a nice little surprise. "

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

    " not quite fortress of solitude, but well written story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christian | 8/15/2011

    " What a great read! I loved it. The energy and humor felt very authentic, not only of NYC but of that year (1992) in the city. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 4/12/2011

    " There were some great characters in this book. I liked how the author would even take a break from the main story to give the background story on some of the lesser characters. There were a few things I did't like near the end, but I'd have to write some spoilers to describe it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annie | 4/9/2011

    " This is an author to watch. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jackson | 4/4/2011

    " An amazing debut novel written in a smart-mouthed 'it is what it is' New York way. Loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 4/3/2011

    " Enjoyed reading this for bookclub. There were definitely some interesting characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 4/3/2011

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 3/14/2011

    " Original. Parts of this book were very good, but thought uneven. Overall, a solid 3. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne | 2/13/2011

    " This is my book club book, and I'm excited to discuss. Someone in my book club knows the author, which is why we picked it. I didn't love it, but definitely liked it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dora | 1/31/2011

    " Though not of a content I would generally read, the novel was well done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Norman | 12/27/2010

    " not quite fortress of solitude, but well written story. "

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About the Author

Matt Burgess is the critically acclaimed author of Dogfight, A Love Story. A graduate of Dartmouth and the University of Minnesota’s MFA program, he grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens.

About the Narrator

Ozzie Rodriguez is a narrator, voice artist, and actor of film, television, and the stage, performing in many independent features, such as My Life: Untitled, Escape from South LA, and his co-produced, self-written project Elevator