In this heartbreakingly beautiful book of disillusioned intimacy and persistent yearning, beloved and celebrated author Andre Dubus III explores the bottomless needs and stubborn weaknesses of people seeking gratification in food and sex, work and love.
In these linked novellas in which characters walk out the back door of one story and into the next, love is "dirty" - tangled up with need, power, boredom, ego, fear, and fantasy. On the Massachusetts coast north of Boston, a controlling manager, Mark, discovers his wife's infidelity after 25 years of marriage. An overweight young woman, Marla, gains a romantic partner but loses her innocence. A philandering bartender/aspiring poet, Robert, betrays his pregnant wife. And in the stunning title novella, a teenage girl named Devon, fleeing a dirty image of her posted online, seeks respect in the eyes of her widowed great-uncle Francis and of an Iraq vet she’s met surfing the Web.
Slivered by happiness and discontent, aging and death, but also persistent hope and forgiveness, these beautifully wrought narratives express extraordinary tenderness toward human beings, our vulnerable hearts and bodies, our fulfilling and unfulfilling lives alone and with others.
Editors Select, October 2013 - Celebrated author Andre Dubus III returns to the format that first gained him recognition - the short story - with four intertwined novellas in Dirty Love. These four tales explore love through the disillusioned eyes of four very different, very broken people. From a man who learns that his wife has been cheating on him after 25 years of marriage, to a young girl who runs from her damaged reputation after an inappropriate video of her is posted online, Dubus' prose is both haunting and heartbreaking, provocative and hopeful. Dubus himself narrates the audiobook, and I can't wait to hear him bring to life this interconnected, intimate world he masterfully crafted. Katie, Audible Editor
“Dubus is an outstanding author, for sure, and here his narrator's voice shines just as brightly as his literary one.” (AudioFile)
“First rate fiction by a dazzling talent.” (Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review)
“I can think of no novelist who renders the gritty, down-and-out corners of New England better than Dubus, and those beautifully specific, contained slices of American life open into whole universes of love, violence, guilt, and betrayal.” (The New Republic)
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This one was tough to get through, because it rips your heart out.
Good book, bad reading.
Dubus is an excellent writer and these stories explore all manner of nuances of human relationships.
But Dubus is not an actor. He would be perfectly fine to listen to for an hour were he to give a reading; but he cannot be expected to read an entire book the way a good actor would. The reading interfered with my enjoyment of the excellent prose.
- Gyorgyi Voros