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Father and Son by Larry Brown

Father and Son

by Larry Brown

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303736,938 (4.08)21
  1. 00
    Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto (Polaris-)
    Polaris-: Both are tales of grit and foreboding, told with great narratives, fine dialogue, and flawed but real characters whose motives you get.
  2. 00
    Dirty work by Larry Brown (Polaris-)

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I liked everything about this book, from the way it was set up to the very vivid, spare prose to the characters. Brown takes the old story about brothers going in different directions (in this instance they're half-brothers) and makes it new and real. He changes POV easily and effectively to let the reader know his characters from the inside. A terrific book. I miss Larry Brown. ( )
  jimnicol | Sep 26, 2014 |
The story shows a brief part in the life of Glen Davis when he returns from prison after serving time for vehicular homicide.

He is a vengeful person and aggressive toward his girlfriend and uncaring about his small son.

The sheriff would like to marry Glen's old girlfriend but she wants Glen.

We also meet Glen's father, a wounded WWII vet.

At one point, Glen takes his father's rifle and kills a man who made a comment about Glen's girl when Glen was in prison.

There is good description of the area and the relationship between the blacks and white in rural Mississippi in the 1960s. ( )
  mikedraper | Jul 21, 2013 |
Dirty, raw, gritty - and that just barely scrapes the surface of Larry Brown's book, Father and Son. I don't mind the dirt and the grit, but I must confess, this book was more than I can handle.

Glen Davis spent three years in jail for killing a young boy while he was driving drunk. He got early parole, and as Glen returns to his small hometown in 1968 Mississippi, you can tell trouble's brewing. Glen's one of those types who thinks the world is always against him - and that anything bad that happens to Glen (real or perceived) must be met with swift and cruel retribution.

So, within a short time of his return, Glen commits double homicide, seeking revenge on a man who offered to buy his girlfriend a drink (three years ago). Then he rapes a woman who flirted with him (she deserved it, you see). Finally, upon learning that his girlfriend broke up with him so she could date the sheriff, Glen kidnaps the sheriff's mom, ties her up and rapes her too.

Mix in a lot of beer, whiskey, cigarettes and animal cruelty - and you get a less than favorable view of Southern life. I fear it fits the stereotype a little too much. Sure, there were some upstanding characters, but Glen's crimes overshadow it all.

As Brown writes about the characters and their pasts, he starts to paint a picture of Glen's youth - the child of a drunken, cheating father and a mother who complained to her son about his father's misdeeds. We also learn about the death of Glen's brother in a gun accident. Indeed, Glen's young life was not an easy one, and Brown keeps pressing on his relationship with his mother as an important influence in his life - as if she had, in some way, caused him to be such an evildoer. I object to this position. Glen was a sociopath. While his mom may be guilty of bad mothering, no amount of good parenting could have cured him. He was evil to the soul.

Larry Brown writes with sparse prose and is fearless about his stories. If you like the styles of Cormac McCarthy, Jon Clinch or Robert Olmstead, then give Larry Brown a try. Be forewarned, though, the Father and Son is like a punch in the gut. ( )
2 vote mrstreme | Sep 17, 2011 |
This is powerful stuff and superbly written. Larry Brown writes in a way that compels you to fall deep into the scene he sets. You can feel the Mississippi heat rising as the days progress...when the rains come it brings sweet relief. You can smell the coffee perking and the biscuits frying, and the whisky-breathed main antagonist Glen Davis as he spends his first days of freedom back in his home county after 3 years incarceration. We follow the compact cast of characters as a path of destruction unfolds...This novel will stay with me for a very long time. So glad I've discovered Larry Brown's writing. ( )
  Polaris- | Jan 26, 2011 |
I am a major fan of Larry Brown's, I liked this one very much. ( )
  shesinplainview | Mar 12, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805053034, Paperback)

Larry Brown is the master of the raw and the sparse and of bringing Mississippi to the world in a language that is as stripped down and bare as Faulkner's is dense. Brown is at his best when he writes of the tensions between one screwed-up man and another, in this case a father and son. One has just been let out of prison, and he shouldn't have been. The other is drunk and disabled and intends on staying that way. To make things worse, there is a conflict with the sheriff, who is good and righteous but who tried to put the moves on the parolee's woman while he was in prison. To tell more would be to violate Brown's mastery of dialogue and of that which goes unspoken in this sly story of father, son, and misery.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:42 -0400)

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Two men square off in a Mississippi town over a woman. One is the sheriff who loves her, the other a returned convict who is father of her child, but refuses to acknowledge paternity. A five-day drama by the author of Dirty Work.

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