Joe by Larry Brown
A Novel

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“Brilliant . . . Larry Brown has slapped his own fresh tattoo on the big right arm of Southern Lit.” —The Washington Post Book World

Now a major motion picture starring Nicolas Cage, directed by David Gordon Green.

Joe Ransom is a hard-drinking ex-con pushing fifty who just won’t slow down--not in his pickup, not with a gun, and certainly not with women. Gary Jones estimates his own age to be about fifteen. Born luckless, he is the son of a hopeless, homeless wandering family, and he’s desperate for a way out. When their paths cross, Joe offers him a chance just as his own chances have dwindled to almost nothing. Together they follow a twisting map to redemption--or ruin.


About Larry Brown

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Larry Brown was born in Lafayette County, Mississippi, where he lived all his life. At the age of thirty, a captain in the Oxford Fire Department, he decided to become a writer and worked toward that goal for seven years before publishing his first book, Facing the Music, a collection of stories, in 1988. With the publication of his first novel, Dirty Work, he quit the fire station in order to write fulltime. Between then and his untimely death in 2004, he published seven more books. His three grown children and his widow, Mary Annie Brown, live near Oxford.
Published September 30, 2003 by Algonquin Books. 369 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Joe

Kirkus Reviews

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When his pathetic family wanders into this Mississippi town and squats in an abandoned country cabin, Gary finds a job on Joe's all-black crew.

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Publishers Weekly

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With this powerful, immensely affecting novel Brown comes into his own as a writer of stature. As in his previous books ( Dirty Work ; Big Bad Love ), his subjects are poor Southern rednecks who exist

Sep 30 1991 | Read Full Review of Joe: A Novel

The New York Times

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director, concluded that Penn State officials, Paterno included, “exhibited a striking lack of empathy for Sandusky’s victims.” One Penn State employee says to the author about Paterno, in a quotation that rings across this biography: “Why didn’t he follow up?

Aug 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Joe: A Novel

BC Books

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Featuring twelve tracks, it consists of seven originals alongside five cover versions, including a Tom Waits tune, "Feelin' Good" as covered by just about everybody (including John Coltrane, Muse and George Michael), the fabulously titled "Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter" (previously recorded b...

Feb 11 2009 | Read Full Review of Joe: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

Both writers took a few classes at Ole Miss — Faulkner because it was expected of a person of his class, sharecropper's son Brown as a part of his quest to make himself a writer.

Oct 04 1991 | Read Full Review of Joe: A Novel

Los Angeles Times

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With the heat-seared, rain-lashed, hardscrabble back lands of Mississippi as his setting, Larry Brown tells a harsh story in an oddly tender way.

Oct 24 1991 | Read Full Review of Joe: A Novel

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