Dirt The year is and twenty two year old Galen lives with his emotionally dependent mother in a secluded old house surrounded by a walnut orchard in a suburb of Sacramento He doesn t know who his fat

  • Title: Dirt
  • Author: David Vann
  • ISBN: 9780062121035
  • Page: 364
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Dirt

    The year is 1985, and twenty two year old Galen lives with his emotionally dependent mother in a secluded old house surrounded by a walnut orchard in a suburb of Sacramento He doesn t know who his father is, his abusive grandfather is dead, and his grandmother, losing her memory, has been shipped off to a nursing home Galen and his mother survive on the family s trust fuThe year is 1985, and twenty two year old Galen lives with his emotionally dependent mother in a secluded old house surrounded by a walnut orchard in a suburb of Sacramento He doesn t know who his father is, his abusive grandfather is dead, and his grandmother, losing her memory, has been shipped off to a nursing home Galen and his mother survive on the family s trust fund old money that his aunt, Helen, and seventeen year old cousin, Jennifer, are determined to get their hands on Galen, a New Age believer who considers himself an old soul, yearns for transformation to free himself from the corporeal, to be as weightless as air, to walk on water But he s powerless to stop the manic binges that overtake him, leading him to fixate on forbidden desires A prisoner of his body, he is obsessed with thoughts of the boldly flirtatious Jennifer and dreams of shedding himself of the clinging mother whose fears and needs weigh him down When the family takes a trip to an old cabin in the Sierras, near South Lake Tahoe, tensions crescendo Caught in a compromising position, Galen will discover the shocking truth of just how far he will go to attain the transcendence he craves An exhilarating portrayal of a legacy of violence and madness, Dirt is an entirely feverish read.

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    One thought on “Dirt

    1. Walt

      DIRT, by David Vann, made me want to take a shower and an antidepressant. And I'm not a depressive. I needed to wash it off and purge it from my system, physically and mentally. For me, it was difficult to get through and to be done with.It is that bad. And you know what? I think it was intended to be so. In that respect it was a success.Why do I think such terrible things about DIRT? Because its title characterizes it. It is about people who are dirty, filthy, and squalid. Its story is soiled, [...]

    2. Marianne

      “Everything shrank in the glare. The roof of the shed maybe a foot or two lower, the boards thinner by half an inch. The fig tree more squat to the ground, not as tall as before. The furrows shallow. Galen didn’t know what that meant, that everything grew as the light faded and shrank again in the day”Dirt is the second novel by American author, David Vann. RECIPE FOR FAMILY DISINTEGRATION1 young man, 22 years old (going on sixteen), the favoured grandchild, a virgin, trying unsuccessfully [...]

    3. Michael

      Galen is a 22 year old who is still living with his emotionally dependant mother instead of going off to college or living life. He has no idea who his father is. His grandmother is losing her memory which is leaving his mother and him living on the family trust, old money which his aunt Helen wants. With a keen interest in Buddhism, Galen wishes to free himself from the corporeal but he is trapped by his dysfunctional family and his fleshly desires weigh him down.Dirt is not an easy book to rea [...]

    4. Patty

      DirtbyDavid VannMy "in a nutshell" summaryGalen, his mother, his cousin, his aunt and his forgetful grandmother lead a very dysfunctional life.  Galen is a total mess and everyone else is fantastically weird.  His cousin and aunt are just plain mean.My thoughts after readingYikes!  Gulp!  What a delicious dysfunctional mess within this amazing book.  Bizarre characters doing the most amazingly shocking things!  Galen is so pathetically weird.  The only thing besides Kahlil Gibran that he [...]

    5. Paul

      Pretty disappointing after Vann's amazing debut and second novel. This is, I figured, meant to be a sort of southern gothic, a . . . comedy, I guess, which, maybe that works for some folks, but it didn't work for me. I'm not really sure what or who we're supposed to root for here. There are five total characters, all but one of whom are ridiculously fucked up (the fifth is a seventy-year-old woman with no memory), and who scream at each other throughout the entire novel. Galen, our "protagonist, [...]

    6. Jill

      David Vann isn’t afraid to cross over to the dark side, as he’s amply displayed to readers in his two magnificent previous books: Legend of a Suicide and Caribou Island.In Dirt, he pushes the envelope even further by introducing a nightmarish family: the main character, 22-year-old manic-prone Galen who strives for transcendence, Susie-Q, his passive-aggressive and selfish mother, his kittenish and sexually-tantalizing cousin Jennifer, his greedy aunt Helen, and his dementia-afflicted grandm [...]

    7. Charlie

      It's difficult to argue with the resume of this author--impressive would be an understatement. ABC review compares David Vann to Melville, Faulkner, and McCathy. Admittedly, I can see the rationale behind the claim. If you like past works by those authors, it'd be plausible to assume you'll equally enjoy Dirt. The prose are more grounded than Melville and meander like Hemingway (without the purple), but have a similar grit and the southern Gothic edge of McCathy. If you're looking for a punchy f [...]

    8. Simay Yildiz

      Bu yazının orijinali CAN'la Bir Sene'de yayınlandı."Pislik," İngilizcesi ve kitabın orijinal ismi Dirt gibi kullanımına göre farklı şeyleri tasvir etmek için kullanılabilen bir kelime. Kitabın anlatıcısı ve ana karakteri Galen da Samsara ile kafayı bozmuş, 20 küsür yaşında olmasına rağmen pek bir şey görüp geçirmemiş, evire çevire Nirvana'ya erişimine yardım edeceğini düşündüğü kitapları okuyan, ilk baştan da sevimsiz olsa da sonradan iyice "pislik" olan [...]

    9. Ashlie

      This book was painful to read. Based on the reviews, I was prepared for some messed up stuff but got through the book without needing to take a shower. Read Stephen King or The Hunger Games and call your therapist immediately - those are some sick and twisted books. I didn't think the writing was that excellent. Characters were flat. The constant rambling about dirt, moon, meditation, etc. from a flat character just confused me. None of Galen's comments concerning dirt, sun, etc. made any sense [...]

    10. Karina

      3.0 to 3.5 stars.A few other reviewers had described this as ugly and/or sordid, but I tend to think of myself as a pretty toughened reader so I didn't pay much attention. I assumed that perhaps Dirt would be a little unsettling, but not too much out of the ordinary. I may have overestimated my fortitude or underestimated the repulsiveness of David Vann's imagination. The book was very well-written and strangely compelling, but in the end I do not know if I really enjoyed it or if I would recomm [...]

    11. Kristi Deily

      Worst book I ever read! I just wasted moments of my life that I can never get back. Kept reading to the end to see if it had a point apparently not one that made any sense to me. My one star is being generous.

    12. Raül De Tena

      Deberíamos haberlo visto venir cuando David Vann irrumpió en la escena literaria internacional con “Sukkwan Island” (un libro en el que el autor exorcizaba los fantasmas del truculento suicidio de su padre mientras ambos estaban atrapados en una isla a la que habían ido a pasar el invierno para poner a prueba sus propias dotes de superviviencia) y cuando decidió alargar el chicle del éxito gracias a “Caribou Island” (donde volvía a chapotear en truculencia a la hora de abordar la f [...]

    13. switterbug (Betsey)

      It’s 1985 in sunny California, in the walnut orchards near Sacramento. Galen, who is twenty-two, has the emotional maturity of a twelve-year-old (if that). He aspires to be a mystic, with his starvation diet, meditation, asceticism, and focus on ridding himself of attachments. He lives with his mother, who has plenty of emotional issues; the walnut doesn’t fall too far from the tree. His grandmother has mid-stage dementia and lives in a nursing home. He is sexually obsessed with his seventee [...]

    14. Diane

      After enjoying David Vann's last dark tale, Caribou Island, I was very anxious to read his next novel which releases next month. Dirt, is another dark story with family dysfunction played out in high gear. The novel takes place in 1985, in a suburb of Sacramento, California. The dysfunctional family in this novel consists of 22-year-old, Galen, a bulimic vegetarian, virgin, and New Age worshiper on a mission towards transcendence. Galen was not allowed to go to college because his mother, Susie- [...]

    15. Jodie

      If you have read and loved Caribou Island you probably won't love this as much. But that hardly seems fair, Caribou sits on my all time favourite list, for me it is one of those books that I measure all other books against, not just David Vann ones. This book is dark, gritty and haunting. Galen (the protagonist) is one weird dude. So is his mother. So is his Aunt. So is his cousin. He lives at home with his mum and they survive off a trust fund from Galens grandparents, who are also weirdo's. Gr [...]

    16. Sherri Huntley

      I won this book from and it was an interesting read. The novel is about a dysfunctional family including 22 year old Galen, whose mother did not allow to go to college because of the expense. Galen's mother is ultra controling. His mother sends his grandmother to a rest home and one weekend Galen, his mom and gradmother all go to a cabin where things turn bad. It really is a darkside of humanity novel, which I enjoy. The problem is that the charecters just don't inspire a lot of interest but th [...]

    17. Zeynepozmenunlu

      Okurken çok irite olduğum bir kitap oldu. Cinsellik ama ensest , anneye karşı şiddet, meditasyon gibi kelimeler aklımda kaldı.Bence yazar bunları yaşamış. Yaşamayan bu duyguları olayları dile getiremez. Farklı bir roman . Ama bitiremedim bir türlü.

    18. Rebecca Foster

      (2.5) I frequently group David Vann in with a set of authors continuing the 1980s literary tradition of “dirty realism.” Here he makes this association undeniably obvious; he positively revels in the dirt of everyday life. Throughout the novel dirt is both a metaphor and a literal reality, coating the characters and their possessions, tainting their lofty thoughts, reminding them that they and all their ambitions are but dust.Galen and his mother live on the old family walnut orchard in nort [...]

    19. Angela

      It's difficult to rate this book: the writing is stellar, but two stars and "it was okay" is all the enthusiasm I can muster for the story itself. That's the trouble with a rating system based on how much I like something. I came away from this novel feeling covered in dirt myself, not a feeling that engenders the warm fuzzies I associate with a three-star rating, nor the cheerful joy of a four-star rating, nor the stunned awe of a five-star rating. Two stars. Yep, that's about it.Maybe it's bec [...]

    20. Zahwil

      The entertainment value is high and the writing very good. You can read the whole book easily over a weekend as I did. There is a lot of violence in the book, both self-inflicted and otherwise, and also illicit sexual encounters between the protagonist, Galen, and his cousin, Jennifer. Reading about these encounters made me feel that I was reading an unusuually well written erotic story designed to appeal to those who are excited by taboo sex and female dominance.The main thrust of the novel, th [...]

    21. Owen

      This book is getting a lot of hate from all directions and some of it is understandable. However, I really liked Vann's writing and even though the story itself was lacking and had some flat parts, overall, I still enjoyed reading it. Many people are disgusted by the subject matter (the title isn't referring to actual dirt, after all). For instance, the main character (Galen) has sex with a girl who is not only underage, but also his cousin. And Vann goes into a lot of detail in these scenes.Eac [...]

    22. JudithAnn

      This was a very different book from Vann’s previous ones. On the other hand, there are quite a few correspondences: family relationships play a large role, isolated living, violence or cruelty is used when deemed necessary.Galen is 22 years old and apparently waiting to go to college, but he needs money for that, which he doesn’t have. He and his mother live in poor circumstances although it seems that his grandmother may have some money. So, at 22, Galen doesn’t do a great deal with his l [...]

    23. Juan

      En Tierra, estamos todo el tiempo desde el punto de vista de Galen, un joven obsesionado con el new age y las enseñanzas de Siddartha. Galen busca la iluminación, la comprensión del universo, quiere caminar sobre el agua y leer lo que ella le dice, tal como hizo alguna vez Buda. Galen vive en el ambiente hostil que han forjado su madre, su tía y su prima Jennifer, una joven bellísima quien lo lleva al borde de la locura con su permanente promesa de sexo incestuoso. Galen ama a su abuela y l [...]

    24. Lisa

      I really don’t know what to make of this novel. I really admired Legend of a Suicide (see my review) so I picked this one up straight away when I saw it at the library, and I took it with me when I had some time to spend in waiting rooms this week.But I didn’t like it much. It’s a story of a young man filled with hate and I was not really in the mood for that, not in the light of events this week in America with yet another mass shooting by a hate-filled young man.Galen, at the age of 22, [...]

    25. Claire

      If you've read Legend of a Suicide or Caribou Island, you were probably waiting in anticipation for Dirt. I certainly was. I had to wait for Tim to finish, who would only say that it was dirty and shocking. I was so disappointed. I don't mind dirty and I like shocking. This book did both (in fact the sex scenes were realistic and oddly beautifully written). My problem was the story and the characters. Quie major issues then. I had hoped to meet another Rhoda, or Ron, or Jim. All the secondary ch [...]

    26. Gina

      Wowis book is an ugly, dirty, look at humanity at it's bases form. It made me want to take a shower afterwards. Galen thinks he is on a mission to find the highest level of the mind philosophically and his mother, aunt and cousin are basically crazy. There are so many levels of crazy in this book that it's hard to even describe. I have tagged it religion because Galen thinks his acts are based on religion and philosophy but he is extremely mentally ill as is the rest of his family. I know many r [...]

    27. Sherry

      I think now that I really didn't need to read this story.It's about Galen, a 22 year old virgin, and yearning for transformation, living with his mother In a rundown family mansion In a walnut orchard in California.His family consists of his mother, grandmother, aunt and cousin. The girls have grown up in an abusive home, which the grandmother now can forget about as she is in a nursing home approaching senility. The aunt is hateful with memories, his mother denies them and makes Galen live with [...]

    28. 4ZZZ Book Club

      David Vann's new book, Dirt, is an uncomfortable novel looking at a painfully dysfunctional protagonist and his broken family. Despite that, it’s an incredibly compelling read and you’ll be drawn in until the very last page.Sky interviewed David Vann about the way the author draws inspiration from his own difficult upbringing, his stream-of-consciousness writing method, the selfishness inherent in the New Age movement, and the impact of domestic violence and brutality. This interview include [...]

    29. Miranda

      Almost unbearable, painfully beautiful, horrifically funny. A Euripidean tragedy (you can almost hear the chorus) under a scorching, flattening searchlight of a sun. That a pivotal scene is no less ominous because it's set to the sound track of the Cars song "Heartbeat City" (I'll never hear that song the same again) says something about Dirt's power (and sense of humor). One of the best books I read all year, but I might not have made it through if it wasn't my job, though perhaps I couldn't ha [...]

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