On Fire

On Fire On January after seventeen years on the job award winning novelist Larry Brown quit the Oxford Mississippi Fire Department With three published books to his credit and a fourth nearly fini

  • Title: On Fire
  • Author: Larry Brown
  • ISBN: 9780446671149
  • Page: 261
  • Format: Paperback
  • On Fire

    On January 6, 1990, after seventeen years on the job, award winning novelist Larry Brown quit the Oxford, Mississippi, Fire Department With three published books to his credit and a fourth nearly finished, he made the risky decision to try life as a full time writer On Fire, his first work of nonfiction, looks back on his life as a full time firefighter Unflinching accoOn January 6, 1990, after seventeen years on the job, award winning novelist Larry Brown quit the Oxford, Mississippi, Fire Department With three published books to his credit and a fourth nearly finished, he made the risky decision to try life as a full time writer On Fire, his first work of nonfiction, looks back on his life as a full time firefighter Unflinching accounts of daily trauma from the blistering heat of burning trailer homes to the crunch of broken glass at crash scenes catapult readers into the hard reality that has driven Larry Brown As firefighter and fireman turned author, as husband and hunter, and as father and son, Brown offers insights into the choices men face pursuing their life s work And, in the forthright style we expect from Larry Brown, his diary builds incrementally and forcefully to the explanation of how one man who regularly confronted death began to burn with the desire to write about life.

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      Published :2020-03-03T02:32:57+00:00

    One thought on “On Fire

    1. Ken

      This reads like wildfire, if you'll forgive. Larry Brown, in about as plainspoken plain English as it gets, hits you with 2- to 5-page vignettes (wait--that's too fancy a word for his writing), or maybe SNAPSHOTS is better, about what life is like for a fireman down in Oxford, Mississippi. And if that sounds familiar, pass Go and collect $200 for recalling that Oxford is William "Read Him and Weep" Faulkner's hometown (not-at-all-plainspoken Will's home gets a shout-out toward the end of the boo [...]

    2. Ron

      I did not know of Larry Brown until I saw the film "Big Bad Love," based on one of his stories. I wasn't crazy about the film but was fascinated by the imagination it emerged from, and gave one of his books a try. For starters, I read his memoir "On Fire," about his years as an Oxford, Mississippi, fireman. I thought it would be about fighting fires, responding to emergencies, and what goes on in the firehouse in between. I expected some reflection on the world of firemen, which I understand to [...]

    3. Dave Newman

      I was drinking with Scott Silsbe, a great poet, and we were talking about Larry Brown, who we both love. It was late and the rest of the room was talking about something else but Scottie and I wanted to talk about books. I was drunk. I think Scott was drunk. I said, "My least favorite Larry Brown book is On Fire." I'd read it years ago and liked it but thought it too meandering, too talkie about dogs that don't know how to get laid. What Scottie must have heard, with his beer-buzzed ears, was, " [...]

    4. Paul

      I love Larry Brown's writing. So simple, yet so affecting and evocative. This collection of autobiographical tales was written as a reflection on the time in his life from the '70s to the early 90s as an Oxford Fire Department member in Mississippi. That alone would be good enough - his stories tell of the unique esprit de corps in the fire station and of the many harrowing emergencies they would attend. But this book is more than just this. Brown writes of what that life was like as a colleague [...]

    5. Fred

      Having read several of Brown's books, I am a big fan. His astute ear for dialog alone makes his writing altogether enjoyable. Mix this talent with his clever turn of phrase and his powerful ability to create compelling scenes---what you get is a graceful, engrossing, sometimes disturbing work. The kind of writing that, once found, you avidly search for as your next read.In fact, I've read many not-so-great books in an effort to find the quality of writing Brown offers.Unfortunately, I didn't fin [...]

    6. April Kelcy

      I rated this four stars from the perspective of myself and people like me who are into learning constantly about first responders and various kinds of incidents people in emergency management and public safety careers face. However, there were other interesting aspects of this book that others may find worthwhile reading. This is a sort of autobiography of the author, who had a career in fire service in Oxford, Mississippi, and is now a writer. What one sees emerging is also a parallel picture o [...]

    7. Brice Fuqua

      Rambling stories about life as a firefighter in Oxford Mississippi. These vignettes were written in Brown's spare time when he wasn't on call. That is why so much of the book is undeveloped. His fellow fireman are fuzzy, undefined characters. His stories of his dogs and his drinking binges don't really fit with the rest of the book. The best parts of On Fire are his dramatic accounts of car accident rescues, where you see the tremendous pressure first responders are under to save lives and clear [...]

    8. Bookcat88

      Two stars is generous. Larry Brown has issued “On Fire - a personal account of life and death choices.” To this reader, this “fireman’s diary” falls far short of print worthy. From Brown’s elementary voice to the boastful fanfare of the world of firefighting, this 181-page narrative was mostly disappointing. His depiction of firefighters as beer swilling buffoons whose main interest is watching sex and violence on television stands in odd contrast to his sense of self importance as a [...]

    9. Keith

      On Fire is Larry Brown's memoir of being a firefighter in Oxford, MS. It also touches on his efforts to become a writer. Both from Oxford, Brown is often compared to Faulkner, but Brown's writing style reminds me of Hemingway. He uses a simple vocabulary and clear descriptions but knows how to naturally intensify prose with sentence variations, including lists and run-on sentences. If you're not squeamish about graphic details of human injuries (and deaths) and can tolerate depictions of pet and [...]

    10. David Liscio

      As a firefighter and a book author, I found many parallels in On Fire. His passion for firefighting and his respect for the brotherhood that usually develops among the (mostly) men on the department comes through loud and clear.Readers also get a glimpse of the author's personal struggle, torn between the demands of firefighting and his desire to write fiction full time. There are plenty of anecdotes and stories from the field, all of which will keep readers entertained. Larry Brown's novel "Joe [...]

    11. Peter

      Hard for me to rate. It is well written within its genre. But the genre (male tough/soft thoughtful book) just does not appeal to me. So the rating is more a matter of my taste than the literary merit. But what the ----- it is my sujective opinion.

    12. Terry Gallagher

      Straightforward, honest storytelling with very particular details about firefighting and firefighters, and other subjects, too.

    13. Alex Goulder

      Purdy good, simple kinda homespun not-flashy prose, some moderately insightful observations and a few good stories about dogs, family, and fires.

    14. Jaycee

      Not Brown's best work but good. I do love how he makes normal lives seems interesting and compelling. You can feel how is writing was developing throughout the book. Always a Larry Brown fan.

    15. Kate

      Working my way through Dwight Garner's American Beauties list. Good start. Wouldn't have read this otherwise, but thoroughly enjoyed it.

    16. Judy Vasseur

      Unpretentious and finely crafted like Amish furniture and as satisfying as meat and potatoes, On Fire is structured like a journal and opens the door on Larry Brown's personal livelihood as a firefighter, husband, father, hunter and writer in Mississippi.If you love his novels, you'll get the pleasure of seeing where some of his inspiration arises from including first hand accounts of cruising a pick-up through the gloam ( the hour after sunset and before total darkness ) beer at the ready and j [...]

    17. Tom

      This happened to be on my shelf, and I'm going through a phase in which I want to read books that I've had for a while and probably only need to read once so I can then get rid of them. While I figure I probably won't read this again, I'm glad I read it once.Larry Brown's "day job" while he was honing his craft was as a firefighter in Oxford, Mississippi, a town I can picture easily enough, having been there a few times. I enjoyed Brown's short stories, and when I came across this book at a libr [...]

    18. Garth Mailman

      Larry Brown’s novels are salt of the earth tales of the common man written with great sympathy and care for his subjects and remarkable realism. In writing about himself he is no less candid revealing a red-necked good ole boy who smokes, drinks and drives, and keeps his wife waiting while he goes out with the boys. He enjoys hunting and fishing and appears to have a careless accident prone streak. As a fireman he is equally dismissive of the dumb things people do and laughs at the discomfort [...]

    19. Eric_W

      Larry Brown, a Mississippi fireman, wrote these recollections which include some heart-warming stories in addition to the mind-numbingly tragic ones. In one case, his company had been called to a trailer fire. The trailer was half-destroyed when they arrived — “They always are”, — but fortunately no one was home. They discovered puppy on the floor with all the classic signs of death: eyes glazed over and bowels evacuated. They carried him out, and one of the firemen remarked how they had [...]

    20. Kyle Mcavoy

      On Fire, what a book, its not often you get to experience the fire service in such vivid detail, but Larry Brown was perfect in doing that. In books like Report from Engine Co. 82, it feels like your right beside Dennis Smith, crawling through a smoke filled apartment building with a heavy hose. In On Fire, I felt I was Brown; Smashing windows for ventilation, playing with his dog, helping a women trapped in a car accident, getting drunk with some of the guys from my shift, and that really stood [...]

    21. Caroline Mosley

      On Fire is a non-fiction book about a firefighter from Mississippi. He writes mostly about his life as a firefighter and how it has shaped him. However he also talks about very miscellaneous things such as, his family, friends, hunting and so forth. Larry Brown writes in a very conversational tone which is a refreshing change from certain uptight, unnecessarily dense literature. Although this book may seem like every page is action packed, it is not. Brown does not always tell stories about his [...]

    22. Richard

      I yet to come across a piece of work of Larry's that I haven't liked, and this was no exception. I picked this one right now, as I'm studying memoir is school and this is his memoirs of his times as a firefighter in Oxford, Mississippi. As with his fiction it is a mixture of dark humour and heartbreak. He writes with a masculine, but not insensitive voice, and draws you into that world and the culture that surrounds the firefighter. This one is recommended for fans of memoir, contemporary Southe [...]

    23. alsmilesalot

      I've read most of Larry Brown's oeuvre and generally rave, I'm a fan of his direct style (which is present in this collection in spades); I had high hopes but, this isn't my favorite; to me, it doesn't hang together as well as I would have hoped and doesn't have the depth of his fiction but I do feel that it gave me a new little insight into what's behind his other stories. Even with those limitations, I can't give it lower than a 4.

    24. Guy Salvidge

      This is a very quick read, maybe two hours' worth. What it is is a memoir about Brown's time as a firefighter in Oxford, Mississippi, in the seventies and eighties. You can tell that he knows what he's talking about and much of this is quite evocative, but the volume is a tad slight overall, I suppose.

    25. AGamble

      Any book by Larry Brown is certain to be a damn fine read, and this was no exception, especially since it was dedicated to his dog. These vignettes of the life of a Oxford (Mississippi, that is) firefighter leaving behind his chosen occupation for a literary life are written very well. A pleasure to read.

    26. Bjlevek

      An incredibly enlightening and poetic look at the life of a fire fighter. The blazing heat of a voice that took ten years of writing/preparation and loads of rejection slips to finally gain acceptance.

    27. Doug

      I finished the Hellboy book this morning, and now I'll work on this one. I read it before when I was in college. It's a great book about small town life. One of those books that makes you want to barbeque with your neighbors and dream of simpler times. Kind of perfect for independence day.

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