Summary and book reviews of Dirty Love by Andre Dubus III

Dirty Love

by Andre Dubus III

Dirty Love by Andre Dubus III
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2013, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2014, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Bob Sauerbrey

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

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 twenty-five 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.

From the title story Dirty Love by Andre Dubus III


She'd done it herself without asking her mother for any help. She'd felt grown-up and a little scared but strong and ready for whatever would come next. But this magazine of her father's made her feel young and stupid, ugly even, and Devon closed it and put it back on the stack. And was it later in the kitchen, dipping the eggplant slices into the milk and raw egg, then the bread crumbs, that she began to wonder about her mother? Her heavy, beautiful mother who smiled at everyone and treated them as if they were special and deserved kindness just because they were alive? Was it then, the first time Devon had helped her to bake eggplant parmigiana, that she began to feel sorry for her own mother?

"Sixteen minutes, Devy," Uncle Francis calls this out from the living room. Devon stares down at the notebook. She reads what she's written, ending with my first tampon. She crosses out the small t and makes it a ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

In Dirty Love Dubus creates real human beings like us, who often do really stupid things that undermine their greatest hopes and deepest loves, but who keep moving forward with that hope beyond hope, willing to risk again, to reach out again, to love again, to accept life on its own terms, trusting, on the most primal level, that their lives have meaning and truth deeply embedded within them.   (Reviewed by Bob Sauerbrey).

Full Review (893 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Once again, Dubus creates deeply flawed characters and challenges the reader to identify with their common humanity.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. First-rate fiction by a dazzling talent.

Booklist

Starred Review. These are masterful and ravishing tales of loneliness, confusion, betrayal, the hunger for oblivion, and the quest for forgiveness.

Library Journal

Highly recommended… Filled with heartbreak, slices of happiness, and unrelenting hope.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

The Family Pen

Mary WollstonecraftMary Wollstonecraft ShelleyTalent seems to flow through families. Bach's sons became important composers in their own right, and one, Johann Christian, was considered by Mozart to be one of his musical fathers. Twice Nobel laureate Marie Curie was the mother of Irene Joliot-Curie, who herself won the Nobel in chemistry in 1935. Philosopher and novelist Mary Wollstonecraft, author of the then revolutionary A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was mother to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley who explored the nature of humanity in her still popular Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. Some children have carried on what their parents had established: Jeff Shaara has skillfully continued what his father Michael began in the Civil War historical novel, Killer Angels, and ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Dirty Love, try these:

  • The Illusion of Separateness jacket

    The Illusion of Separateness

    by Simon Van Booy

    Published 2014

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    This gripping, emotional story intertwines the stories of several compelling characters - one by one, through seemingly random acts of selflessness, they discover the vital parts they have played in each other's lives, a realization that shatters the illusion of their separateness.

  • It's Fine By Me jacket

    It's Fine By Me

    by Per Petterson

    Published 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Sometimes tender, sometimes brutal, It's Fine By Me is a brilliant novel from the acclaimed author of Out Stealing Horses and I Curse the River of Time.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Good Me Bad Me
    Good Me Bad Me
    by Ali Land
    Is a psychopath born or made? This is the terrifying question that author Ali Land explores in her ...
  • Book Jacket: Five-Carat Soul
    Five-Carat Soul
    by James McBride
    In the short story "Sonny's Blues," from the 1965 collection Going to Meet the Man, African-...
  • Book Jacket: This Blessed Earth
    This Blessed Earth
    by Ted Genoways
    For the Hammonds, a farming family in Nebraska, the 2014 harvest season started with a perfect storm...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

"A powerful, provocative debut ... Intelligent, honest, and unsentimental." - Kirkus, starred review

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Never Coming Back
    by Alison McGhee

    A moving exploration of growing up and growing old, and the ties that bind parents and children.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Wisdom of Sundays

The Wisdom of Sundays
by Oprah Winfrey

Life-changing insights from super soul conversations.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A Good M I H T F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.