Larry Brown On Fire

ISBN 13: 9780446671149

On Fire

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Recounting his 17 years as a fireman in his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi, the author of Joe explores what it means to be a friend, a husband, a father, a firefighter, a man. As he interweaves scenes as diverse as raising children, battling deadly blazes and making order out of destructive chaos, Brown ponders the realities and choices that have made him the person he is.

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About the Author:

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.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Brown brings to his first work of nonfiction the same no- nonsense style that makes his novels and short stories (Big Bad Love, 1990, etc.) so powerful and intense. This episodic memoir of his life as a firefighter is also a testament to family, courage, and hard work, and Brown isn't afraid to risk being sappy, albeit in a manly way. A self-taught writer, Brown supported himself and his family for 16 years as a fireman in his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi. A veteran of the Marines, he found the same brotherhood in the station house, and also a similar test of muscle, brain, and heart. A firefighter can be ``a prick, a thief, a liar,'' but he can't be a coward. Each fire ``has to be faced and defeated,'' and you never ``forget death and pain, or fear.'' Brown sings the praises of his tools--the beauty of knots, hoses, and sirens. He inventories the back rooms, and re-creates the boredom of waiting as well as the pleasures of cooking for the boys and watching sex and violence on the VCR. But nothing beats the adrenaline rush of a call, whether to a burning building or a car wreck: Both require a reflex-like response, and the joy of saving lives cannot be equalled. Interspersed throughout the rambling narrative are anecdotes from Brown's life: his guilt over killing a mouse; his early joy in hunting and fishing; his love for his family and his squirrel dog. The funny tale of his temporary separation from his wife has all the hard-luck pathos of the author's best short stories. Brown confesses to drinking too much and to being otherwise content with his life. Yet he reluctantly abandoned firefighting to become a full-time writer--and he's done extraordinarily well at it since. A remarkable addition to the literature of work. This may not be the first book by a fireman--but it's one of the best. (First printing of 25,000) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781565120099: On Fire: A Personal Account of Life and Death and Choices

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1565120094 ISBN 13:  9781565120099
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1994
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Brown, Larry
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