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Down To The Dirt
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Down To The Dirt

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  231 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Keith Kavanagh lost his virginity at 13 to a woman twice his age. He met his girlfriend while pissing on the hood of her father’s truck. He may have almost burned down the North Side of his Newfoundland outport hometown, but not even his best friend knows for sure. The transient nature of happiness is nowhere more profoundly evident than in the small town known as the Cove ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published February 28th 2004)
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(showing 1-30)
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May 12, 2008 Tiff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are obsessed with Canada, as am I
Recommended to Tiff by: some random shelf at Glendale public
This was a quick and easy read which gave me some insight into life in Newfoundland today. Since there are few contemporary novelists from this region (read, zero), I thought it was cool to get a peek of the Newfoundlound scene. Hynes does a great job of giving the reader a sense of the apathy and utter hopelessness that Keith and Natasha feel, and I dig that they met when Keith was pissing on Natasha's front lawn. However, by the time they get together, any potential for decent characterization ...more
Sep 03, 2009 jcg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting character study, a sort of gritty Rebel Without a Cause meets On The Road. A morality lesson in what happens when our society and economy give young people no hope, no direction and no future. Bored with small town life, Keith becomes a troublemaker and causing trouble turns out to be all he achieves. Really captures the accent and the reality of life on the South Shore of Newfoundland.

The novel is loosely structured, rambling in places. Written all in the first person, but in the vo
Spaka Eon
Feb 24, 2014 Spaka Eon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To me this is a love story. Love that is an addiction itself, even without drugs and alcohol that this book has everywhere. I picked up this book to be on the Rock, and I got there not by the descriptive scenery of the ocean air of the Rock, but by the Newfoundland accent of the characters. Other than that this story could be told from anywhere in the world. Story of two kids growing up together in the small town. Drawn to each other by the similar events in their childhood where grown up let th ...more
I am so glad I went with the audiobook on this one. I think I could listen to JTH talk all day long. I really would love to know what he's like in person. He always plays such dark characters and plays them exquisitely. It makes me wonder how much of it is from personal experiences. Fantastic story. The second of his works I've read and yet again I was not disappointed.
Feb 08, 2012 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newfoundland
Joel Hynes' protagonist Keith Kavanagh is a mess: mixed up with the law, a drunk and mildly psychotic, but still he remains somewhat likeable. His spiral into self destruction is hard to put down. Hynes has a way with vernacular, almost like a Newfoundland version of Irvine Welsh.
Mar 26, 2015 Natalie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
Ari Abraham
Oct 20, 2012 Ari Abraham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this in one sitting
Jul 14, 2017 Lenore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This guy can write! I just finished two of his books and have another to read. I haven't been this excited for an author in a long time AND he is Canadian!
Florence Lyon
Back in 2006, after a bit of reading up on the cast and characters on CBC Television's new hit "Hatching, Matching and Dispatching", I came across an article about Joel Hynes who plays Nick Crocker, the grave digging, hard drinking, chain smoking boyfriend of Darlene Furey. I have to admit that I was attracted to this bad boy character and curious about his strange fetish for coffin sex. It makes for good laughs for a couple of episodes.

This young fella had written a novel that won the Percy Jan
Pooch Parsons
Dec 10, 2013 Pooch Parsons rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a lot of things to me. The narration reminds me of Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye, but with a Newfoundland accent and a lot of cussing. There is a coming-of-age feel to the story, but does Keith really learn from it all? The story seems to be haphazardly written, but then again, the main character is also a mess. Moreover, it's quite evident that JTH knows how to write, as there are many literary techniques riddled throughout. Picture the rugged looking bad boy from a small ...more
Definitivamente eu não sabia o que me esperava. Peguei o audiolivro apenas porque era um dos primeiros disponíveis naquela hora. Li a resenha por cima e a única coisa que me chamou a atenção é que se passava em Newfoundland.
Cru e brutal, cheguei a sair da sala onde o livro estava tocando para me distanciar do texto. Depois fiquei pensando se talvez não fosse uma sensibilidade maior da minha parte. Talvez esse tipo de livro sobre juventude marginal não é hoje algo que choque tanto. Real demais pa
i liked one reviewer's idea, the irvine welsh of newfoundland. lots of good local inside "facts" of the great white northeast, and keith the hooligan practically destroys his little town, why? drink, drug, violence, and why-the-hell-not? it's a shitty town anyway. also reminds me of author niall griffiths and his character ianto in the hills of wales Sheepshagger: A Novel
too bad this is sort of fake brutalism writing. maybe next time joel hynes.
May 19, 2008 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Keith Kavanagh is a hard-ticket. I suppose if you took any of those coming-of-age novels, say Catcher in the Rye, and set it in a small town in Newfoundland, and inserted a Southern Shore dialect, you'd end up with something like Down to the Dirt. I s'pose b'y.

It's gritty, humorous, sometimes shockingly autobiographical. The novel breathes, the stories squirm around on the pages. Some of them stay with you, squirming, for a long time.
Aug 05, 2013 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am desperate to go to St. John's Newfoundland after reading this book, although the portrayal is hardly idyllic. The characters have that desperate quality to them - like they can see the way they behave is wrong and will make them miserable - but they just can't help themselves. This guy can write.
Oct 12, 2008 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Look, the fact of the matter is that life is long. Life is a long, drawn-out and disgusting ordeal. If it was so short, I wouldn't drink. I'd want to have a good grip. I'd want to remember things. Life is long."

I loved this book. It's written without sentimentality and the characters ring true. I'd give it four and a half stars if that were possible.
Cathy Regular
Sep 23, 2016 Cathy Regular rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hidden Gems:

"Wherever I falls, that's where I stays. I'm after waken' up in a lot of strange places with strange arms around me."

"That's the way it always is I s'pose. The one who walks away first carries all the power."
Katrina  Legge
Feb 03, 2014 Katrina Legge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok so the reason I loved this novel so much was that it was so hilarious. I felt it captured Newfoundland slang perfectly. It wasn't a typical Newfoundland in novels I don't usually enjoy. It was witty and real.
AmberBug **
Wasn't too keen on the ending or the story itself. I liked the characters and the writing style. The story didn't have much of a plot but I did like the clever insightful things the main character did or said.
Kevin Gallan
i loved this book.very well written.
Oct 30, 2014 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great fast read and interesting - I listened to the audiobook and it was entertaining - the Newfie slang was quite thick - but I guess that added character too. Loved it!!
Dan JK
Jun 03, 2013 Dan JK rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4real, reread-someday
This is a wonderful story full of honest, harsh truths. the movie was fairly well done.
Oct 18, 2011 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So very, very good...
Mike rated it really liked it
Feb 26, 2016
Bruce Brenton
Bruce Brenton rated it liked it
Jul 11, 2014
Mike2312 rated it really liked it
Feb 16, 2016
Jordan Dickens
Jordan Dickens rated it liked it
Feb 19, 2014
Melissa rated it liked it
Jul 27, 2011
Paul Routhier
Paul Routhier rated it liked it
Sep 22, 2011
Candice rated it really liked it
Nov 25, 2012
Shane rated it did not like it
Jul 23, 2010
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JOEL THOMAS HYNES was born and raised in Calvert, Newfoundland. His book, Down to the Dirt, won the Percy Janes First Novel Award, was shortlisted for the Atlantic Book Awards and the Winterset Award, and was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. It has also been staged to widespread acclaim and was recently adapted for the big screen. A celebrated author of novels, short st ...more
More about Joel Thomas Hynes...

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