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Tiny Love: The Complete Stories

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  179 ratings  ·  41 reviews
"Larry Brown wrote the way the best singers sing: with honesty, grit, and the kind of raw emotion that stabs you right in the heart. He was a singular American treasure." —Tim McGraw

A career-spanning collection, Tiny Love brings together for the first time the stories of Larry Brown’s previous collections along with those never before gathered. The self-taught Brown has lo
Paperback, 480 pages
Published November 26th 2019 by Algonquin Books
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Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Larry Brown is one of my favorite authors so I was delighted to win this book in a Goodreads giveaway. It’s a great collection—there were only two stories that didn’t appeal to me—all the others were standard Larry Brown perfection. Brown wrote about ordinary people and places but the overall effect is transcendent. Highly recommend this book.
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have not quite finished this but wanted to start writing about these stories. I have heard quite a bit about Larry Brown in the last six months. Everything I have heard is not enough. What a talent. What a writer. Unfortunately he is gone, way to soon, he came to writing late and left it too early. But what a gift he had.

Even the foreword in this book is special. Jonathan Miles writes movingly about his admiration for his mentor and tells us of the authors odd path to success.

The stories beg
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
This was my first reading of the written works of Larry Brown. His stories have been described as “gritty” and “real”. I would definitely agree with those descriptions. My favorite stories in this collection are “Tiny Love”, “Sleep”, & “A Roadside Resurrection.” I do have to provide trigger warnings for racial slurs, sexism, & drunk driving. Many of the stories involve bars, driving drunk with a cooler of beer on the floorboard and picking up women. These stories may not be what I am used to rea ...more
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: southern-lit
It's great to see all of Larry Brown's stories collected in one book, sixteen years after his untimely death. One of my all-time favorite writers, Brown's style is straight-ahead no BS--as funny as it is rough and as empathetic as it is ruthless. Some of my all-time faves are here: Boy and Dog (which looks like a long poem of short lines), Julie: A Memory (as strange as any Donald Barthelme story), Facing the Music (heartbreaking), a bounty of classic barroom follies (Wild Thing, Samaritans, Nig ...more
Bert Hirsch
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Book Review- Tiny Love
By Larry Brown

Published as the complete stories this is a full display of the depth of Larry Brown, a writer “of the people” who died in his early 50s.

Brown lived in Oxford, Mississippi where he worked for the local Fire Department. Developing an interest in writing he became a master of the short story form.

His stories detail the lives of divorcees, working men, their children, their habits-good and bad, their dreams, despairs, sexual drives and the hum drum of daily life
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Labeling Larry Brown as a "writer" doesn't quite capture the essence of his art. There are rhythms in his prose and beats in dialogues. In my opinion, Brown is something of blues musician and Tiny Love is a box set of his collected short stories.

These tales give a powerful insight into the human condition when your are up against the ropes, cracking open your last beer without enough money to buy another six pack, and what love you had previously found, took for granted, cherished, or abused is
Henry L. Racicot
May 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is Southern Lit®, but not quite as back-woodsy and smell-the-cornbready as some of it. 443 pages of stories. The first 203 pages are good, all 3 or 4 star stories. Stories about hick losers having women troubles, etc., but. . .it’s pretty obvious this guy read A LOT of Bukowski (one story, A Birthday Party, which starts on page 204, and begins the long long long stretch of crummy 1 and 2 star stories, reads like a bad imitation of bad Bukowski. In fact, it’s so bad, I wondered if it wasn’t ...more
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: story-collection
“I was smoking my last cigarette in a bar one day, around the middle of the afternoon. I was drinking heavy, too, for several reasons. It was bright and hot outside, and cool and dark inside the bar, so that's one reason I was there. But the main reason I was in there was because my wife left me to go live with somebody else.”

“I loved nature and I felt nature loved me. Why else would they send those fireflies, and doves, and geese that honked like a pack of wild dogs howling down the sky?”

“I did
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up at a library sale for $3 and I'm glad I did, because on reading it I discovered that it is made up of all the stories published in 'Facing the Music' and 'Big Bad Love' (which I already have). There are about 6 other stories included, and for that I am glad. I still give this 5 stars, because whether reading or re-reading Larry Brown the writing is still exceptional. If you've not ever read his short stories I am sure you'll enjoy this compilation. For more familiar readers ...more
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
If I had to choose my favourite literary sub-genre, "realism written by authors doing working-class jobs to support their writing" would likely be it, not just for the aesthetic itself but for how fantastical it now seems that this was ever a maintainable lifestyle.

Larry Brown was a fireman with only a high school diploma, and in his own words: Nothing but desire, no talent, and a love of the written word. What's so fascinating about this collection is how visible his progression is - each stor
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have entered many book giveaways here on Goodreads over the years but this is the first time I won a free book. I'm thrilled that it is by one of my favorite authors, Larry Brown. It was a welcome addition to my library and quite a surprise since the author passed away a few years ago and I didn't expect any new releases by him. Thank you Goodreads!

This is an eclectic collection of short stories that begins with his first published short story. As always Larry Brown tells it like it is with a
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very interesting collection of short fiction. As always, Larry Brown depicts a gritty, honest portrayal of life in rural Mississippi. There's no gratuitous, over the top characters or circumstances. Larry gives you the people that live there. This is their life, struggles, happiness. Sometimes very funny and sometimes heartbreaking. I love that about his books. Wish there was more. ...more
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As Dwight Garner wrote, reading Larry Brown "may make you want to drink beer while driving slowly and looking at the world, in the late-afternoon light, while listening to music in the front seat of a pickup truck." ...more
Vel Veeter
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I don’t know whether or not people know much about or like Larry Brown. He was born in Oxford, Mississippi–the hometown of William Faulkner, and they crossed in timelines for about 10 years. But Larry Brown was a longtime fire chief, then sat down to write thriller stories, to middling success, and ending up writing a number of short stories, and a half dozen or so novels. His novels are a little all over the place (as with a lot of writers) in terms of structure and tone, but the subjects tend ...more
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Everything you've heard is true—this here's a masterpiece. Brown is one of those rare unwashed geniuses that succeeded as a writer despite almost every obstacle thrown in front of him. It isn't just that these stories are funny (they are), they are daring in a way that white male writers simply cannot get away with these days, sadly. The humanity and honesty here is almost blinding. Ironic that Brown takes his place on my alphabetized bookshelf alongside Bukowski who influenced Larry with his fe ...more
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I saw and heard Larry Brown years ago when he made his first appearance at the Southern Writers Conference in Chattanooga, TN where I used to live. He was very humble, unassuming, funny, nervous, and thankful for being invited. We all loved the few pieces he had written, stories which were published as Facing the Music and Big Bad Love. This volume collects those works and many others that have been published in a variety of other places. I love Larry Brown’s unadulterated truth in storytelling. ...more
Anne, Unfinished Woman
For me, these are for the most part targeted to men, especially those stories from "Big Bad Love", whose protagonists are men resigned to tired and unhappy lives, driving around in their pickups, unhappy in their marriages and making excuses for their not working, blaming the women, and seeking a new relaltionship in seedy bars. They drink too much, feel sorry for themselves. I would have to say that while I liked a number of the stories and am using a couple for the Short Story Discussion Group ...more
Mar 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Well....I was going to give it two stars, but then I got to 92 Days, a novella at the end of the book. It was pretty good so I upped it up a star.

Basically most of the stories were the same. They all involved drinking too much and fantasizing about women. The characters were all one dimensional and bland. I couldn’t sympathize with any of them.

I see he was channeling Stephen King making his protagonist a writer. I always considered that cheating. When you can’t think of anything else, fall bac
I hadn't heard of Larry Brown until I saw a very intriguing notice about this book in The Economist. The overtly experimental pieces (e.g., 'Boy and Dog', 'Discipline') were simply annoying and many stories seem to dwell on the business of driving around drinking 'hot' beers while en route to getting some cold beer, a bit like Bukowski with a driver's license. On balance, however, I feel quite positive about this collection. I love the last paragraph of 'A Birthday Party': "The girl with the bad ...more
Matthew Eisenberg
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Tiny Love: The Complete Stories by Larry Brown, could easily have been a 5-star book if it'd been the incomplete stories of Larry Brown. Slightly more judicious curation would have made this a fantastic read from cover to cover

Tiny Love contains 25 short stories about poor Southern life. Approximately 10 of them are outstanding, 7 are excellent, 4 are good, and 4 are dogshit. If you think you'd enjoy reading unflinchingly honest portrayals of flawed, mostly down and out people, I highly recommen
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. No, really, some of these stories are perfection. Some so wholly original, just swept me up. All of them gritty AF, and most of them NSFW or for 2020's more sensible and sensitive sensibilities, perhaps (women aren't exactly the heroes herein) -- so much so that I had to take this in two doses rather than all at once, with a few-week break in between to recover from the first half of the collection, come back at it clean. And then I got back to loving it. Just the saddest, tou ...more
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing

THOUGHTS: This book pulls together the short story collections of Larry Brown and adds a number of other stories I had not read. Plant Growin’ Problems being one of the best. The added stories are not just additional/subpar stories looking to fill a new book, but are some of Larry Browns best!

VERDICT: For Larry Brown fans, this book is a MUST! For fans of honest writing with an edge (and grit lit in particular) this collection of stories is a gift.
Alexus Ray
Oct 21, 2020 rated it liked it
The short stories in this collection are easy to read. They are a bit vulgar, but I appreciate how sexually liberated the characters are. Most of the stories are the same. They are about southern white men experiencing torment and pain because of excessive drinking, drug taking, and womanizing. There is no redemption or very little redemption for the characters in these short stories. These men are caught in a cycle of self-destruction. The characters are very cartoonish.
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
This collection of short stories by the late Larry Brown was quite good. For the most part the stories are vignettes af people & real rose-colored glasses here. I think these are best enjoyed over time, leaving time to feel your reaction fully.
Jason Robinson
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gritty contemporary Southern literature at its best. We were robbed of a great writer all too soon in 2004, when Brown died of a sudden heart attack. If you like this collection try one of his novels, they are excellent, also, my favorite being FAY.
Sep 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Larry Brown certainly has a style, which is evident in this collection. Repetitive drunk driving and driving with a cooler on the floor began to overshadow other parts of the stories. I think I would have enjoyed the stories more if I’d read them spaced out instead of as a collection.
Sep 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Very interesting, at times funny, other times grotesque. Volume of complete stories did not sit well for me, as the stories became too much alike. I feel it’s better to read the individual books of stories.
Csimplot Simplot
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book!
Bob Peru
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
funny and brutal.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Larry Brown is one of the kings of grit lit. I recommend taking these in small doses, with a Budweiser.
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Larry Brown was an American writer who was born and lived in Oxford, Mississippi. Brown wrote fiction and nonfiction. He graduated from high school in Oxford but did not go to college. Many years later, he took a creative writing class from the Mississippi novelist Ellen Dou

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