Dirt by David Vann
Published by Windmill Books
Genres: Fiction, Horror, Contemporary
Post book thoughts: I need a shower, and alcohol and an antidepressant and some form of brain bleach thank you. Yes I would like fries with that too.
Twenty-two-year-old Galen is a New Age believer on a warpath towards transcendence. He lives with his emotionally dependent mother in a secluded house, surviving on old family money that his Aunt Helen and cousin Jennifer are determined to get their hands on. Galen doesn’t know who his father is, his abusive grandfather is dead, and his grandmother is losing her memory. When the family takes a trip to an old cabin in the Sierras, tensions crescendo. Caught in a compromising position, Galen will discover the shocking truth of just how far he will go to attain what it is he craves.
So like maybe just maybe David Vann named this story ‘Dirt’ because that’s exactly how these characters and their lives are meant to be seen… like dirty.
Okay bear with me! I’m not judging anyone here (maybe a little bit) but hear me out alright.
I’m just going to summarize the story here because I do not want anyone walking into this book blind.
Yes this review is difficult to write because this book might have done unfavorable things to my brain.
So Galen is this 22 year old boy who apparently wants to transcend from this a-typical mindset into something ‘above it all’ and he practices Buddhism. Let me tell you this boy needs a lifetime of meditation to get over his issues!
He lives with an emotionally dependent mother who has a mother with dementia and a sister who wants all the money and her sister has a kid who I don’t even want to start on!
His mother is so dependent to the level where she doesn’t want to send Galen to college under the pretense that they don’t have money (they do).
I feel like there is a love hate thing going on with his mom towards the kid, like maybe that’s why he got so messed up.
Back to Galen, he constantly fights with his bodily needs which usually revolve around his flirtatious cousin (someone douse that girl in holy water) and he eventually ends up having sex with her so the book gets weirdly incestuous and his mom catches him in the act.
So now she wants to send the kid to prison, like lady make up your mind! You didn’t want him going to college and now you want to send him to jail?! Maybe she felt betrayed seeing her son sleep with someone? I don’t really want to know the reasoning behind his mother’s actions to be honest.
So he ends up killing her, of course, cherry on top David cherry on top.
Anyway this book is whole levels of messed up that soiled my soul you know (pun intended). It’s like those morbid videos that you know you should stop watching but you don’t. While I absolutely hated the story it is actually not a bad piece of writing.
I mean you hate the characters and their lives with a passion, not even in a ‘oh llamas this is so dumb’ way but in a way where, okay these are real people and I genuinely don’t like them.
I think the author is a very brave person to write something this dark that would obviously not sit well with so many people out there, but still write it so well. I feel like maybe people need stories like this out in the world because things like this do happen and well we need to understand and see more than what we know in our bubble. I still need that shower though, I dunno I’m conflicted here.
So while I wish I never read this book I also am kind of glad I did read this book before I knew what it was about? You know that feeling? No? Just me?
Oh well if you do chose to read this book don’t say you weren’t warned!