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Dirty Little Angels Paperback – March 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 147 pages
  • Publisher: Livingston Press (AL) (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604890304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604890303
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,768,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

If I had a dollar for every sentence in Dirty Little Angels that blew my mind, I'd be able to buy a decent Chevy Nova outright. Christopher Tusa is a new and powerful voice in American fiction, and I truly believe that this raw and poetic first novel marks the beginning of a great and glorious career. --Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff

"Dirty Little Angels is the To Kill a Mockingbird of 2009. Chris Tusa's novel marks the debut of a brave new voice in contemporary American literature." --Burl Barer, Edgar Award winning author of The Saint, Mom Said Kill, Body Count, Murder in the Family

Review

Listen up, folks: Chris Tusa has written a nasty little novel that somehow lifts close to grace its downtrodden and sometimes blackhearted inhabitants. They're fallen and broken, but like the New Orleans through which they stagger and flail, they are lovely ruins-and like New Orleans they are only one storm away from the End Times. Witness the storm, as told by Tusa: Dirty Little Angels.

More About the Author

Chris Tusa was born and raised in New Orleans. His work has appeared in Connecticut Review, Texas Review, Prairie Schooner, The New Delta Review, South Dakota Review, Southeast Review, Passages North, Spoon River, New York Quarterly, Louisiana Literature, Tar River, StorySouth, and others. He has studied under a number of notable writers, including Tim Gautreaux, Sidney Wade, and Debora Gregor. With the help of a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, he was able to complete his first chapbook of poetry, Inventing an End. His debut collection of poems, Haunted Bones, was published by Louisiana Literature Press in 2006. His debut novel, Dirty Little Angels, will be released by The University of West Alabama this April. He holds a B.A. in English, an M.A in English, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Florida. Aside from teaching in the English Department at LSU, he also acts as Managing Editor for Poetry Southeast.

Customer Reviews

The end really suprised me, and the more I read the better it got!
Jobeth Rider
It really seems like it would have been a great story if given some more time, some more editing, and some more plot.
20somethingbibliophile
Chris Tusa really makes the characters come to life, and the dialogue is very well written.
Kenny Parham

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. L VINE VOICE on January 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa is not an ordinary novel, it is gritty and sends many messages to the reader. The story is told from the view point of a young girl in the American South. We have Hailey Trosclair, raised by a father who is burdened with unemployment and a mother who is too preoccupied with being miserable. Hailey is forced to endure real life lessons outside of the house- things as mundane as death and shallow as popularity.

Tusa's writing style is magnificent. It is confrontational and the metaphors are haunting. (After my Kindle charges I will have to come back and include some!) The characters will try to justify their actions, both good and bad, through God. I found myself constantly saying, "No! Don't do that!" and wishing that someone would take the narrator away from everything she had to deal with. I can't relate to the characters, they're needy and selfish. That being said, I still enjoyed them and their sad realities.

Talk about a dysfunctional family. Mom? Depressed. Dad? Alcoholic. Brother? Trouble maker. Geesh, where does that leave Hailey? No wonder she is engrossed with herself. Let me just say that this book really made me thankful for the environment I grew up in.

Some have compared this novel to classics such as "To Kill a Mocking Bird." I totally don't think this will be a classic by any means, but the author does tell a compelling story. I just wish he would have given his story more time- it's a little under 200 pages. This isn't a book I will be quick to forget. If you're looking for a happy ending, don't pick up this book... otherwise, go for it. It's a quick, solid read that will take you on one helluva ride.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Arador on January 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading this book. Though it was dark and depressing it portrayed the harsh realities of inner city life. I felt that the author did a good job of writing from a 16 year old girl's perspective. The broken family and determination of the children to struggle through for something better had me rooting for them to succeed. The book was well paced and easy to read. Tulsa keeps the reader intrigued and wanting to find out what happens next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deb N. on December 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
I read this book with a bit of trepidation. From the description I was intrigued by the characters, but I had a feeling the story would not have a happy ending. As soon as I was done reading the book I thought to myself; "Well, I knew it wouldn't be pretty, I don't know why I read it". As I sat there pondering what I had just read, I realized how much I had come to care about the main character, a teen named Hailey. The author did a great job of drawing the reader into her life and into the thought processes going on in her head. I was drawn into her life through the first person telling of the story. Even though Hailey is fictional teen she represents many teens all over the country that have been basically forgotten in life's struggles. Families have difficulties, circumstances jack you around, and unless you want to always be a victim, you need to take your destiny into your own hands. This is what Hailey did at the end of the story.
While her choices of how to take control of her life may have been unusual, she finally understood she had to make those choices on her own. In spite of the sad circumstances and choices she may have made, she was finally taking what little control of her life that she could. In that respect I liked the ending, because she made that decision and acted on it, even though it was in a different way than you would have guessed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SilverSparrow04 on June 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading Dirty Little Angels. After months of putting off reading this book I finished it all in a few days. It's a quick read, 170 pages, and a lot to take in. From the title, synopsis, and first few lines you know that this book is not the type filled with pretty little metaphors and purple prose. It's quite the opposite actually, seeing the world through Hailey's eyes is like looking through a broken, stained-glass window. Everything is gritty and soiled, the world is a dark place and everyone is either, broke, a criminal, diseased or all of the above. Yet despite everyone's dire circumstances they still hold strong to their faith and judge others as if their lives are so perfect.

Hailey Trosclair, our protagonist is a sixteen year old girl with a gambling out of work father and a depressed mother who is still hiding in her room six months after a miscarriage. Her brother, Cyrus, is a nineteen year old, on probation, who hangs out with a man named Moses who wants to open a drive-through church. Hailey's friend, Meridian, is what would be our typical cheerleading, slut without the cheerleading. And the guy Hailey likes, let's just say I don't find candied-yam arms and red doll's mouths all that attractive.

These characters among a couple of others are our Dirty Little Angels. When you first meet them you know that Mr. and Mrs. Trosclair are not what you would call decent parents but there are little moments in the story that show us in a different world they would be different parents. Cyrus, is one of the last role models I would choose for his younger sister but he still sees her as an innocent when we know she isn't. No one is completely good or bad in this story, and I like that because that is how the real world is.
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