It's difficult to argue with the resume of this author--impressive would be an understatement. ABC review compares David Vann to Melville, Faulkner, and McCathy. Admittedly, I can see the rationale behind the claim. If you like past works by those authors, it'd be plausible to assume you'll equally enjoy Dirt. The prose are more grounded than Melville and meander like Hemingway (without the purple), but have a similar grit and the southern Gothic edge of McCathy. If you're looking for a punchy fast-paced horror, this is not it. However, if you want to sink into a deeper philosophical examination - choose this read. And, when I mention philosophical, I mean get ready to contemplate dirt (lots of dirt), physical entrapment, as well as mental - the mind and flesh. This is a 'thinking' story. Thematically, Dirt seems to contain endless possibilities. I've been mulling over the concept of the body as a prison verses the shed and also drawing in the setting of the walnut orchard. Then, there is the style and text. Why no quotes used for dialogue? This could make for an entire conversation on its own. Interesting, stylistic, and will get editors arguing for months. I love it! It really is a critical analysis gem and a novel that should be explored in depth, dissected, discussed and placed on the college American Literature must read list. Exciting? That's debatable. Relevant? Absolutely! If you need to stretch your brain and don't want to lug a chunky 700+ book around, this is the perfect modern compromise. I'd recommend it for reading groups and book clubs that like to examine contemporary styles based on classic structures with philosophical examination, layered themes, setting and complex prose.