Down to the Dirt (Joel Thomas Hynes) unabridged fiction

Down to the Dirt by Joel Thomas Hynes
Narrated by Joel Thomas Hynes, Sherry White and Jonny Harris

Listening Time: approx. 6 1/2 hrs 1
0-digit ISBN: 0-9737586-2-7
13-digit ISBN: 978-0-9737586-2-7

Down to the Dirt is Joel Thomas Hynes' Percy Janes Award-winning first novel. The novel follows the hard-drinking, hard-living Keith Kavanagh from his sexual initiation by an older woman in the small community of his childhood to his quixotic quest for meaning in the big city. Kavanagh is one of Canadian literature's most memorable and mesmerizing creations. He may appear hard as nails—a self-destructive hedonist, a dynamo of crackling energy and imminent violence—but at heart, he is (in the words of novelist Michael Crummey) “a troubled Holden Caulfield innocent" desperately searching for his place in a world that doesn't seem to want or need him.


Picture a teenaged outcast in Newfoundland and his two closest friends—they all love to talk dirty, each with a somewhat skewed Irish accent. This is why the audio version of Hynes’s first novel (really linked stories) is more than welcome. Hynes, also an actor, narrates in protagonist Keith Kavanagh’s voice, joined by Sherry White and Johnny Harris. If anyone has ever wondered what’s going through the minds of those eternal bad boys and the girls they hook up with, this sensitive portrait is a good place to begin. Hynes’s clipped style, taking stories to a breaking point, then dropping them cold, before too much emotion sets in, works very well.
— AudioFile magazine

Hynes captures [dialogue] masterfully . . . Raunchy, humorous and energetic . . . A gritty, moving portrait of growing up—or trying to, anyway.
— Publishers Weekly

Joel Hynes is the best young voice in years.
— David Adams Richards

By turns violent, frightening and funny, the book is also poignant, rollicking, raw and decidedly not for delicate sensibilities. It is a riveting read—or listen, in its dynamic audiobook format. The unique spoken version captures every nuance of its in-yer-face poetry and inimitable vernacular.
— Ottawa Citizen

This unabridged Canadian audiobook was produced by Rattling Books in Newfoundland and Labrador.