Joe

By Larry Brown,

Book cover of Joe

Book description

“Brilliant . . . Larry Brown has slapped his own fresh tattoo on the big right arm of Southern Lit.” ―The Washington Post Book World

Now a major motion picture starring Nicolas Cage, directed by David Gordon Green.

Joe Ransom is a hard-drinking ex-con pushing fifty who just won’t slow…


Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. (learn more)

Why read it?

1 author picked Joe as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Fiction as literature of the resistance? Larry Brown’s Joe is a top candidate for what I’d call The Great American Novel. There are many entries, of course: as many stories as there are communities, past, present, and even future. 

What I love about Joe is the simplicity of metaphor. A backwoods ne’er-do-well, Joe Ransom makes his living killing—literally—the great wild biodiversity hardwood powerhouse forests of the Mississippi bottomlands by injecting them with poison so that they die, and the rich forest can be converted to the homogenous, fast-growing, essentially sterile monoculture of southern yellow pine. His way of life—wild, reckless,…

From Rick's list on resistance.

Want books like Joe?

Our community of 6,000+ authors has personally recommended 10 books like Joe.

Browse books like Joe

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in poverty, Mississippi, and the working class?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about poverty, Mississippi, and the working class.

Poverty Explore 48 books about poverty
Mississippi Explore 51 books about Mississippi
The Working Class Explore 58 books about the working class