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DIRTY WORK's Reviews

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"By now, I suspect, Mark SaFranko must be getting a little tired of reading reviews of his books in which the reviewer questions why his work hasn't yet received the wider recognition it deserves. The answer is straightforward; as Arthur Koestler pointed out in Scum of the Earth: people prefer the gilded lie to the shabby truth. And for his sins, SaFranko deals in the truth, the hard, shabby, dirty truth!"
"Like Charles Bukowski, to whom he is often, favourably, compared, SaFranko doesn't so much progress with each successive book as dig ever deeper into the same themes and source material (indeed, rather than follow a linear trajectory, the novels of the 'Zajack Quartet' exist in relation to one another as a sequence of concentric rings); and like Bukowski, whose finest work arguably came later in his career, SaFranko's prose has grown increasingly more precise and clear and sharp the deeper he penetrates into his subject matter, which is more or less the task of survival for a young man some way below the surface of the American Dream."
--- Chris Brownsword (3am Magazine)

"With its lively style, colorful vocabulary, and anecdotes, it quickly manages to make the reader an addict. And SaFranko's literary double, in the person of Max, does not fail to soften us.
"Let there be no mistake Mark SaFranko is a powerful 'marathon writer' (how many novels, thrillers and dramas does he have up his sleeve?) and also a man who weights his words with a careful observation of American life."
--- Alexandre Muller (Le Cause Litteraire, France)

"I enjoyed the string of situations that Max found himself in so I was keen to read on and to see if he could find himself something that had the potential to make him happy. He became more endearing, for example, in his role as a companion to an elderly lady.
"For any writer that's ever done a job that they really haven't liked, Dirty Work is amusing and familiar. For any reader that likes watching someone chase and fail to realise their dreams, Max Zajack has several sad, but also cruelly funny, stories to tell about his life thus far."
--- Bethany Anderson (Subtle Melodrama)

"Whether telling us a love story that's tragic and pathetically mournful (Hating Olivia), describing his no less glorious sexual wanderings (Lounge Lizard), or describing his childhood among the American losers (God Bless America), SaFranko always manages to turn our grimaces into broad, honest laughter. In order to do so, he created an alter ego: Max Zajack, whom we follow through different times of his life in these novels."
--- Frederic Tue (From the introduction to Dirty Work)

"When you mention names like Bukowski, Fante, and Miller you should also add SaFranko to that ensemble of literary radiance. SaFranko creates a down-and-out anti-hero whose descriptions of his physical surroundings underpin his fragile emotional understanding of his environment. At times humorous, and at other times unsettling, the grit of SaFranko's voice is tempered well with a constant underlying pathos."
--- Mark Bickley (Amazon.co.uk)

"Mark SaFranko has delivered yet another brilliantly written and engaging novel about the troubled life of Max Zajack. This one, a sort of prequel to the modern classic Hating Olivia, finds our young protagonist struggling with dead-end jobs, artistic ambitions and constant (and mostly unfulfilled) horniness.
"SaFranko's Max Zajack novels are right up there with the very best of Charles Bukowski and John and Dan Fante - and this one is no exception. A great book."
--- Rasmus Drews (Amazon.co.uk)

"[Dirty Work] has great clarity, sharpness, irony and a measured pace. In addition to a history of close autobiography - transcribing Mark through his character Maz Zajack - there is also an image of a sick America, and the sleeping individuals in society watching its decline...
"Thank you 13e Note Editions for sharing pearls. After Dan Fante, it was the turn of Mark SaFranko to shake my guts."
--- Christophe H. (Babelio, France)

"Writing with an admirable flexibility and short chapters, SaFranko makes the reader want to follow the narrator in all his misadventures... Mark SaFranko is an excellent writer who deserves to be included in the list of current authors who will always endure."
--- Claude Le Nocher (Action-Suspense, France)

"Dirty Work is not a moan about work, it’s not a celebration either. It is believable, and funny and honest. Max gets himself into some scrapes with his libido, his lethargy and his love of daydreaming. There are moments of tenderness in the novel too, such as when Max takes a job as a chauffer/companion for an older lady who whilst testing Max’s patience also reminds him that, “the universe is cruel, Max”.
"SaFranko writes clearly and without sentiment and this novel indirectly and subtly expounds on class, youth, ambition, and the zeal and guts it takes to do something more than the 9 to 5. SaFranko reminds us that to doubt is just as human as to err but out of this doubt one can gain a perception on the world that gives you something to say and that something is worth hearing. Get this book and then get everything else SaFranko has written. If you are new to his work I am envious of the treat you have in store."
--- Zah Rasul (Amazon.co.uk)

"It is sad that Mark SaFranko still struggles to get noticed in the list of books made by all and sundry. But he did it. He did what he believed he wanted to do.
"Read Dirty Work not because it is a page-turner or because it was critically acclaimed. Read it because there are a hundred parallels between his life and so many others who want to catch that Polar Express to Santa Land."
--- Ujjwal Dey (Amazon.com)

"In this book, SaFranko draws back into the depths of his own condition in order to stage (for the fourth time) his heroic alter-ego and share his views of life in perfect opposition with the world that surrounds it. Between an anti-conformist manifesto and a self-mocking autobiography, SaFranko relives a piece of America with both omnipotence and absurdity."
--- Charlotte Tree (Gwordia, France)