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The Official Website of Andrew Vachss

Free Downloads at The Zero

Here you will find free downloads of Andrew Vachss' work, including PDF downloads, Burt Reynolds' performance of the short story "Dope Fiend" from the Proving It audio book, and more—Real Audio samples, The Zero's first Flash movie, and audio transcripts of Vachss interviews among them. Watch this page for free downloads of Vachss' work to be added in the future.


The Family-of-Choice webcast is a three-hour interview with Andrew Vachss. It originally aired January 14, 2009—taking the place of a book tour during the release of Another Life, the 18th and final book in the Burke series. All three hours can be viewed in Quicktime and Flash Movie Format. Click here to watch the webcast.


Andrew Vachss never reads from his work. Or, rather, he almost never reads from his work. He's done it maybe four times. We recorded one of these rare events [March 10, 2003 at Barnes & Noble in NYC] and present that reading—and the Q&A afterward—here.


Strong reactions to Andrew Vachss' written work are the norm, rather than the exception, but the response to the short story "Dope Fiend," originally published in Everybody Pays, was utterly overwhelming. The intensity of readers' feedback was what inspired Vachss to write the Burke novel Pain Management.

"Dope Fiend" was also included in the Proving It audiobook collection, as read by Academy Award nominee Burt Reynolds, and the response from listeners was every bit as passionate.

The Zero has made available to its users an MP3 audio version of Reynolds' performance of "Dope Fiend." Click here to download, and discover for yourself what makes this story so noteworthy—and so profoundly moving.


The majority of the Articles About Andrew Vachss' Legal Cases at The Zero involve fairly straightforward examples of criminal defense [Vachss financed his child protective work through conventional criminal defense cases prior to the success of the books allowing him to devote 100% of his practice to children], civil litigation, and child protective matters. A representative sampling is available for reading in html format onsite.

One case, however—"Parole as Post-Conviction Relief: The Robert Lewis Decision"—is so complex, and touches on such a myriad of issues, that we at The Zero felt it necessary to present as a free download, in PDF format.

There was, sadly, nothing unusual about Mr. Lewis' conviction ... tried during a period of great racial unrest in America by an all-white jury for crimes against white victims, in which all the defendants were black, Mr. Lewis was sentenced in July, 1964 to a term of 50-57 years, and entered Trenton State Prison the following day.

A teenager with no prior convictions of any kind, serving a term tantamount to life in prison for crimes which not only he, but the victim, maintained he had not committed, Mr. Lewis attempted redress through repeated appeals, to no avail. Denied more traditional forms of post-conviction relief, Lewis and his legal advisors begin researching another path to the same goal—parole criteria—and discovered the extent of the inequities, arbitrariness, and apparently unchecked power of the Parole Board in determining the actual amount of time a convict must serve.

"The Robert Lewis Decision" details the steps taken by Mr. Lewis, Andrew Vachss, and other concerned individuals who had developed an interest in this case, and the legal odyssey that eventually led to Lewis' release—after having served nearly ten years of his life in a maximum-security prison for crimes that the major figures in the case—with the exception of the original jury—all acknowledged that he had never committed.

What makes this article crucial today, nearly three decades after its publication, is that "Robert Lewis" is not merely the title of a legal decision—he is a man who suffered incredible injustices and hardships, and went on after his eventual release to accomplish truly incredible things. The file also contains updated information on Kamau Marcharia, formerly known as Robert Lewis, who has spent the past quarter-century working to improve the world we all live in, and succeeding in phenomenal ways.

For more information on the legal and personal journey of this exceptional man, and a link to the free PDF download, click here.


As The Zero's regular visitors all know, Burke and Andrew Vachss share a deep love for the blues, and they don't come much bluer than Son Seals, whose music has made appearances in the Burke series from time to time.

Vachss has been writing blues lyrics for many years, originally tutored by the immortal Doc Pomus, to whom Shella was dedicated.

This all came together on Son Seals' 2000 album, Lettin' Go, which features two tracks co-written by Son and Andrew Vachss, including the song "Bad Blood," the lyrics of which long-time readers may recall from Vachss' first novel, Flood.

To hear a sample of this collaboration between two amazing men, download the RealAudio file here.


Andrew Vachss has collaborated over the years with authors such as Joe Lansdale, noted graphic artists, among them David Lloyd and Geofrey Darrow, and with musicians of note, including Son Seals.

However, The Zero's Flash movie takes collaboration to an entirely new level, with Geofrey Darrow's uniquely evocative art transformed by the animation skills of Olaf Havnes, the wizard of Orgdot, to the accompaniment of Son Seals' classic signature song, "Goin' Back Home."

See if this integration of talent by so many masters of their respective mediums doesn't knock you off your feet ...

To experience The Zero's first Flash movie, click here.


Andrew Vachss: Haiku
A two-hour conversation with Dave Marsh from the Sirius Satellite Radio show Live from the Land of Hopes and Dreams

Andrew Vachss: Dead and Gone
Interview with Bill Thompson from Eye on Books

A Conversation with Andrew Vachss
Interview with Steven Nester from Poets of the Tabloid Murder


Please click here for more free samples of Andrew Vachss' written works.


Please click here for a complete archive of articles, essays, and editorials written by Andrew Vachss, including a complete bibliography of all the Vachss Parade articles. These articles are available elsewhere on a fee-only basis, but The Zero makes them available for free to our viewers here.


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