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Denis Johnson (1949–2017)

Autor(a) de Jesus' Son: Stories

35+ Works 12,314 Membros 444 Críticas 56 Favorited

About the Author

Denis Johnson was born in Munich, Germany on July 1, 1949. He received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from the University of Iowa. He published his first book of poetry, The Man Among the Seals, at the age of 19. However, addictions to alcohol and drugs derailed him and he was in a mostrar mais psychiatric ward at the age of 21. He was sober by the early 1980s. Along with writing several volumes of poetry, Johnson wrote short stories for The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Paris Review, and Best American Short Stories. His novels included Angels, Jesus' Son, Resuscitation of a Hanged Man, Already Dead, Nobody Move, Train Dreams, and The Laughing Monsters. He won the National Book Award in 2007 for Tree of Smoke. He also received the Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts, the Robert Frost Award, and the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. He died of liver cancer on May 24, 2017 at the age of 67. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Includes the name: Denis Johnson


Obras por Denis Johnson

Jesus' Son: Stories (1992) 2,811 exemplares
Tree of Smoke (2007) 2,405 exemplares
Train Dreams (2002) 1,635 exemplares
Nobody Move (2009) 735 exemplares
Angels (1983) 710 exemplares
Already Dead: A California Gothic (1996) 680 exemplares
Fiskadoro (1985) 552 exemplares
The Name of the World (2000) 504 exemplares
The Laughing Monsters (2014) 426 exemplares
Resuscitation of a Hanged Man (1991) 344 exemplares
The Stars at Noon (1986) 242 exemplares
The Incognito Lounge (1982) 89 exemplares

Associated Works

The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (2000) — Contribuidor — 1,261 exemplares
My Mistress's Sparrow Is Dead (2008) — Contribuidor — 763 exemplares
Fat City (1969) — Introdução, algumas edições492 exemplares
The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories (1994) — Contribuidor — 479 exemplares
Birthday Stories (2002) — Contribuidor — 455 exemplares
McSweeney's Issue 16 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern) (2005) — Contribuidor — 444 exemplares
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009 (2009) — Contribuidor — 365 exemplares
McSweeney's Issue 22: Three Books Held Within By Magnets (2007) — Contribuidor — 335 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 2015 (2015) — Contribuidor — 226 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 1992 (1992) — Contribuidor — 223 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 1990 (1990) — Contribuidor — 218 exemplares
The New Granta Book of the American Short Story (2007) — Contribuidor — 212 exemplares
Why I Write: Thoughts on the Craft of Fiction (1998) — Contribuidor — 187 exemplares
McSweeney's Issue 4: Trying, Trying, Trying, Trying, Trying (2000) — Contribuidor — 163 exemplares
The O. Henry Prize Stories 2003 (2003) — Contribuidor — 138 exemplares
The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction (2008) — Contribuidor — 125 exemplares
The Haunting [1963 film] (1963) — Associate producer, algumas edições83 exemplares
The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story (2021) — Contribuidor — 53 exemplares
Do Me: Sex Tales from Tin House (2007) — Contribuidor — 38 exemplares
The Paris Review 167 2003 Fall (2003) — Contribuidor — 14 exemplares
Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, Volume 04 (2014) — Contribuidor — 7 exemplares
4 Poets (1995) — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



This is a powerful novella by a master storyteller. I think his best.
ben_r47 | 112 outras críticas | Feb 22, 2024 |
The cancer of war.
Spreading like a plague from its epicentre, gorging on flesh, derailing minds, torturing emotions - only the strongest survive and then just barely.
An all pervading turmoil unbound by time or distance.
Entirely artificial, entirely human.

Tree of Smoke follows several characters in the Vietnam war, expertly leading the reader through its horrors from both sides of the engagement. Family, love, hopelessness, revenge, survival, purpose are all major themes, as they struggle with what truths they find in the choices they make. Anyone who has read 2666 by Robert Bolaño, should recall the chapter about the deaths. The saturated, desensitising prose so relentless to become paradoxically impressive. Tree of Smoke achieves something similar. What Denis Johnson has done here is capture war in all its atrocity.

I have now read five novels by Johnson and this is (so far) the jewel in the crown, despite its low 3.5 rating on goodreads, unsurprising, for two reasons:

1. War is a heavy subject matter which I doubt is every reader's idea of a 'good read' (I empathise of course and need time between books of this nature but war is so entwined in the human condition (sadly) that the subject leads to some of the very best writing - Birdsong, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Slaughterhouse 5, Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, War and Peace and of course, Catch-22)

2. I read parts of Tree of Smoke and listened to parts on audiobook, which was read amazingly by the actor Will Patton (of which I include a link to an excerpt below). Patton's handling of voice differentiation for the dialogues between characters was sublime and really improved the clarity and dynamics of their interactions, which my own reading in my head couldn't replicate (instead leading to confusion and rereadings). Johnson is such a skilful writer of dialogue - he knows exactly what other people would say that the characters sound like real people. Complimented by Patton's reading, the effect is very powerful. I wonder if people who solely read the book appreciated this element in the same way?

This book is a work of art, cementing Johnson in modern literature as one of its greatest writers (in my humble opinion). Although he is now lost to us, I'm thankful there are so many more of his offerings I have left to read. Jesus' son is apparently his arguable best - it will have to be one hell of a book to surmount what Tree of Smoke achieves. It is another symbol, in addition to the other important books previously mentioned, of why people should read, not war.

Will Patton reading Tree of Smoke:

… (mais)
Dzaowan | 73 outras críticas | Feb 15, 2024 |
This is my fourth Denis Johnson (after Train Dreams, Fiskadoro and The Name of the World) and was read in tribute to his life after his recent passing. It's also my J on an alphabetical list by author surname I've got going on!

I continue to be beguiled with how well Johnson writes in all manner of genres and 'Nobody Move' furthered this impressive versatility with its distinctly noir feel. Although only scoring it a 3 out of 5, it is a very good 3 and an accomplished story which is incredibly readable. Consequently, it's a quick read but an engaging one and as others have commented, it could've handled being longer.

Nobody Moves centres on the coming together of 4 principle characters and how their lives temporarily ricochet off each other's in gritty Bakersfield, California. Similar to the sitcom 'Will and Grace', none of the protagonists are particularly good people, yet, how much damage they do to each other and themselves makes for an intriguing tale. They are well rounded and believable, each growing with the story and their experiences, each holding out under their respective burdens be they framed embezzlement, being hunted by a notorious criminal, loneliness or a bullet wound to the leg.

The strength of this novel is particularly the dialogue, in which Johnson is a master: the exchanges between the four characters are rich and real and it is very much as if you are there with them, living their emotions and thoughts. A good mark for me of a book's success is if I 'miss' (finding out about) the characters after the story is finished. And I did. I wanted to know more, I wanted to follow them a little longer. A very good 3 out of 5!
… (mais)
Dzaowan | 55 outras críticas | Feb 15, 2024 |
All I could think of while reading Denis Johnson's dense novella was that he writes some the most muscular prose I have read in years. No sentimentality. No drifting off to speculation. Just the facts, ma'am. A war between the environment and the man. And the brutality of the human condition. Men aren't good in this book. They mirror the wolves who surround them in the wilderness and in the towns.
MylesKesten | 112 outras críticas | Jan 23, 2024 |


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