Hailed by the New York Times as "wildly ambitious" and "the sort of book that a young Herman Melville might have written had he lived today and studied such disparate works as the Bible, 'The Wasteland,' Fahrenheit 451, and Dog Soldiers, screened Star Wars and Apocalypse Now several times, dropped a lot of acid and listened to hours of Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones," Fiskadoro is a stunning novel of an all-too-possible tomorrow. Deeply moving and provacative, Fiskadoro brilliantly presents the sweeping and heartbreaking tale of the survivors of a devastating nuclear war and their attempts to salvage remnants of the old world and rebuild their culture.
Leonard English, a sad and intense young man recovering from a suicide attempt, comes to Provincetown on Cape Cod to take a job as a disc jockey-cum-private detective. Provincetown is a last outpost of civilization, an end of the earth, a resort town emptied by autumn, where many of those who wear skirts are not women and many of the women do not love men. On his first day there, English encounters a beautiful young woman at Mass and falls desperately in love with her, but Leanna turns out to be gay; and English's first assignment as a detective, a search for the elusive artist Gerald Twinbrook, is equally frustrating. As autumn turns to winter and Leonard's anguish mounts, his desperate quests - for Twinbrook, for love, for redemption - take on an increasingly apocalyptic coloring.
A contemporary noir, Already Dead is the tangled story of Nelson Fairchild Jr., disenfranchised scion to a northern California land fortune. A relentless failure, Nelson has botched nearly every scheme he's attempted to pull off. Now his future lies in a potentially profitable marijuana patch hidden in the lush old-growth redwoods on the family land.
Nelson has some serious problems. His marriage has fallen apart, and he may lose his land, cash and crop in the divorce. What's more, in need of some quick cash, he had foolishly agreed to smuggle $90,000 worth of cocaine through customs for Harry Lally, a major player in a drug syndicate. Chickening out just before bringing the drugs through, he flushed the powder. Now Lally wants him dead, and two goons are hot on his trail. Desperate, terrified and alone, for Nelson, there may be only one way out.
This is Denis Johnson's biggest and most complex book to date, and it perfectly showcases his signature themes of fate, redemption and the unraveling of the fabric of today's society. Already Dead, with its masterful narrative of overlapping and entwined stories, will further fuel the acclaim that surrounds one of today's most fascinating writers.
Two plays—hilarious and searing in equal measure—by one of our most essential and original authors
In his poetry, short stories, novels, and plays, Denis Johnson has explored the story of America—especially of the West, land of self-made men and self-perpetuating myths—with a searing honesty and genuine sympathy. In these two plays, written in verse both hypnotic and clear, he confirms his position as one of our great verbal stylists, and a literary conscience for our times.
Purvis’s seven reverse-chronological scenes catalog the fall and rise of Melvin Purvis, the G-man who brought down John Dillinger and Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd. Johnson takes us from Washington’s backrooms to a Midwestern cornfield, dramatizing the seductive allure of power and our own human capacity for both pettiness and grace. In Soul of A Whore, a lively cast of characters—faith healers, pimps, strippers, actual demons—converges, with unexpected hilarity, as Bess Cassandra awaits execution for the murder of her infant daughter.
In these furiously entertaining, occasionally terrifying works, Denis Johnson chronicles and questions America’s myths, heroes, and everyday realities with verve and elegance, proving once again that he is at the height of his linguistic and insightful powers.
Jesus' Son, the first collection of stories by Denis Johnson, presents a unique, hallucinatory vision of contemporary American life unmatched in power and immediacy and marks a new level of achievement for this acclaimed writer. In their intensity of perception, their neon-lit evocation of a strange world brought uncomfortably close to our own, the stories in Jesus' Son offer a disturbing yet eerily beautiful portrayal of American loneliness and hope.
Car Crash While Hitchhiking
Out on Bail
The Other Man
Steady Hands at Seattle General
'A dazzling and savage first novel' New York Times
Angels tells the story of two born losers. Jamie has ditched her husband and is running away with her two baby girls. Bill is dreaming of making it big in a life of crime. They meet on a Greyhound bus and decide to team up.
So begins a stunning, tragic odyssey through the dark underbelly of America – the bars, bus stations, mental wards and prisons that play host to Jamie and Bill as they find themselves trapped in a downward spiral though rape, alcohol, drugs and crime, to madness and death.
From the author of Tree of Smoke, winner of the National Book Award for Fiction
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is the long-awaited new story collection from Denis Johnson. It follows the groundbreaking, highly acclaimed Jesus’ Son. Written in the same luminous prose, this collection finds Johnson in new territory, contemplating old age, mortality, the ghosts of the past, and the elusive and unexpected ways the mysteries of the universe assert themselves. Finished shortly before Johnson’s death in May 2017, this collection is the last word from a writer whose work will live on for many years to come.
From the award-winning poet and novelist—a must-have collection of his four previous books of poetry plus a selection of new, unpublished work.
Set in Nicaragua in 1984, The Stars at Noon is a story of passion, fear, and betrayal told in the voice of an American woman whose mission in Central America is as shadowy as her surroundings. Is she a reporter for an American magazine as she sometimes claims, or a contact person for Eyes of Peace? And who is the rough English businessman with whom she becomes involved? As the two foreigners become entangled in increasingly sinister plots, Denis Johnson masterfully dramatizes a powerful vision of spiritual bereavement and corruption.
Denis Johnson's The Laughing Monsters is a high-suspense tale of kaleidoscoping loyalties in the post-9/11 world that shows one of our great novelists at the top of his game.
Roland Nair calls himself Scandinavian but travels on a U.S. passport. After ten years' absence, he returns to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to reunite with his friend Michael Adriko. They once made a lot of money here during the country's civil war, and, curious to see whether good luck will strike twice in the same place, Nair has allowed himself to be drawn back to a region he considers hopeless.
Adriko is an African who styles himself a soldier of fortune and who claims to have served, at various times, the Ghanaian army, the Kuwaiti Emiri Guard, and the American Green Berets. He's probably broke now, but he remains, at thirty-six, as stirred by his own doubtful schemes as he was a decade ago.
Although Nair believes some kind of money-making plan lies at the back of it all, Adriko's stated reason for inviting his friend to Freetown is for Nair to meet Adriko's fiancée, a grad student from Colorado named Davidia. Together the three set out to visit Adriko's clan in the Uganda-Congo borderland—but each of these travelers is keeping secrets from the others. Their journey through a land abandoned by the future leads Nair, Adriko, and Davidia to meet themselves not in a new light, but rather in a new darkness.
Denis Johnson's Train Dreams is an epic in miniature, one of his most evocative and poignant fictions. It is the story of Robert Grainier, a day laborer in the American West at the start of the twentieth century---an ordinary man in extraordinary times. Buffeted by the loss of his family, Grainer struggles to make sense of this strange new world. As his story unfolds, we witness both his shocking personal defeats and the radical changes that transform America in his lifetime. Suffused with the history and landscapes of the American West, this novella captures the disappearance of a distinctly American way of life.