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"Johnson succeeds so well as to make one eager for more" -- John Sutherland London Review of Books "A beautifully tragic chronicle" New York Magazine "Denis Johnson is one of our most inventive, unpredictable novelists" New York Times Book Review "Johnson knows his people inside out, their lost, lonely, never-had-a-chance lives. He knows how they talk and think, and he makes us know them too" Publishers Weekly "One of the strongest examples of fiction noir since Robert Stone's first work appeared-with an absence of sentimentality and an overall shape that's perfectly judged, this is one of the most impressive first novels of recent seasons - full of a fiery recoiling kick, the dreadful power of inhuman ugliness and misfortune beyond redemption" Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Denis Johnson is one of our most inventive, unpredictable novelists."
-- The New York Times Book Review
This novel, which suggests a brilliant mixture of William Blake and James M. Cain, established Denis Johnson as a major talent in American fiction, a promise confirmed in his later books Fiskadoro and The Stars at Noon. Jamie Mays and Bill Houston meet on a Greyhound bus. She is fleeing an unfaithful husband and lugging two travel-stained children. He is on the rebound from stints in jail and the navy and looking for "high old times." Together, they make an aimless tour of bus stations and cheap hotels from Pittsburgh to Phoenix, their momentum fueled by booze, rage, and corrosive need, their journey a trajectory that leads inexorably to a moment of shattering violence.
"A small masterpiece... prose of amazing power and stylishness."
-- Philip Roth
"A debut to be celebrated."
-- Washington Post Book World --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Brilliant. One of Johnson's best. Well drawn characters and many quotable lines.Published 13 months ago by D. Fitzgerald
When I began this book I wasn't very convinced , I thought it was the same story but as I was going on I felt caught by everything: the characters, the atmosphere, the landscapes,... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Maruelli Laura
First Denis Johnson I have read, which was for a book club. Good writing; it reminded me a little of Don Delillo with his use language. Read morePublished on May 10, 2013 by Christopher Jones
I did not like this book and was amazed by reading reviews comparing Johnson to Philip Roth. They could not be more different. Read morePublished on March 15, 2012 by Roberto Motta
I just finished this and was stunned by how good it is. I was not expecting such a deep picture of lower class life. Read morePublished on May 20, 2011 by Daniel T. Virtue
In this first novel by the author, stark reality, messiness, pain, despair, and grit are shoveled out in spades. Read morePublished on February 25, 2010 by J. Grattan
There is an edgy reality to this brilliant novel. Readers will not soon forget Bill Houston. It is impossible to be comfortable with him. Read morePublished on January 17, 2010 by Gary C. Marfin
Jamie and her two children leave her husband in California with a vague intention of going to her sister in Philadelphia. Read morePublished on December 2, 2009 by D. P. Birkett
I have always had a special affection for accounts of the great American highway. After all, what is more American than "the road", with its vast spaces, odd characters and diverse... Read morePublished on February 16, 2009 by Exlaw