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The most successful stories in the collection offer moments of startling clarity. In "Car Crash While Hitchhiking," for instance, the narrator feels most alive while in the presence of another's loss: "Down the hall came the wife. She was glorious, burning. She didn't know yet that her husband was dead.... What a pair of lungs! She shrieked as I imagined an eagle would shriek. It felt wonderful to be alive to hear it! I've gone looking for that feeling everywhere." In "Work," while "salvaging" copper wire from a flooded house to fund their habits, the narrator and an acquaintance stop to watch the nearly unfathomable sight of a beautiful, naked woman paragliding up the river. Later the narrator learns that the house once belonged to his down-and-out accomplice and that the woman is his estranged wife. "As nearly as I could tell, I'd wandered into some sort of dream that Wayne was having about his wife, and his house," he reasons. Such is the experience for the reader. More Genet than Bukowski, Denis Johnson lures us into a misfit soul's dream from which he can't awake. --Langdon Cook --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This was a great book to buy. I stumbled upon by looking at song lyrics for the velvet underground "heroin" and this was such a lucky find. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Kevin Restrepo
Meh. The last piece in the book had some soul, but I didn't care much for the rest. He writes well and clearly has some superior skills, but most of the stories aren't about... Read morePublished 1 month ago by D.A.G.
Here is some really, really good writing.
It is hard as hell, sort of Bukowski gone darker; younger. Read more
Though written in prose, these stories remind me very much of poetry -- abstract conveyances, using a minimum number of words. This takes great skill. Read morePublished 3 months ago by DoctorJoeE