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Jesus' Son: Stories Paperback – February 17, 2009
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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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.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
What this book does, better than any other book I've read, is capture the beauty and tragedy of these lost lives. Johnson is great at imagery, whether the misty, sunlit dive bar on a rickety pier, or the deserted drive-in in the snow. He's also great at writing from the inside of these characters-- their tragic worldview makes sense through their eyes. The hallucinatory beauty of these "prose-poems" goes hand-in-hand with the altered perceptions of the characters-- these people live as if in a dream state.
If you're ready to write off people on the fringes of society, then you probably won't appreciate this book. Like he did in "Angels," Johnson takes these forgotten people, and makes them live and breathe on the page. Many times, his characters seem more truly alive than those who would write them off or forget about them.
Palahniuk's endorsement was good enough for me. Any book that someone has read more than two hundred times must be worthwhile, or at least worth taking a look at. Besides, this remarkable collection of short stories is only 160 pages long, the pages are small (I measured it and it was about 7' x 4'), and there are not many words on each page. It doesn't take long to read. If it matters, I also always knew Denis Johnson was out there, a highly regarded poet and novelist, ever since 'Fiskadoro' had been published more than a decade ago. I had to read something by him sometime.
I sat down last night and started reading 'Jesus' Son' and didn't put it down until I was finished. It didn't take me long and was worth every minute. 'Jesus' Son' contains eleven short stories, all written in the first person, all connected by the common voice of the same narrator, a young, strung-out misfit whose pathology permeates every story. The stories are grim, just like the dark, desperate life of the narrator, just like the violent, disconnected, drug-clouded lives of the people who surround him. They are stories in which the narrator seemingly transcends his life, his drug- and alcohol-induced cloud of unknowing illuminating an at times crystalline-pure vision of the world.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My professor recommended this book and I am glad it did not disappoint. Each story brought me along with the characters. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Justly LaShay
hands down one of the best collections of short stories published in the last 60 years. It's unbelievably well written and engaging from cover to cover. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Christine
Incredible writing. I wan't to read everything Denis Johnson has written.Published 3 months ago by DJ
I'm not sure what to say about this book. It was well written but vague & non-linear. A short, quick read.Published 4 months ago by Katherine E. Stein
I would honestly like my money back. I am an avid reader and loved books such as requiem for a dream and last exit to brooklyn. Read morePublished 5 months ago by jolea brown