Jesus' Son: Stories by

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Dec 15, 1993 - Fiction - 160 pages
35 Reviews
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. Set in the Midwest and West, they are narrated by a young man, an alcoholic and heroin addict, whose dependencies have led him to petty crime, cruelty, betrayal, and various kinds of loss. Many of them are centered around the Vine, a bar in an Iowa town where the narrator meets his friends and forms alliances "based on something erroneous, some basic misunderstanding that hadn't yet come to light". In "Work", he and another man vandalize an empty house, stripping it of electrical wire to sell for scrap; "Dirty Wedding" evokes the emotional scars of an abortion from an unusual viewpoint; in "Beverly Home", our hero finds himself spying on a Mennonite couple through their bedroom window. In their intensity of perception, their neon-lit evocation of a strange world brought uncomfortably close, the stories in Jesus' Son offer a disturbing yet eerily beautiful portrayal of American loneliness and hope.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
20
4 stars
7
3 stars
5
2 stars
3
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - datrappert - www.librarything.com

I'm sure almost everyone reads this in one sitting. It isn't that many pages, and there are a lot of blank ones in there as well, and the type is spaced wider than usual--but you'll read it in one ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JaredOrlando - LibraryThing

Read this book. It is difficult to tell you why. There is not much like it, outside of comparisons to short story giants like Carver. Beautiful, searing, and leaves you with a lasting buzz. Read full review

Contents

Car Crash While Hitchhiking
3
Out on Bail
35
Work
55
Emergency
69
Dirty Wedding
91
The Other Man
105
Beverly Home
137
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1993)

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 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.

Bibliographic information