Jesus' Son: Stories

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Macmillan, Feb 17, 2009 - Fiction - 133 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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - msf59 - LibraryThing

“The vine was different every day. Some of the most terrible things that had happened to me in my life had happened in here. But like the others I kept coming back.” “That moment in the bar, after the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TimBazzett - LibraryThing

JESUS' SON is a book in a class by itself. It's a little book of very short stories, but its language is what makes it unique. It's easy to see why so many of the late Denis Johnson's fans cite this ... Read full review

Contents

Two Men
11
Out on Bail
27
Dundun
35
Work
43
Emergency
55
Dirty Wedding
73
The Other Man
85
Happy Hour
95
Steady Hands at Seattle General
105
Beverly Home
113
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About the author (2009)

Denis Johnson (1949-2017) is the author of eight novels, one novella, one book of short stories, three collections of poetry, two collections of plays, and one book of reportage. His novel Tree of Smoke won the 2007 National Book Award.

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