Denis Johnson- Tree of Smoke

tos.jpgDenis Johnson’s “Tree of Smoke” passed two major literary milestones yesterday:

1. It won the National Book Award, and
2. I actually finished reading this 614 page monster, and in record time

As I’ve said before, I mainly just read the funny papers (and only if someone is around to help me with the bigger words) so I’ll leave the reviews to my critical betters. However, I will say that I agree with Jim Lewis’s NYT piece in at least one respect- as I rounded page 600 and headed for home, I wanted this book to be longer then it is. It’s been a while since I’ve felt that way about a book, and I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that way about anything over 600 pages. I’ll also agree with John Jeremiah Sullivan’s review from Harper’s (subscribers only) in that it’s initially hard to get into the book, due to the powerful temptation to re-read the opening scene again and again.

I hereby authorize future editions to bear the “Norm De Plume Seal Of Approval”.

Hey, did anybody else out there read this thing?  What did you think?

-Norm De Plume

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Published in: on November 15, 2007 at 11:07 am  Leave a Comment  

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