Recently adapted for the screen, this now-classic collection of ten stories from the author of Resuscitation of a Hanged Man and Angels is narrated by a young man, a recovering alcholic and heroin addict whose dependencies have led him to petty crime, cruelty, betrayal, and various kinds of loss.
“Reading these stories is like reading ticker tape from the subconscious.” —The Nation
“A work of spare beauty and almost religious intensity.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Intense, vicious, and beautiful, these stories are fraught with a cutting wit purposefully juxtaposed against the too-big sentimentality of a drunk. Denis Johnson is an exquisite writer.” —Mary Gaitskill
“[Dennis Johnson is] a synthesizer of profoundly American voices: we can hear Twain in his biting irony, Whitman in his erotic excess, not a little of Dashiell Hammett too in the hard sentences he throws back at his gouged, wounded world. And behind all these you sense something else: a visionary angel, a Kerouac, or, better yet, a Blake, who has seen his demon and yearned for God and forged a language to contain them both.” —Newsday
“Ferocious intensity. . . . No American novelist since William Burroughs has so flagrantly risked 'insensitivity' in an effort to depict the pathology of addiction.” —The New York Times Book Review