By Denis Johnson, published 1992. Stories lavishly praised by everyone including John Updike, some published in the New Yorker no less, deranged narratives out of alcoholism and drug psychosis shot through with veins of the purest gold, golden language I mean. William Burroughs territory here, only West Coast rural not Manhattan, and kind of linear. But once is enough.

Because, you see, I was there in the seventies, I saw people not make it through all that, and my personal best friendship was holed below the waterline on the rocks of alcoholism, so unlike many books that have touched me I won’t read this again; people who haven’t been close, and other people who have been there and made it through, both those kinds of people might really enjoy it.


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June 06, 2003
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