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review 2015-12-29 18:13
Jesus' Son: Heartstopping Fiction
Jesus' Son - Denis Johnson

Like Philip Seymour Hoffman in the movie Before the Devil Knows You're Dead but better. Writing in what some reviewers have called "hallucinatory" prose, Johnson loves these tender, broken men (and their women) beyond reasoning.

 

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review 2013-10-28 11:28
Enjoyably strange
Jesus' Son: Stories - Denis Johnson

Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son is the strangest collection I have ever read. Even though they're stories, they're connected. The stories are narrated by a junkie, F.H. (not his real name, but in time you'll find out exactly what F.H. stands for). Stories begin and end without warning, almost giving the book a strange dreamlike feeling. Maybe that's the point. I thought it was a very unique way to go about it and I found myself fully absorbed into the stories.

 

I listened to the audiobook, and it was read by Will Patton who did an amazing job. He's quickly becoming one of my favorite readers.

 

4 stars

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review 2013-09-25 00:00
Jesus' Son - Denis Johnson Having just finished this on audiobook (compelled to do so by the recent New Yorker podcast reading and discussion of it), I am ready to start again at the beginning and listen again. So many great lines just dropped on you when you least expect it. Images I won't forget for a while - I hope.
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review 2013-06-26 00:00
Jesus' Son - Denis Johnson Jesus' Son was a rather interesting read. The stories contained within the volume all appear related, yet there doesn't seem to be any order as far as the timeline goes. Then again, the stories are from the point of view of a "fucktard".
Reading the praise on the back cover, given by various publications, I was expecting something entirely different from what I've got. The review snippets mention Twain, Burroughs, Kerouac, Whitman, Blake. I did not see it.
Nonetheless, to give praise where praise is due, Mr. Johnson does write a compelling story with well-rounded characters and interesting settings. What I saw in this book, once you look past the drug-induced self-destructive behavior, was a man grasping at straws. I've read a few other books that addressed issues similar to what Mr. Johnson writes about; however, most of them lacked the character depth seen here. The seemingly uncaring individual lost in a drug haze is actually a conflicted human being with dignity (albeit not the first choice when it comes to character), internal conflict, aspirations, and flaws. Yes, there are flaws, but humans are flawed. Our "fucktard", at times, just wants to be left alone, undisturbed, uninfluenced...to just be. Unfortunately, that is almost impossible.
So, while I did not get the promised aforementioned authors' influences, I did get a dose of reality (not mine, fortunately), a nice serving of emotions, well-crafted characters, good scene depictions, and a large portion of despair sprinkled with a little bit of hope. A read certainly worth its time, especially if you enjoy uncompromising honesty.
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review 2012-12-11 00:00
Jesus' Son - Denis Johnson This is the funniest book in the universe, for a moment, then a page later it's unbearably sad. The story of drug addict told in electrifying prose. Short and powerful, highly recommended
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