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Tree of Smoke

Tree of Smoke Once upon a time there was a war and a young American who thought of himself as the Quiet American and the Ugly American and who wished to be neither who wanted instead to be the Wise American or t

  • Title: Tree of Smoke
  • Author: Denis Johnson
  • ISBN: 9780374279127
  • Page: 485
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Once upon a time there was a war and a young American who thought of himself as the Quiet American and the Ugly American, and who wished to be neither, who wanted instead to be the Wise American, or the Good American, but who eventually came to witness himself as the Real American and finally as simply the Fucking American That s me This is the story of Skip SandsOnce upon a time there was a war and a young American who thought of himself as the Quiet American and the Ugly American, and who wished to be neither, who wanted instead to be the Wise American, or the Good American, but who eventually came to witness himself as the Real American and finally as simply the Fucking American That s me.This is the story of Skip Sands spy in training, engaged in Psychological Operations against the Vietcong and the disasters that befall him thanks to his famous uncle, a war hero known in intelligence circles simply as the Colonel This is also the story of the Houston brothers, Bill and James, young men who drift out of the Arizona desert into a war in which the line between disinformation and delusion has blurred away In its vision of human folly, and its gritty, sympathetic portraits of men and women desperate for an end to their loneliness, whether in sex or death or by the grace of God, this is a story like nothing in our literature.Tree of Smoke is Denis Johnson s first full length novel in nine years, and his most gripping, beautiful, and powerful work to date.Tree of Smoke is the 2007 National Book Award Winner for Fiction.

    Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson Sep , Tree of Smoke is a novel by American author Denis Johnson It won the National Book Award for Fiction and became finalist in the Pulitzer award on that year It won the National Book Award for Fiction and became finalist in the Pulitzer award on that year. Tree of Smoke Jun , Directed by Stephen Billick With Patrick Gathron, Jared Malik Royal, Elizabeth Trieu, Alan Trong Philippines, , a CIA employee is living in a villa working to cross reference a catalogue of South East Asian intel gathered by his uncle Meanwhile, a young Marine from Phoenix is stationed at the U.S Naval base on Subic Bay waiting to find his way into the conflict slowly growing in Vietnam. Tree of Smoke Johnson, Denis Tree of Smoke is a masterpiece of language and depth San Francisco Chronicle Johnson has captured the zeitgeist of American experience as surely as Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson, Paperback Barnes Noble Sep , Tree of Smoke is the story of William Skip Sands, CIA engaged in Psychological Operations against the Vietcong and the disasters that befall him It is also the story of the Houston brothers, Bill and James, young men who drift out of the Arizona desert and into a war where the line between disinformation and delusion has blurred away. Tree Of Smoke Denis Johnson Hardcover Tree of Smoke is the story of William Skip Sands, CIA engaged in Pschological Operations against the Vietcong and the disasters that befall him It is also the story of the Houston brothers, Bill and James, young men who drift out of the Arizona desert and into a war where the line between disinformation and delusion has blurred away.

    • Unlimited Tree of Smoke - by Denis Johnson
      485 Denis Johnson

    About Author

    1. Denis Johnson says:
      Poet, playwright and author Denis Johnson was born in Munich, West Germany in 1949 and was raised in Tokyo, Manila and Washington He earned a masters degree from the University of Iowa and received many awards for his work, including a Lannan Fellowship in Fiction 1993 , a Whiting Writer s Award 1986 , the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction from the Paris Review for Train Dreams, and most recently, the National Book Award for Fiction 2007.

    Comment 826 on “Tree of Smoke

    1. Jason says:
      It s here folks How to Win the National Book Award for Dummies Denis Johnson has pulled heavily from this publication for his novel Tree of Smoke Let s highlight the recommendations he used to win the Book Award for fiction 3 Explore a topic of great controversy for the country and its people.Johnson the Vietnam War 6 Story must be sweeping, at least 500 pages.Johnson 614 7 Include at least 5 main characters with individual story threads.Johnson 8.7.a Threads should intertwine but not entirely.J [...]

    2. Michelle says:
      From this book I learned to carefully check materials before checking them out of my local library When I saw Tree of Smoke on the shelf, I happily checked it out and couldn t wait to get it home and start reading it I am a fan of Denis Johnson s work, and this was his first novel in about nine years.When I flipped to the title page, there was what looked like a flattened booger on it I really wanted to read the book so I quickly flipped the page and started reading anyway A few minutes later I [...]

    3. Joshua Canaan says:
      I am not reviewing this book, as I consider myself to be utterly unqualified and am not sufficiently infatuated with my own sense of taste I liked it A lot Hence the stars There.What I m really delighting in right now, however, is how thoroughly unqualified B.R Myers proved himself to be as well His Atlantic Monthly review found at my link text of Tree of Smoke is a display of such blind zealotry that I can t decide between crying out for him to be publicly horsewhipped and merely laughing my as [...]

    4. Drew says:
      This book was my own personal Vietnam An unwinnable war of attrition which I nevertheless remained committed to winning for an almost absurd amount of time More significant things happened in my own life during the time I was reading it than happened in the first 400 pages of the book itself Okay, objectively that s a lie, I suppose But that s how it seemed Denis Missing a Letter Johnson is supposed to be a great writer, and I can almost believe he is, but that s just what it would be a belief B [...]

    5. Eisnein says:
      Tree of Smoke The Lords of Fear Discord Tree of Smoke the title could be a metaphor for Johnson s accomplishment with this novel if the smoke is the stylistic mastery of prose he s always possessed, the tree would be the solid, organic story at the novels core He s always had substance behind his narrative than some of the other great American stylists, like Don Delillo but ToS is far rich in character and plot than anything he s written before The naysayers can go fuck themselves This novel d [...]

    6. Szplug says:
      It s quite true that, from the United States perspective, the Second World War was the last conflict that could be considered a feel good success Everything since has either yet to be concluded, or produced a stalemate or checkmate that provided, at best, a wan satisfaction at worst, an inflamed and interminable bout of indigestion and, of the latter, certainly none painful and unsettling than those long years of struggle that encompassed the Vietnam War To the nation that defended Southeast As [...]

    7. Jason Pettus says:
      My full review of this book is much longer than GoodReads word count limitations Find the entire essay at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter So before anything else, a little history lessonFrom the mid 1800s until World War II, the Asian country now known as Vietnam was in actuality controlled by France and operated as a colony during WWII, then, the Japanese invaded the area so as to install a Vichy style fascist government It was the Vietnamese, in fact, who eventual [...]

    8. Alex says:
      Tree of Smoke is something like a good, plot driven thriller like LeCarr than Clancy injected with a heady dose of fog of war It s a novel that looks at the Vietnam War through a wonderfully tuned eye for the humane, a critical piece that has no truck with the clich activisms we re used to It s a novel about the human effects of fighting for abstractions It s about forgiveness and salvation, about guilt itself in the face of the unswerving trueness of death It s about what we do to the world in [...]


    9. Phillip says:
      Like many of you, I can t figure out why this book won the NBA Not that DJ isn t a great writer, and parts of TOS are wonderfully constructed But as a reader of hundreds of books on Vietnam and a three year all expenses paid visit there during the war, I didn t find insight into a darn thing, nothing new or meaningful And I can turn and look at dozens of books on my shelf which are all of the above And they didn t win squat Obviously, some of you did Some of the comments few actual reviews are f [...]


    10. Janet says:
      Another book from Les Plesko s No Stopping Train incredible book list, Denis Johnson s Tree of Smoke almost reaches the level of literary sublimity and transcendence of Robert Stone s quintessential Vietnam book Dog Soldiers Line for line precise, vivid, achingly beautiful, it s the interwoven stories of a double handful of characters beginning in the Phillipines just as Kennedy is assassinated, and moving through the Vietnam experience ending in the 1980 s as the last characters are mopped up T [...]

    11. W says:
      First of all, TREE OF SMOKE is as similar to JESUS SON as DUBLINERS is with ULYSSES Compare a writer messing around with his experience and craft and an author who has come under the full blown power of his pen One can also say TREE OF SMOKE is about Vietnam in the same way MOBY DICK is about whaling I will wait until a second reading, but we may have our first great American novel since Faulkner and, in a certain sense, Dreiser Tree of Smoke is a literal translation of the Hebrew be ayammu, f [...]

    12. Dennis D. says:
      I don t usually read others reviews before writing one of my own, but I had to in this case, because I figured I must have been reading a different book than everyone else I picked this up in the first place because so many people liked it National Book Award, numerous Top 10 lists for 2007, including NYT, Time, and EW I rarely give up on a book, but I came close with this one a number of times for instance, at page 300, 400, 500even 600 I forged on, buoyed by all the acclaim and my own inabilit [...]

    13. Caitlin says:
      Tree of Smoke , in my opinion, is an all or nothing kind of book You are either going to love it or hate Claimed as the Catch 22 of our times and given that the Heller novel is my all time favorite I suppose it is inevitable that I would love it.As much as Catch 22 was an anti Vietnam hidden behind a WWII novel, Tree of Smoke can be read as an anti Iraq novel hidden behind a Vietnam novel.It is a gripping novel that opens with Kennedy assassination in 1963 It follows Skip Sands, a serviceman who [...]


    14. Francisco H. González says:
      Despu s de haber le do y disfrutado con Sue os de trenes de Denis Johnson un tipo que sin llegar al rigor de Pynchon gusta de permanecer oculto, a fin de que sean sus textos literarios los que hablen por l, lo cual por otro lado es lo l gico si uno se gana la vida escribiendo y no a acudiendo a fiestas, televisiones, promociones, gapes y dem s variantes publicitarias , me pareci una buena opci n dedicar mi tiempo, casi un mes, a leer este libro por el que Denis Johnson recibi el National Book Aw [...]

    15. Krista says:
      Uncle F.X pillar of fire, tree of smoke, wanted to raise a great tree in his own image, a mushroom cloud if not a real one over the rubble of Hanoi, then its dreaded possibility in the mind of Uncle Ho, the Enemy King And who could say the delirious old warrior didn t grapple after actual truths Intelligence, data, analysis be damned to hell with reason, categories, synthesis, common sense All was ideology and imagery and conjuring Fires to light the minds and heat the acts of men And cow their [...]

    16. Diane says:
      I must not be smart enough for this book because I didn t love it the way I know I should have The critical reviews of this book were amazing words like masterpiece were used often see eg NYT review To me, this novel felt like work, so much so that I had to take breaks and read the truly awful Sushi for Beginners just to get through it The story is complicated because there are so many characters it becomes hard to focus on the so called main ones The narrative changes frequently and suddenly yo [...]

    17. K.D. Absolutely says:
      Vietnam War 1955 1975 With Philippines just an ocean away and with its then several US Military Bases, the country became the launching pad of US strikes and attacks against the Vietcong and their Communist allies Tree of Smoke is a 2007 novel by American author Denis Johnson It won the National Book Award for Fiction and became finalist in the Pulitzer award on that year I have no doubt that it deserves both It is a huge book, 700 and my copy is the 1st edition hardbound Since I normally read w [...]

    18. Ben says:
      I admit I was biased toward this novel even before I opened it, due partly to prior admiration toward Denis Johnson and partly to the fact that this is the most beautifully designed book I own I just want to hold it and look at it and rub it against my face.That said.Everything is accomplished in this book The Vietnam War is approached from a variety of angles infantry, tunnel rat, South Vietnamese fighter pilot, North Vietnamese agent, CIA operative, outsourced assassin to attempt to give a com [...]

    19. Grant Faulkner says:
      I think I m Denis Johnson s ideal reader in some ways his first novel, Angels, and then his collection of short stories, Jesus s Son, are among my favorite books So I was eager to read Tree of Smoke, especially after several reviews elevated it to masterpiece status and it was nominated for a National Book Award The novel is ambitious, but doesn t deliver The things Johnson does so well for example, his keen, poignant portraits of people desperately clinging to the edge of life don t quite come [...]

    20. RB says:
      Again, Denis Johnson, this time with a large, 600 page tome, has devastated this reader Having been speechless after reading Tree of Smoke and only having finished it a day ago, this review will be slight when what this book needs is a proper, well though out critical essay and that is not what is going to happen.In short line for line, character by character, this book is all too real This is a mammoth undertaking and it is an even bigger success For those who have read Angels you will be elate [...]

    21. Joseph says:
      This is essentially a spy war thriller with a philosophical and poetic edge A standard cast of characters a somewhat conflicted, young CIA agent his older, worldly boss some shadowy bureaucrats back at Langley a love interest an assassin a double agent and the assortment of enlisted men the psychos, the slobs, the walking wounded, the straights The book focuses on thriller type scenes, usually violent, with alternating domestic scenes to give some local color or background.The novel is captivati [...]

    22. KFed says:
      Tree of Smoke is a failure A very good, very long, likable failure It is like spending an afternoon attempting to skip stones across a river and failing in this effort while succeeding in other important ways The stones never skip but do you not learn about the stones, and about yourself, in the process Does your mind not increasingly hone in to the small successes and failures that determine the fate of each throw Do you not remain entranced despite mounting frustrations This was my experience [...]

    23. Tripp says:
      There are Tree of Smoke lovers and haters Count me on the side of the lovers The time shifts in the first section might make you think you are in for a trippy update of Dispatches, but the book quickly moves into a year by year account of the destruction of a number of American and Vietnamese lives.The title represents a number of images and themes in the book It references a verse in the Bible which a grizzled intelligence vet uses as a code name and a kind of mantra The tree is used to signify [...]

    24. John says:
      I m still not sure what I feel about this book Frankly, after reading a number reviews here on I can sympathize with them all So maybe that makes it a fascinating book If you are wondering whether to put this on your list read 10 or so of the first reviews and you ll save yourself some time.Yes this book IS about Vietnam You know the war Another book Nam And I think to compare it to other earlier novels on the topic is fair But it s approaching 40 years later and he actually finished it now even [...]

    25. William says:
      If you like an epic story this is for you I wanted to give it 4 stars but the number of interwoven stories deterred me I can see this being a plus for many There are no heroes or saviors here If you need at least one good guy in your novel you won t find one here No matter how heroic they start out to be If your of a certain age as I am when Vietnam and S.E Asia were the every day topic of conversation then the amazing ability of the author to bring those headlines to life and put you inside jun [...]

    26. Andrew says:
      Let s talk about Big Sprawling Novels, or, from here on out, BSN s I m not talking about War and Peace or Ulysses or The Magic Mountain While these were precursors to the modern BSN, they tried to contain the whole world in a cogent narrative, even if, as in Ulysses it was told in an unconventional way And I m not referring to big realist novels like those being produced by Jonathan Franzen or Zadie Smith.The new BSN can draw a direct lineage to Thomas Pynchon Especially Gravity s Rainbow It inc [...]

    27. Joey says:
      Tree of Smoke, Denis Johnson s National Book Award winning Vietnam epic, ends with a former missionary, her belief long since burned away by the sadness of the world, looking over a crowd of people, seeing all their hidden sorrows, and thinking that all will be saved The way we read this novel hinges on how we take that final statement Is it bit of hard earned wisdom, or just another self delusion in a book filled with characters in various stages of developing and being stripped of the kind of [...]

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