« Ce livre concis et poétique sent la morille et le bois calciné. C'est une fable transpercée par les hurlements des loups et les jappements des coyotes en délire, un hymne à l'odeur âcre des épicéas géants que des bûcherons loqueteux débitent en billes, là-bas, au fin fond de l'Ouest américain, pour construire, au péril de leur vie, des ponts de chemin de fer en équilibre au-dessus des canyons. [...] Un roman qui vous emporte loin dans le silence et dans l'azur. »
Florence Noiville, Le Monde des livres
Au début du XXe siècle, Robert Grainier travaille à la construction des chemins de fer qui, très vite, parcourront l'Amérique. Un combat de l'homme contre la nature dans des paysages à l'immensité sauvage. Mais ce n'est pas le seul combat que mène Grainier : ébranlé par un drame personnel, il tente de donner un sens à un monde qui en a perdu, alors que son pays connaît des années décisives qui transforment profondément son identité.
Roland Nair travaille pour l'Otan. Après dix ans d'absence au Sierra Leone, cet agent danois est de retour à Freetown : son ami Michael Adriko souhaite lui présenter sa fiancée américaine. Personnage trouble, qui aurait entre autres servi dans l'armée ghanéenne et dans la garde rapprochée de l'émir du Koweït, Adriko vient de déserter une unité des forces spéciales américaines opérant en Afrique. Nair soupçonne rapidement que l'amitié n'est pas le seul motif de son invitation mais accepte néanmoins d'accompagner le couple dans le centre de l'Afrique pour rendre visite au clan d'Adriko... Multipliant tromperies, péripéties et enlèvements, les trois voyageurs vont pénétrer clandestinement dans une zone de combats, à la frontière entre Ouganda et Congo. « [On lit Denis Johnson] pour l'effet troublant et l'éclatante stupéfaction qu'il procure. Un écrivain devrait toujours écrire de façon à ce que personne ne puisse ignorer le monde alentour, et que personne ne puisse dire qu'il n'a rien à voir avec tout ça. [...] C'est ainsi que Johnson écrit. » The New York Times Book Review « Ce roman est un merveilleux exemple de l'écriture de Johnson dans son style le plus accessible. » The Daily Beast
'A dazzling and savage first novel' New York TimesAngels tells the story of two born losers. Jamie has ditched her husband and is running away with her two baby girls. Bill is dreaming of making it big in a life of crime. They meet on a Greyhound bus and decide to team up. So begins a stunning, tragic odyssey through the dark underbelly of America - the bars, bus stations, mental wards and prisons that play host to Jamie and Bill as they find themselves trapped in a downward spiral though rape, alcohol, drugs and crime, to madness and death.From the author of Tree of Smoke, winner of the National Book Award for Fiction
'In this land of chaos and despair, all I can do is wish for magic armour and the power to disappear.'Freetown, Sierra Leone. A city of heat and dirt, of guns and militia. Alone in its crowded streets, Captain Roland Nair has been given a single assignment. He must find Michael Adriko - maverick, warrior, and the man who has saved Nair's life three times and risked it many more.The two men have schemed, fought and profited together in the most hostile regions of the world. But on this new level - espionage, state secrets, treason - their loyalties will be tested to the limit.This is a brutal journey through a land abandoned by the future - a journey that will lead them to meet themselves not in a new light, but in a new darkness.
Tree of Smoke - the name given to a 'psy op' that might or might not be hypothetical and might or might not be officially sanctioned - is Denis Johnson's most gripping, visionary and ambitious work to date. Set in south-east Asia and the US, and spanning two decades, it ostensibly tells the story of Skip Sands, a CIA spy who may or may not be engaged in psychological operations against the Viet Cong -- but also takes the reader on a surreal yet vivid journey, dipping in and out of characters' lives to reveal fundamental truths at the heart of the human condition. 'A Catch-22 for our times' Alan Warner, Books of the Year, Observer 'The God I want to believe in has a voice and a sense of humour like Denis Johnson's' Jonathan Franzen 'An epic of drenched sensuality and absurdly chewable dialogue, as though Don DeLillo and Joseph Heller had collaborated on a Vietnam war novel' Steven Poole, Books of the Year, New Statesman
Twenty-five years after Jesus’ Son, a haunting new collection of short stories on mortality and transcendence, from National Book Award winner and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Denis Johnson
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is the long-awaited new story collection from Denis Johnson. Written in the luminous prose that made him one of the most beloved and important writers of his generation, this collection finds Johnson in new territory, contemplating the ghosts of the past and the elusive and unexpected ways the mysteries of the universe assert themselves.
Finished shortly before Johnson’s death, this collection is the last word from a writer whose work will live on for many years to come.
Praise for The Largesse of the Sea Maiden
/> “Denis Johnson’s posthumous collection winks from beyond the grave. . . . Johnson told aspiring authors to write as if ink were blood, because it is precious. So are farewells like this. . . . It is a vital addition to Johnson’s oeuvre.”--Time
“Johnson offers visions and sadness and laughter. But it’s the sentences--those adamantine, poetic sentences--that made him one of America’s great and lasting writers. It’s the sentences that live on.”--The Boston Globe
“The secret of all this is the shifting wattage, the slipshod magnificence and crazy wonder of the Johnsonian sentence. Clause by clause, word by word, anything becomes plausible. . . . Whatever Johnson had gone through, however he expressed it on the page, it would all have been wasted had it not ended up being funny, because then a major percentage of wisdom would have been missing. . . . He led a certain life and found ways of giving expression to that life.”--Geoff Dyer, The Guardian
“We lost one of the great writers of his generation last year, but before his death, Denis Johnson finished off one final, brilliant short story collection. . . . Beautifully indicates Johnson’s singular voice, the way he contemplated the past and edges toward the cosmic.”--Entertainment Weekly
“These four stories rank with Johnson’s best work, but the title story, a catalogue of singular moments related by a man who tells us he’s passing through life as if it were a masquerade, ranks with the best fiction published by any American writer during this short century.”--New York Magazine
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is the long-awaited new story collection from Denis Johnson, author of the groundbreaking, highly acclaimed Jesus' Son. Written in the same luminous prose, this collection finds Johnson in new territory, contemplating mortality, the ghosts of the past, and the elusive and unexpected ways the mysteries of the universe assert themselves. Finished shortly before Johnson's death, this collection is the last word from a writer whose work will live on for many years to come.
‘Think Reservoir Dogs or Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men. Think Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy’ LIONEL SHRIVER, Daily Telegraph Jimmy Luntz owes money to a man called Juarez. Trouble is, Juarez isn't the most patient of men. And when he gets bored of waiting, he sends someone round to collect. Luntz doesn't actually plan to shoot the guy, but the way he sees it, it's shoot or be shot. Either way, though, Luntz is out of his league, and he knows it: nobody messes with Juarez – or, at least, nobody messes with Juarez and lives to tell the tale. ‘Johnson can’t help slathering the story’s pages in his usual idiosyncratic brilliance . . . Reaching the end, the exhilarated reader is blindsided by the hint of something huge’ Guardian ‘A fast-paced, violent, hugely entertaining crime caper, packed with terrific set pieces and crackling dialogue. The fun that Johnson obviously had writing it steams off every page’ Sunday Telegraph ‘Johnson’s writing looks extremely simple. Let me tell you it is not – this kind of sare, poetic, humorous storytelling is only for the big boys. This is brilliant’ The Times