The Resuscitation of a Hanged Man A Novel

Denis Johnson




Trade Paperback

272 Pages



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In the bleak of November, Lenny English drifts into the Cape Cod resort of Provincetown. Recovering from a recent suicide attempt, his soul suspended in its own off-season, he takes a job as a third-shift disk jockey, with a little private detective work on the side for his boss. As Lenny falls in love with a beautiful young local, a woman whose sexual orientation should preclude the affair, he soon begins his first assignment, a search for a missing painter whose personal history seems to mirror his own. In pursuit of the artist—and love, and redemption—Lenny will resort to great and desperate measures to revive himself, and his faith in the world.


Praise for The Resuscitation of a Hanged Man

"Denis Johnson is an artist. He writes with a natural authority, and there is real music in his prose."—Mona Simpson, The New York Times Book Review
"A classic . . . the touch of one of the finest novelists living today."—Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Johnson is an author who has captured the zeitgeist of American experience as surely as Twain, Hemingway or Ellison."—Andrew Hubner, New York Post
"An utterly brilliant and original talent, a novelist who reminds us just how wonderful fiction can be."—The Philadelphia Inquirer 
"The God I want to believe in has a voice and a sense of humor like Denis Johnson’s."—Jonathan Franzen

"One of the best and most compelling novelists in the nation."—Elle

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Resuscitation of a Hanged Man
1980He came there in the off-season. So much was off. All bets were off. The last deal was off. His timing was off, or he wouldn't have come here at this moment, and also every second arc lamp along the peninsular highway was switched off. He'd been through several states along the turnpikes, through weary tollgates and stained mechanical restaurants, and by now he felt as if he'd crossed a hostile foreign land to reach this fog with nobody in it, only yellow lights blinking and yellow signs wandering past the car's windows silently. There was a single fair-sized
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  • Denis Johnson

  • Denis Johnson is the author of six novels, three collections of poetry, and one book of reportage. His novel Tree of Smoke was the 2007 winner of the National Book Award.

  • Denis Johnson © Cindy Lee Johnson
    Denis Johnson