OVERRIDE

Tree of Smoke

A Novel

Denis Johnson

Picador

Winner of the National Book Award
A Pulitzer Prize Finalist
Longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year
A Time Magazine Top 10 of the Year
A Boston Globe Best Book of the Year
A Washington Post Top 10 Book of the Year
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year
A Chicago Tribune Favorite Book of the Year
A Seattle Times Favorite Book of the Year
A Library Journal  Best Book of the Year
 
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.
 
Also available on CD as an unabridged audiobook.  Please email academic@macmillan.com for more information.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Chapter one
Last night at 3:00 a.m. President Kennedy had been killed. Seaman Houston and the other two recruits slept while the first reports traveled around the world. There was one small nightspot on the island, a dilapidated club with big revolving fans in the ceiling and one bar and one pinball game; the two marines who ran the club had come by to wake them up and tell themwhat had happened to the President. The two marines sat with the three sailors on the bunks in the Quonset hut for transient enlisted men, watching the air conditioner drip water into a coffee can and drinking beer. The
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  • Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson--Audiobook Excerpt

    Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Denis Johnson's novel Tree of Smoke, the 2007 National Book Award Winner for Fiction. 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.

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REVIEWS

Praise for Tree of Smoke

"Denis Johnson is a true American artist, and Tree of Smoke is a tremendous book."--The New York Times Book Review

"The God I want to believe in has a voice and a sense of humor like Denis Johnson's."--Jonathan Franzen
 
"I can't be sure that there's been a better American novel published in the past ten years. It is a masterpiece."--The Miami Herald

"It will . . . get inside your head like the war it is describing--mystifying, horrifying, mesmerizing. [Johnson] has written a book that by the end wraps around you as tightly as a snake."--The Washington Post Book World

"Tree of Smoke is a masterpiece of language and depth."--San Francisco Chronicle

"Johnson has captured the zeitgeist of American experience as surely as Twain, Hemingway, or Ellison."--New York Post

"Opens a window onto a world of mystery, war, and intrigue whose importance in the (usually) unwritten history of our republic can't be denied."--Chicago Tribune
 
"Johnson has written his War and Peace." --Harper's Magazine
 

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Denis Johnson

  • Denis Johnson is the author of seven works of fiction, three collections of poetry, and one book of reportage. He is the recipient of a Lannan Fellowship and a Whiting Writers' Award, among many other honors for his work.

  • Denis Johnson © Cindy Lee Johnson
    Denis Johnson
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Available Formats and Book Details

Tree of Smoke

A Novel

Denis Johnson

National Book Awards Winner, Pulitzer Prize - Finalist

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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