Book details

Tree of Smoke

A Novel

Author: Denis Johnson

Tree of Smoke

Tree of Smoke

About This Book

Twenty-five years in the making, a dark, indelible epic of the American empire in decline from the author of Jesus' Son, "one of the best and most compelling novelists in the nation" (Elle)
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One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year

"The God I want to believe in has a voice and a sense of humor like Denis Johnson's.” —Jonathan Franzen

Named A Best Book of the Year by Time, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, Slate, The National Book Critics Circle,
The Christian Science Monitor. . .

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. In the words of Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times, Tree of Smoke is "bound to become one of the classic works of literature produced by that tragic and uncannily familiar war."

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In The News

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

“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

About the Creators

Tree of Smoke

Tree of Smoke

Tree of Smoke
Tree of Smoke