Featured Post from the Past, RIP Denis Johnson

Jesus' Son: Stories by Denis Johnson

I've always been drawn to intensely literate depictions of squandered lives in various states of disrepair via the chemical catalysts of substances and/or booze.  Whether it's Leaving Las Vegas — in my mind as bleak and brilliant as Malcolm Lowry's bacchanalian masterpiece, Under the Volcano — or PermanentMidnight; or, even, going back a ways (a couple centuries or so) to Thomas De Quincey's, Confessionsof an English Opium-Eater, I'm always moved by the emotional and psychological rawness of the harrowing accounts — and reminded — by these addict's sad stories, of the kind of person I'm glad I'm not (knock on wood) and never hope to be, again.

Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son: Stories(1992), for me, is as close to being high on dope that one can become from merely ingesting words and sentences and paragraphs through one's eyes and, if read aloud, ears.  Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas doesn't come close to Jesus' Son's acute hallucinato…

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