Train Dreams by Denis Johnson


You’ll read this little book in a single sitting, but it does have, as the reviews say, something of the epic about it. It spans a whole life, that of a manual worker from the North West of the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, and a pretty unremarkable life at that, more or less. But it is a beautiful novel. Written in seemingly simple and spare prose, it manages to get across the depth and scope of a single existence, as well as the feel and difference of a different time and place. But the writer adeptly twists the reader into strange places and what is seemingly simple prose is felt to be seething in its complexity. A great novel. A great writer.

Mr A


See what the guardian had to say…


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