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Johnson, Denis. TREE OF SMOKE. New York City, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 614 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's eighth work of fiction. The single most important American literary event of the year 2007. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. It seems almost inconceivable at first that a novel about a war which ended more than a generation ago (and generated a whole new genre in literature, art, and film) should become the subject of a major new novel, Denis Johnson's first in ten years. "To write a fat novel about the Vietnam War nearly 35 years after it ended is an act of literary bravado. To do so as brilliantly as Denis Johnson has in 'Tree of Smoke' is positively a miracle. This novel makes large demands on the reader: To submit to its length, to its disorienting language and structure, to the elusive and shattering experience of its characters, and finally to its sheer ambition to be definitive. It will grab you, and get inside your head like the war it is describing: Mystifying, horrifying, mesmerizing". There is a simple reason why Vietnam is relevant again to readers and to Americans: George Bush. He flatly said that Iraq is like Vietnam. What exactly did he mean? That we cannot get out of Iraq anymore than we could get out of Vietnam. Bush was not referring to getting out physically, which we will, but mentally, emotionally, and psychologically, which we will not. Just as Vietnam has remained an indelible part of the national consciousness, so Iraq will mark and scar America forever. For once, Bush is probably right. The more we deny this fact, the more it will haunt us. "If we could hear the inner voices of soldiers in Ramadi and Baqubah, they would be thinking about coming home, the decent ones, that is. Those corrupted by war want to stay on forever, as do Denis Johnson's unforgettable, war-deranged cast of characters" (The Washington Post). Denis Johnson is a writer's writer, and the praise he has received from fellow writers is unprecedented: "Prose of amazing power" (Philip Roth). "A masterpiece" (Chris Offut). One of the absolute "must-have" titles for Modern First collectors. This title remains available in multiple subsequent printings. This is one of extremely few copies of the First Hardcover Edition still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A very scarce copy thus. Winner of the National Book Award in 2007 and Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for "Tree of Smoke". Denis Johnson's "Jesus' Son" was selected by the panel of New York Times writers, critics, and editors as one of the Top 20 most important works of American fiction of the last 25 years. One of the greatest living American writers. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER DENIS JOHNSON TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0374279128. $100.00

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