Don’t take our word for it …
Yesterday, The Diane Rehm Show invited The Washington Post book critic and fiction editor Ron Charles on the show along with NPR’s Michele Norris and historian Eric Rutkow to discuss Denis Johnson’s novella Train Dreams for their Readers’ Review segment.
For Ron Charles, this was the first book he’d read for fun in 15 years and found it “starling, moving, really remarkable.” Michele Norris “loved it” and said it had the feeling of a “great exhale … a gale force wind.” For Eric Rutkow, it was “remarkable how many of the main themes in American history could show up in a such a small number of pages …”
You can listen to the show here.
Denis Johnson is the author of six novels, three collections of poetry, and one book of reportage. His novel Tree of Smoke was the 2007 winner of the National Book Award.
Train Dreams is an epic in miniature, one of his most evocative and poignant fictions. It is the story of Robert Grainier, a day laborer in the American West at the start of the twentieth century—-an ordinary man in extraordinary times. Buffeted by the loss of his family, Grainer struggles to make sense of this strange new world. As his story unfolds, we witness both his shocking personal defeats and the radical changes that transform America in his lifetime. Suffused with the history and landscapes of the American West, this novella by the National Book Award—winning author of Tree of Smoke captures the disappearance of a distinctly American way of life.