Tree of Smoke


Tree of Smoke

"Tree of Smoke" is a 2007 novel by American author Denis Johnson which won the National Book Award for fiction. [cite web
title = National Book Foundation
url=http://www.nationalbook.org/nba2007_f_johnson.html
accessdate = 2006-04-30
] [Citation |last=Thompson |first=Bob |title=Johnson's 'Tree of Smoke' Wins National Book Award |url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/14/AR2007111402806.html |publisher="Washington Post" |date=2007-11-15 |accessdate=2007-11-15] It is about a man named Skip Sands who joins the CIA in 1965, and begins working in Vietnam during the American involvement there. The time frame of the novel is from 1963 to 1970, with a coda set in 1983. One of the protagonists of "Tree of Smoke" is Bill Houston, who was the main character in Johnson's debut novel "Angels", published in 1983.

Critical reception

Reviews of the book have been overwhelmingly favorable, with a few exceptions. "Atlantic Monthly" reviewer B.R. Myers criticized the novel, citing perceived failures in prose, dialogue, and characterization. [ [http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200712/vietnam A Bright Shining Lie ] ] . Other critics did not perceive such flaws, and "Tree of Smoke" was swiftly cited as one of the Best Books of 2007 by "The New York Times", whose reviewer, Jim Lewis, called the book "a massive thing and something like a masterpiece". [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/02/books/review/Lewis3-t.html New York Times Sept. 2, 2007] ] "Time" magazine's Lev Grossman named it one of the Top 10 Fiction Books of 2007, ranking it at #5. Grossman praised the book as "the most ambitious novel of the year, and one of the greatest." [Grossman, Lev; "The 10 Best Fiction Books"; "Time" magazine; December 24, 2007; Pages 44 - 45.] [ [http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/top10/article/0,30583,1686204_1686244_1691858,00.html Grossman, Lev; Top 10 Fiction Books; time.com] ]

Footnotes

External links

* [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/02/books/review/Lewis3-t.html?ref=review "The Revelator"] , by Jim Lewis, "The New York Times Book Review", September 2, 2007.
* [http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/prem/200712/vietnam "A Bright Shining Lie"] , by B. R. Myers, "The Atlantic", December 2007.
* [http://www.slate.com/id/2181246 Slate magazine Book Club Podcast] . Critics Meghan O'Rourke, Katie Roiphe, and James Surowiecki discuss the novel Tree of Smoke.


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