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Tree of Smoke
by Denis Johnson

Overview - "Tree of Smoke" is the 2007 National Book Award Winner for Fiction.

One of the "New York Times" 10 Best Books of the Year

Named a Best Book of the Year by "Time," "The Washington Post," "The Boston Globe," "Chicago"" Tribune," "San Francisco"" Chronicle," "Salon," "Slate," The National Book Critics Circle, "The Christian Science Monitor.  Read more...


 
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More About Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson
 
 
 
Overview
"Tree of Smoke" is the 2007 National Book Award Winner for Fiction.

One of the "New York Times" 10 Best Books of the Year

Named a Best Book of the Year by "Time," "The Washington Post," "The Boston Globe," "Chicago"" Tribune," "San Francisco"" Chronicle," "Salon," "Slate," The National Book Critics Circle, "The Christian Science Monitor. . . .
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"Tree of Smoke "is the story of William "Skip" Sands, CIA--engaged in Pschological Operations against the Vietcong--and the disasters that befall him. It is also the story of the Houston brothers, Bill and James, young men who drift out of the Arizona desert and into a war where the line between disinformation and delusion has blurred away. In the words of Michiko Kakutani in "The New York Times," "Tree of Smoke" is "bound to become one of the classic works of literature produced by that tragic and uncannily familiar war."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780312427740
  • ISBN-10: 0312427743
  • Publisher: Picador USA
  • Publish Date: September 2008
  • Page Count: 702


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Thrillers - Espionage
Books > Fiction > War & Military

 
BookPage Reviews

Tree of Smoke

Shifting locales and points of view to provide a kaleidoscopic look at the Vietnam War, this remarkable, multilayered narrative—Johnson's eighth work of fiction—features a varied cast of characters, all with different perspectives on the conflict and different motives for their involvement. At the center of the novel is CIA officer Skip Sands, whose uncle, Col. Francis Xavier Sands, is one of the organization's most feared and revered operatives. The colonel has enlisted his young nephew in a mission called Tree of Smoke, which involves a double agent working against the Viet Cong. Skip arrives in Vietnam in 1967, only to watch and wait, following the orders of his powerful uncle without being fully informed about his role in the mission or understanding its larger parameters. He has a fleeting affair with a young Canadian nurse named Kathy, who offers compassion and sympathy in a world where those sentiments are scarce. Other figures round out the book: looking for an escape from rural Arizona, brothers Bill and James Houston sign on to the war, only to encounter fresh fears and a new kind of hopelessness. Obsessed CIA op Sgt. Jimmy Storm is determined to find out the truth about the colonel's big mission—no matter what the cost. Sprawling and complex, yet perfectly controlled, this unforgettable novel won the 2007 National Book Award for fiction, and it's easy to see why.

 
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