The only positive thing I found about this "work" was the wonderful narration.
From someone familiar with many things from that time period it is obvious that the so called writer was on some magical mushrooms or something when he tried to write this story.
There was no due diligence for research done in preparing for this book.
The web was not woven connecting anything or anyone.
DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY OR TIME.
This was the most diasappointing work I have tried here in dozens and dozens of books over a period of years.
The author seems to have taken some of the drugs that his characters took. Although this is interesting from a historical perspective, the narrative is disjointed and too hard to follow.
I have never written a review before, but I feel compelled to write my opinion of this book. Like some others, I found this book to be a total waste of 21 hours of listening. I must say that narrator Will Patton did a superb job catching the tenor of the book perfectly.
There is no discernable story line. I found it to be a collection of disjointed whiney musings of several very depressed individuals none of which had any obvious socially redeemable qualities. The Tree of Smoke has all the insanity of Don Quixote with no trace of the literary style.
Based on Book Award nomination and NYT book review, I slogged through a dreary, pointless 21 hours of this audiobook. Never did find a plot or a point, or any character development. Complete waste.
This book, like the Vietnam war, was a quagmire. A long, pointless, tedious slog through the thick mud of his prose. I fought my way through it desperately hoping for the light at the end of the tunnel that might bring it all together, but it never happened.
Take my word for it and don't bother wading through this one. There are too many other, better audio books waiting.
This book is well worth the time to listen and well worth the time to read as well.
By page 39 or part one section one Denis Johnson leaves the listener or reader with a wonderful Melville quote from Moby Dick.
I am currently relistening to the book and have marked each part and section of the audio to the book.
If this is not a high compliment and a five star book, I have nothing further to write.
different voices for characters were unclear, although I did find the droll style of the narrator humourous at times. but the story went nowhere! What a collosal waste of time for the characters to meet the various ends. left me wanting more, but not from this author!
Wow.. I just couldn't stay with this book, which I felt rambled from character to character, scene to scene. It received such a good review on Audible's website that I gave it a try, but even Will Patton's superb performing skills didn't redeem it, in my opinion.
I enjoyed the book immensely for the most part. The Vietnam era war story was full of suspense, and was so well narrated by Will Paton that I was completely hooked to it. And then ... and then, the story turned to Malaysia ... and everything fell apart; because the author's ignorance and prejudice suddenly began to show all too conspicuously. Totally anticlimactic. In the whole, I was disappointed.