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Publisher's Summary

National Book Award, Fiction, 2007

This is the story of William "Skip" Sands, CIA, engaged in psychological operations against the Vietcong, and the disasters that befall him. This is also the story of the Houston brothers, Bill and James, young men who drift out of the Arizona desert and into a war in which the line between disinformation and delusion has blurred away. In its vision of human folly, this is a story like nothing in our literature.
©2007 Denis Johnson; (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Winner, Literary Fiction, 2008

"Prose of amazing power and stylishness." (Philip Roth)
"The God I want to believe in has a voice and a sense of humor like Denis Johnson's." (Jonathan Franzen)
"Once Johnson gets his hooks into you, it takes about two sentences, it's...pretty much impossible to stop reading." (The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall


I'm surprise that Will Patton didn't read himself to sleep with this one!

4 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I've been tempted to write reviews of various audible books in the past, but never quite got around to it. This book pushed my limits and I find I needed to write this before finishing the book. I found the narrator somewhat irritating to listen to; the drone got to me. The content of the piece could probably have been shortened by about 7 hours. It was difficult to follow, particularly with the way the narrator moved from one part of the story to the next - it was as though there was not a break going from Arizona to Viet Nam to Minneapolis, it all flowed together. If I had ever taken acid, I would think to liken it to this book.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gregory
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 10-18-07

same tired Vietnam formula

A nhilistic war book. How original. Save your money and read a Thin Red Line if that's what floats your boat. A waste of an otherwise good narrator,

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • HHT
  • Lake Bluff, IL
  • 11-18-07

hard to follow

I found this book interesting, but hard to follow. It might be easier to follow in written format. It kept introducing characters until the very end. I see it won a National Book Award, but I did not find this a terrific book.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful