Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson

First edition of Tree of Smoke published by FSG in 2007
I'll start by saying that Tree of Smoke is one of my favorite books; it tells the sprawling tales of Skip Sands and the Houston brothers, among others, during and partially after the Vietnam war. Focused largely around the CIA's involvement in the war during its formative years, Tree of Smoke is told from many intertwining points of view, including Vietnamese intelligence officers, German assassins, and world-weary Colonels. Johnson's novel even has a complete, masterful recreation of the Tet offensive that is insanely gripping. Readers of his other work will remember the Houston brothers from his first novel Angels, which takes place later in time during the 1980's. Johnson's novel isn't particularly weird or rare, having won the National Book Award for 2007 and being a bestseller, but it is awesome, as is my copy he signed pictured below. This first edition hardcover also features great jacket art and design done by Susan Mitchell, which is increasingly rare these days. I strongly recommend picking up a copy especially seeing as they're not in short supply.
 
An inscription made out to me on the title page—note that he initially misspelled my name so there's an e with a dot over it

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