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Train Dreams by Denis Johnson
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Jan 14, 12

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction-mainstream
Read in January, 2012

TRAIN DREAMS. (2011). Denis Johnson. ****.
This novella by Johnson, a former winner of the National Book Award, traces the life of Robert Grainier. Grainier, of uncertain (or disremembered) roots, was a day laborer in the Pacific Northwest for much of the early part of the 20th century. He earned his living by lumberjacking and other harsh physical pursuits. We follow Grainier’s travels through life and all of his setbacks. He marries and has a child, only to lose them in a huge forest fire. He ultimately goes back to the land and manages to survive on what he can coax from the ground that he owns and what work he can find in the local village as a drayer. America is changing around him, and he has to learn how to cope. Through his eyes we see these changes and how they affected the common man. The story is wonderfully told and beautifully written. This is a one-sitting book well worth the time. Recommended.
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