I read Train Dreams for my job's book club and I thought it was a decent story given it's length (because honestly I couldn't imagine it being a full length novel). It made me think about just how revolutionary the American railroad system is and how much our modes of transportation has developed since railroads were built. My feelings about the main character, Robert Grainer are meh. He definitely lived a simple life despite trying to kill someone in the beginning pages of the story. Overall, Train Dreams wasn't a spectacular story but it also wasn't a bad one either.
Quick read. Beautifully crafted story of a small but beautiful life. Rates up there with my faves: Cold Mountain, Tinkerers and some of Mark Spragg's work. I went back to the library lists to find more by this writer.
Can't figure how to give this stars. Seemed to assign a 3.5 stars but I'd go more 4 or 4.5
Great book! The images from the novella will echo into your days and nights. Really an amazing novella, best read in one or two sittings.
An ordinary man, a labourer, in the American West in the early 20th century at a time of great change. Very sympathique.
A beautiful, sparse homage to nature and to the technological transformation at the turn of the century.
Interesting book, captures the difficult life of those who populated the American West. Robert Granier, the main character goes through very difficult episodes in his life. Some of the descriptions are heart breaking. It is a small book, barely 116 pages but sometimes it felt as if hardship would never end in this book, and it doesn't really.
Denis Johnson is capable of such concentrated writing that he can say in a hundred pages what most others can't in a thousand. He perfectly blends the real and the abstract in way that seems more authentic than any other author I can think of.
A novella set mostly in the 1920s about the life of Idaho Panhandle railroad laborer Robert Grainer.
Denis Johnson wrote a big, ambitious, sprawling book about Vietnam ("Tree of Smoke"), so it's understandable that he returned to the small scale and stark prose of his earlier books. A novella doesn't necessarily have to be slight, but this is to the point of being forgettable, despite Johnson's skillful writing. For my money, he's never topped his collection of interconnected stories, "Jesus' Son."
Melancholy. Stoic. Mystical. In an age of techno-fueled hyper-stimulation it was very rewarding to take this serene yet gritty train ride. At just over 100 pages the economy of this tragedy set in the Old West is admirable. On a recent visit to Melbourne Richard Ford suggested that Train Dreams would have won the Pulitzer if it had been longer. DJ should at least get an award for contributing a new genre to the world of fiction - the epic novella.
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