Train Dreams by Denis Johnson

Mike’s review

$18 for a novella is insane.

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Drives me nuts when sparse Western United States landscape language is then undercut by super spelling out some shit: “He’d started his life story on a train ride he couldn’t remember, and ended up standing around outside a train with Elvis Presley in it.”

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What is it about airports that make stupid thoughts so profound? (Humans have a biological need to be in fear. This could easily be illustrated by tracing unnecessary fears through history: Islam, Chinamen, Irish…)

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Thought the wolf-girl daughter would be wrought, but it was handled nicely.

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This book is a small thing, barely there (like a life (this thought brought to you by the Denver airport layover)).

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Plot summary: I don’t know, not much (see previous note).

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If airplanes suck this hard/are this uncomfortable/inconveniencing, how shitty was horse and buggy or even train travel? I feel like you’d have more say, though: when to stop horses, ability to walk around train/leg room.

Other side of that: shut up Mike, you’re on a small plane with a kicking child behind you and a large man who you know is about to recline in front (they all ended up reclining, all 4 of them and there was 1 who didn’t understand that the armrest is a boundary), but at least you’re not in a buggy. Also, xanax would have been a better drug than the usual caffeine consumption, probably.

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(I just tagged this frontier, because pioneers, but it is an interesting note that that is the airline which transported me while reading this book.)

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