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Resuscitation of a Hanged Man
     

Resuscitation of a Hanged Man

4.0 3
by Denis Johnson
 

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Leonard English, a sad and intense young man recovering from a suicide attempt, moves to the Cape Cod resort of Provincetown to work as a disk jockey cum private detective. On his first day there, he encounters a beautiful young woman and falls desperately in love with her — only to find out she prefers those of her own sex to men. English's first assignment,

Overview

Leonard English, a sad and intense young man recovering from a suicide attempt, moves to the Cape Cod resort of Provincetown to work as a disk jockey cum private detective. On his first day there, he encounters a beautiful young woman and falls desperately in love with her — only to find out she prefers those of her own sex to men. English's first assignment, a search for an elusive artist, proves equally frustrating. As winter lengthens and Leonard's anguish mounts, his desperate quests — for the artist, for love, for redemption — take on an increasingly apocalyptic coloring.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Johnson ( Angels ; Fiskadoro ) is a writer whose grace and style are frequently highlighted by the incongruity of his plot twists and character development. The hero of this novel, Leonard English, has come to Provincetown after an unsuccessful attempt at suicide by hanging. He finds employment as a radio disc jockey and part-time detective, falls in love with a lesbian, and stumbles along in a haze of tobacco and alcohol. Fascinated with his employer, who owns the radio station and runs the detective agency, and by the people who are the objects of his absurd surveillance activities, English gets involved in intrigues he doesn't understand. Driven beyond his professional commitment to search for a missing man, English is clearly propelled by a desperate need to locate himself, which he finally does in a funny but ultimately tragic final episode. Johnson's dark humor and crisp prose collude to keep the reader in a state of anxiety over the hero's psyche as he flounders toward resolution. Ambiguities, and not answers, lie at the heart of this book's questions about faith and hope. While it's easy to be amused by Johnson's deft narrative talents, readers will also be moved by this burdened, melancholy tale. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Leonard English, a failed suicide from Kansas, arrives in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in bleakest November to begin a new life as a private detective. The first thing he notices is that the women in town look remarkably mannish; then he realizes that they are men. The one real woman he meets is gay, but he pursues her anyway. A self-proclaimed ``knight of faith,'' English tries to embrace Catholicism, but the local priest doubts his sincerity. Cut off from God and convinced that a secret paramilitary group is on his trail, English arms himself for a violent last stand. Johnson, author of the noir classic Angels (1983), here rehabilitates the Kierkegaardian religious novel. At once hilariously funny and profoundly serious, Resuscitation of a Hanged Man is philosophical fiction of the first order and a minor masterpiece of New England local-color literature.-- Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law School Lib., Los Angeles
From the Publisher

“The God I want to believe in has a voice and a sense of humor like Denis Johnson's.” —Jonathan Franzen

“One of the best and most compelling novelists in the nation.” —Elle

“Johnson is an author who has captured the zeitgeist of American experience as surely as Twain, Hemingway or Ellison.” —Andrew Hubner, New York Post

“An utterly brilliant and original talent, a novelist who reminds us just how wonderful fiction can be.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“A classic…the touch of one of the finest novelists living today.” —Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060934668
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/28/2001
Series:
Harper Perennial
Edition description:
1ST PERENN
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.58(d)

Meet the Author

Denis Johnson (1949-2017) is the author of eight novels, one novella, one book of short stories, three collections of poetry, two collections of plays, and one book of reportage. His novel Tree of Smoke won the 2007 National Book Award.

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Resuscitation of a Hanged Man 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
ClarkP More than 1 year ago
This book was quite enjoyable. It is impossible not to get submerged into the story, Johnson hooks you and never lets go. Denis Johnson is a master of the English language. It seems like every word is necessary for the story. Johnson has a focus on providing the reader a well-written novel that lacks useless page filling words. Resuscitation of a Hanged Man makes you question your own life. This book is truly a work of art. A+ for Denis Johnson and Resuscitation of a Hanged Man.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago