Friday, October 7, 2011

Book Review - Train Dreams

This has been a very lean year for fiction reading for me. I have read probably as much as usual, but it has been primarily history, magazines, and wargaming materials. For my first new fiction book since the summer, I recently picked up Denis Johnson's novella Train Dreams (2011, but published in a magazine in different format in 2002), and devoured it within a couple of days. I liked Johnson's The Name of the World very much, and Nobody Move was a fun "noir" read.

This short, spare book is the story of a man living in the open spaces of the Pacific Northwest in the early 1900's. He spends some time working on the railroad but loses his way when his wife and baby daughter perish in a forest fire that consumes their homestead. For the rest of his life, Robert Grainier carves out a solitary existence, haunted by the loss of his family. This is a touching and heartfelt little book, well worth the brief evening or two it would take to get through its 116 pages.

3.5 stars out of 5. A solid read, but nothing remarkable.

Books read in 2011: 3 (totaling 692 pages).
Published in 2011: 2 (including this)
New authors: still 1.
Classics: none

The other book I picked up at Barnes and Noble on the same trip as this will be reviewed shortly...

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