Train Dreams: A Novella

Sold by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Free sample

A New York Times Notable Book for 2011
One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year
One of NPR's 10 Best Novels of 2011

Denis Johnson's Train Dreams is an epic in miniature, one of his most evocative and poignant fictions.

Robert Grainer is a day laborer in the American West at the start of the twentieth century—an ordinary man in extraordinary times. Buffeted by the loss of his family, Grainer struggles to make sense of this strange new world. As his story unfolds, we witness both his shocking personal defeats and the radical changes that transform America in his lifetime.

Suffused with the history and landscapes of the American West—its otherworldly flora and fauna, its rugged loggers and bridge builders—the new novella by the National Book Award-winning author of Tree of Smoke captures the disappearance of a distinctly American way of life.

Read more

About 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.
Read more


60 total

Additional Information

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Read more
Published on
Aug 30, 2011
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Literary
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Twenty-five years after Jesus’ Son, a haunting new collection of short stories on mortality and transcendence, from National Book Award winner and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Denis Johnson

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is the long-awaited new story collection from Denis Johnson. Written in the luminous prose that made him one of the most beloved and important writers of his generation, this collection finds Johnson in new territory, contemplating the ghosts of the past and the elusive and unexpected ways the mysteries of the universe assert themselves.

Finished shortly before Johnson’s death, this collection is the last word from a writer whose work will live on for many years to come.

Praise for The Largesse of the Sea Maiden

“These four stories rank with Johnson’s best work, but the title story, a catalogue of singular moments related by a man who tells us he’s passing through life as if it were a masquerade, ranks with the best fiction published by any American writer during this short century.”—New York Magazine 
“Most of these stories are terrific, and two—the first and the last—are out-of-this-world. I say this not out of deference to the recently deceased, but in awe. When Johnson wrote at reckless full force, his sentences and storylines blasted barriers, discovering those odd places where, as one of his narrators here says, ‘the Mystery winks at you.’ . . . The Largesse of The Sea Maiden contains the kind of work every writer would like to go out on: fresh, profound and singular. It affirms literature’s promise to believers, the gift of eternal voice.”—Maureen Corrigan on Fresh Air, NPR
“The book in front of us today is one for which many people have waited—as if outside, in the acid rain—a long time. It’s the follow-up to Jesus’ Son, perhaps the most influential and beloved book of American short stories of the past three decades. . . . The Largesse of the Sea Maiden picks up, to a large extent, where Jesus’ Son left off . . . [with] prose vernacular and elevated at the same time. One can say about this book what one narrator says about the poems of a writer he loves: ‘They were the real thing, line after line of the real thing.’”—The New York Times
Sueños de trenes es una epopeya en miniatura, una de las obras más conmovedoras y evocativas en la ya larga carrera del escritor norteamericano Denis Johnson

Robert Grainer es un jornalero del Oeste americano en los albores del siglo XX, que, tras ser golpeado por una terrible tragedia, lucha por encontrar sentido a su vida en un mundo en constante mutación. La de Grainier es una vida larga, pobre y modesta, y él, un hombre corriente que transita por una época extraordinaria sin apenas lograr otra cosa que un pequeño trozo de tierra, dos caballos y una carreta.

Con su prosa pulida y alejada de cualquier sentimentalismo, esta joya del galardonado autor de Árbol de Humo ha sido comparada con la obra de autores clásicos como Chéjov.

La crítica ha dicho...

«Sentimientos y visiones que quitan el aliento [...]. Un clásico instantáneo.»

Rodrigo Fresán, ABC

«Un universo moral sin mácula, desprovisto de prejuicios, alérgico al melodrama y adicto a la belleza de las cosas.»

Sergi Sánchez, El Periódico

«Su carácter visionario le enseña al lector algo sobre sí mismo que hoy en día no nos enseña nadie más.»

Maite Pairano,

«Cualquier escritor puede utilizar una prosa sencilla para describir la construcción de una cabaña o la tala de árboles, pero solo los grandes escritores pueden utilizar esa prosa para dar sentido a toda una comunidad.»

The New Yorker

«Una obra maestra.»

New York Times

«Puede que sea lo más poderoso que haya escrito Johnson jamás.»

The New York Times Book Review

«Esta novela breve y sólida es una auténtica joya, y, para los no iniciados, una perfecta introducción a la obra de Johnson.»

Publisher's Weekly

«Sueños de trenes es una perla literaria.»

USA Today

The acclaimed author of Jesus' Son and Already Dead returns with a beautiful, haunting, and darkly comic novel. The Name of the World is a mesmerizing portrait of a professor at a Midwestern university who has been patient in his grief after an accident takes the lives of his wife and child and has permitted that grief to enlarge him.

Michael Reed is living a posthumous life. In spite of outward appearances -- he holds a respectable university teaching position; he is an articulate and attractive addition to local social life -- he's a dead man walking.

Nothing can touch Reed, nothing can move him, although he observes with a mordant clarity the lives whirling vigorously around him. Of his recent bereavement, nearly four years earlier, he observes, "I'm speaking as I'd speak of a change in the earth's climate, or the recent war."

Facing the unwelcome end of his temporary stint at the university, Reed finds himself forced "to act like somebody who cares what happens to him. " Tentatively he begins to let himself make contact with a host of characters in this small academic town, souls who seem to have in common a tentativeness of their own. In this atmosphere characterized, as he says, "by cynicism, occasional brilliance, and small, polite terror," he manages, against all his expectations, to find people to light his way through his private labyrinth.

Elegant and incisively observed, The Name of the World is Johnson at his best: poignant yet unsentimental, replete with the visionary imaginative detail for which his work is known. Here is a tour de force by one of the most astonishing writers at work today.

©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.