Tree of Smoke – the name given to a ‘psy op’ that might or might not be hypothetical and might or might not be officially sanctioned – is Denis Johnson’s most gripping, visionary and ambitious work to date. Set in south-east Asia and the US, and spanning two decades, it ostensibly tells the story of Skip Sands, a CIA spy who may or may not be engaged in psychological operations against the Viet Cong -- but also takes the reader on a surreal yet vivid journey, dipping in and out of characters’ lives to reveal fundamental truths at the heart of the human condition.
‘A Catch-22 for our times’ Alan Warner, Books of the Year, Observer
'The God I want to believe in has a voice and a sense of humour like Denis Johnson's' Jonathan Franzen
‘An epic of drenched sensuality and absurdly chewable dialogue, as though Don DeLillo and Joseph Heller had collaborated on a Vietnam war novel’ Steven Poole, Books of the Year, New Statesman