Thursday February 20, 2020

Master of mood delivers another winner

The Laughing Monsters. By Denis Johnson. Harvill Secker, €17. Reviewed by Kevin Power.

13th March, 2015
Denis Johnson has a knack for twisting the familiar into something unexpected Getty

Denis Johnson’s lean new novel comes on like a proper thriller, and it moves so swiftly that you’re pulled along as if you were reading a bulky airport paperback. We open in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The time is recent – pre-Ebola, but post-9/11. Our man in Freetown is Roland Nair: white, late 30s, alcoholic, deeply paranoid. Roland travels light – “I’m all carry-on” – and he’s been here before: “[The driver’s] face fell when he...

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