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The Laughing Monsters #2020

The Laughing Monsters Denis Johnson s The Laughing Monsters is a high suspense tale of kaleidoscoping loyalties in the post world that shows one of our great novelists at the top of his game Roland Nair calls himself

  • Title: The Laughing Monsters
  • Author: Denis Johnson
  • ISBN: 9780374280598
  • Page: 345
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Laughing Monsters By Denis Johnson, Denis Johnson s The Laughing Monsters is a high suspense tale of kaleidoscoping loyalties in the post 9 11 world that shows one of our great novelists at the top of his game Roland Nair calls himself Scandinavian but travels on a U.S passport After ten years absence, he returns to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to reunite with his friend Michael Adriko They once made a lot oDenis Johnson s The Laughing Monsters is a high suspense tale of kaleidoscoping loyalties in the post 9 11 world that shows one of our great novelists at the top of his game Roland Nair calls himself Scandinavian but travels on a U.S passport After ten years absence, he returns to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to reunite with his friend Michael Adriko They once made a lot of money here during the country s civil war, and, curious to see whether good luck will strike twice in the same place, Nair has allowed himself to be drawn back to a region he considers hopeless Adriko is an African who styles himself a soldier of fortune and who claims to have served, at various times, the Ghanaian army, the Kuwaiti Emiri Guard, and the American Green Berets He s probably broke now, but he remains, at thirty six, as stirred by his own doubtful schemes as he was a decade ago Although Nair believes some kind of money making plan lies at the back of it all, Adriko s stated reason for inviting his friend to Freetown is for Nair to meet Adriko s fianc e, a grad student from Colorado named Davidia Together the three set out to visit Adriko s clan in the Uganda Congo borderland but each of these travelers is keeping secrets from the others Their journey through a land abandoned by the future leads Nair, Adriko, and Davidia to meet themselves not in a new light, but rather in a new darkness.

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      345 Denis Johnson
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      Posted by:Denis Johnson
      Published :2019-09-11T14:32:41+00:00

    1 thought on “The Laughing Monsters

    1. The Laughing Monsters is a twist on the spy thriller the twist being that it s not very thrilling This book just really doesn t know what it wants to be when it grows up It s a story of selfishness and moral decay set against the backdrop of the cruel world of clich d Africa I suppose it must be hard to write about Africa, especially if you re a white middle aged American dude you re going to run into trouble no matter what you do It s even upsetting because Denis Johnson spent a considerable a [...]

    2. Very disappointing The book had possibilities, but it seemed to fall apart fragment over the last 75 pages which is significant given the novel is only 228 pages long Ever since Tree of Smoke, Johnson has been writing small, genre like stuff Nobody Move was a nasty and tight little noir, and the wonderful Train Dreams which is than a Western But Train Dreams was just a reprint from 2002 At this point you have to wonder if Johnson is working on something big, or he s just suffering writer s bloc [...]

    3. Freetown, Sierra Leone A casually treacherous, alcoholic NATO agent meets up with his old friend, a Ugandan mercenary and lost soul A few options here for them to make some money sell a map of NATO s African fiber optics network to the Arabs, or maybe flash a plug of uranium to Mossad and tell them there s in a non existent plane wreck in some jungle So many possibilities in the new Africa so many interests converging, and yet so few rules Although Johnson sets all of this up nicely, he seems t [...]

    4. Denis Johnson s latest book is high suspense tale of kaleidoscoping loyalties in the post 9 11 world which is also mercifully shorter than his 2007 award winning Tree of Smoke, a 700 page long, sweeping psychedelic and often confusing novel about the Vietnam War The Laughing Monsters is also sweeping and psychedelic novel, but at 228 mercifully shorter and much focused even though still occasionally confusing suspense thriller set in West Africa.The novel begins in the Sierra Leone capital of F [...]

    5. his first non serial novel since 2007 s national book award winning tree of smoke, the laughing monsters is denis johnson s foray into spy fiction set in the post 9 11 era of inter agency intelligence, espionage, and double dealing, johnson s new novel takes place in western and central africa a first person narrative chronicled by nato agent roland nair, the laughing monsters features three main characters each with conflicting and often self serving loyalties.with a breadth of work that spans [...]

    6. Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted illegally It s funny that the same week I read Denis Johnson s new novel, The Laughing Monsters, I also happened to catch the new movie A Most Wanted Man, which has been rightly described by most critics as based on a minor John LeCarre novel because when it starts out, it seems like this is going to be the best way to descri [...]

    7. Denis Johnson s latest is a post 9 11 spy thriller that reads something like a James Bond novel written by Joseph Conrad Narrated by Roland Nair, a NATO intelligence operative, The Laughing Monsters takes place in the Uganda Congo borderlands and centers around a get rich and get out scheme to sell phony uranium to a terrorist group This terribly conceived and even terribly executed plan is hatched by Nair s longtime partner in crime Michael Adriko, a displaced Congolese rogue who claims to hav [...]

    8. 2.25 starsThis was a pretty quick read It was only a little over 50,000 words That s a novella IMO Unfortunately, I thought it was pretty meh This was another case of an author who is highly skilled writing a story that I just never really connected with on any level.

    9. Supongo que esperaba m s del autor de Sue os de trenes En esta ocasi n, Johnson nos trae un absorbente thriller cargado de esp as, intriga y grandes dosis de paranoia que nos invita a hacer un recorrido casi sat rico por diversos pa ses del continente africano en la poca post 11 s, criticando de manera subyacente el colonialismo que practican en la actualidad las distintas agencias de inteligencia En Los monstruos que r en, un agente escandinavo que trabaja para una organizaci n internacional de [...]

    10. It s generally accepted that Johnson is a masterful writer and I don t disagree, but this novel failed for me because of his handling of the subject matter For the first few hours I was impressed by the skills of the audiobook narrator and lulled into appreciation, but I gradually realized how grim and un redemptive this all was, and also how not entertaining I know it s probably supposed to be hard boiled and he s playing with genre a bit, but the women characters were offensively handled in ev [...]

    11. If this had been written by just about anyone else, this would be a solid four star book but because it s Denis Johnson, and I ve seen what else he can do, it just didn t quite land with me.It s not that The Laughing Monsters is bad it s a wild story with fascinating characters that move a mile a minute, constantly keeping you guessing, sucking you in to elaborate puzzles and schemes with each passing page It s just that when compared to some of Johnson s other works, it feels like it s missing [...]

    12. Denis Johnson f hrt seine Leser in seinem neuesten Roman THE LAUGHING MONSTERS DIE LACHENDEN UNGEHEUER ins tiefste Afrika, in den Kongo, dorthin, wo einer der Zentraltexte des 20 Jahrhunderts das HERZ DER FINSTERNIS verortete in Gestalt eines verr ckt gewordenen, dem Gr enwahn verfallenen Kolonialbeamten namens Kurtz Um die Fallh he gleich zu negieren Unter der Latte, die ein Werk wie Conrads legt, marschiert Johnson problemlos drunter weg Johnson berichtet von dem Wei en Roland Nair, der f r di [...]

    13. This novel s hard to describe, but it s kind of doing a few very different things at the same time, and to varying degrees.It s a bit like Kurtz from Heart of Darkness, but with less ambition But it s also a love story between two friends who sort of hate each other.It s about a white man who mentally and emotionally dissolves and combusts in Africa The weight of the continent and its various cultures and conflicts bend and then break him This is sort of problematic, in that it does feel very 18 [...]

    14. I ve read a lot of great things about Denis Johnson, but Tree of Smoke looks long and like a lot of work, so once again, I picked up a much smaller book of his the previous being the novella Train Dreams that I didn t like all that much Lesson learned read the one with rave reviews, or forever fail to understand why people like an author.The Laughing Monsters is described as a post 9 11 literary spy thriller, but that s like calling Zapped a highbrow investigation into the limits of scientific e [...]

    15. Johnson s African espionage novel is as entertaining as it is confusing The characters were memorable, and there were intense action sequences and exotic settings I think the general uncertainty was part of the larger point Johnson paints a portrait of modern Africa as a land where the people suffer due to the obscure and often contradictory motives of governments and agencies but I still felt like I would have gotten out of this book had I understood what was going on For most authors this mig [...]

    16. Pardon the pun, but for those like me who loved Train Dreams, this one went off the rails Not sure exactly what the point of this book was It was of course sharp and well written on a sentence basis, but the story was virtually non existent and the characters flat It s a fast read, if that is a factor, but most people would be better served skipping it Johnson is a masterful writer, but he didn t get it done here.

    17. there s perhaps nobody better able to take the facts of modern perpetual war on terror and the war on modernism than denis johnson he does the powers that be speak so well, with their bureaucratic law speak justifying grotesque perversions of justice while simultaneously chronicling the lives of the downtrodden and dispossessed matter of factly and with compassion a fun novel of usa and west s new adventures in africa via military interventions in humanitarianism.

    18. Check out the upcoming Three Percent podcast for my thoughts on this And the thoughts of Tom Roberge and Patrick Smith.

    19. There is a minor trope that you see out there sometimes, mostly from white male Western authors white guy goes to Africa sometimes South America or Asia , loses his shit.And mostly this amuses me I don t mind seeing a Master of the Universe broken down to his component parts in a puddle of sweat and bile I d like to think I ve done it myself once or twice But unless you really have something new to show us something about Africa, say, besides IT IS UNREGULATED AND PEOPLE BE CRAZY, which is fucki [...]

    20. Denis Johnson dabbles here in the world of Graham Greene s international intrigue entertainments It is very well done with its unreliable narrator, Roland Nair, a European American free booter in Africa, who spies on partners with his friend if words like friend, partner, spy have any meaning in a world where selfish opportunity seems the only driving currency and betrayal the cheap denomination that floods the market To be sure, there are codes of honor but they are fluid there are larger cause [...]

    21. More reviews at The Story Within The StoryAs Roland Nair contemplates his future, sitting in Freetown, Sierra Leone, he wonders why he let himself be drawn back to such a hopeless place Meeting up with self styled African soldier of fortune Michael Adriko and his fianc e Davidia, Nair journeys across the desolate African landscape in pursuit of one last money making scheme But between the Ghanaian army, American Green Berets and packs of mercenaries, Nair will be lucky to make it out of Africa w [...]

    22. The Laughing Monsters 2014 is an antic novel that focuses on two friends one white, one black whose wild adventure starts in pre Ebola Freetown, Sierra Leone, and unravels across Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ghana Their goal is to make a financial killing doing something selling government secrets, peddling fake uranium then retire to a life on the beach.Roland Nair, the book s narrator, is a Scandinavian American NATO spook and an admitted coward in a land where courage needs t [...]

    23. The Laughing Monsters is like a hit of acid It takes you into realities of the author s making that have enough to do with agreed reality to keep you grounded but are, excuse the term, far out enough to have you wandering through the pages feeling a little uncertain, disoriented, maybe even vertiginous, and occasionally floored by hallucinations This was also true of Tree of Smoke, his National Book Award winner, only to the extreme, and though I worked through its nearly 600 pages I have as muc [...]

    24. My experience reading spy thrillers and high suspense tales of kaleidoscoping loyalties has generally led me to classify such stories along a scale comprising, at one end, spy romps think Ian Fleming , and at the other, stories of wearied bureaucratic spooks who no longer labor under the illusion that what they do matters except in a self referential game of one upmanship with the opponent of the day think John le Carr.James Bond, his enemies, and the characters of le Carr e.g George Smiley, Ale [...]

    25. Denis Johnson is someone I ve wanted to read for a long while and this recent book which was described to me as a kind of African noir seemed intriguing It s about three people who are all conning each other ex cia operative, gun runner criminal, beautiful model and daughter There is a kind of Graham Greene feel to this novel taking place in a country half way around the world, filled with seedy places and unsavoury people, trying to find a way to survive in a horrible world filled with horrible [...]

    26. Nobody creates atmospherics like Johnson And in Laughing Monsters he populates a sub Saharan third world, that manages to include all nine of Dante s circles of hell, with characters who are authentic and colorful That I ll give him But Nair, the main character, spends way too much time sucking down booze in third world hotel bars for a serious operator of long experience He seems permanently semi impaired and, with the help of a crazy associate, gets caught up in folly of a sort only a gang of [...]

    27. A Catch 22 for the post 9 11 world of geopolitical espionage, The Laughing Monsters illustrates the terrifying and tragic, and sadly ridiculous, results of having bodies with primary economic interests serving as the tip of the inter national security spear Denis Johnson presents this world through a relatively small story of two main characters simultaneously allies and adversaries and their misadventures in western Africa The stage is chaotic, the actors mercenary Their actions are craven in t [...]

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