Train Dreams by Denis Johnson is a very short book filled with days long past. Similar to Willa Cather’s stories, this novel is about a man who lived in the American West during the early days of the 20th century. These times brought many changes to the landscape in large part because of the many railroads built during that time connecting the East to the West.
This book won the National Book Award and I agree, Johnson is a fine writer. Just one thing confused me and it was the very last pages of the book. I get the author’s meaning, but found the ending a disappointment because I felt confused and did not feel that way while reading the rest of the book. I guess the author intended the reader to think about the story in this way, but it threw me off base and diminished my enjoyment of the novel. The book is only a bit over 100 pages and the story is interesting from a historic perspective. If you have a few free hours to read it and do so, please email me with your impressions if you can. I welcome your viewpoint!