Seek: Reports from the Edges of America and Beyond

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9780060187361: Seek: Reports from the Edges of America and Beyond

Part political inquiry, part travel journal, part-self exploration, "Seek" is a collection of essays by an award-winning novelist out to explore himself and his life in the company of those who live on the edges of society. Denis Johnson travels between the extremes of human behaviour, from a hippy convention in the Achoco Natinal Forest, to war-ravaged Liberia, where he is witness to horrifying acts of torture. Along the way he joins a "Bikers for Jesus" rally in Texas, hangs out with a gun-crazed militia group, finds himself stranded in Somalia, and swaps stories with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

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Review:

'Is Denis Johnson braver, more reckless, or just more foolish than most of those who pretend to the title "journalist"? It doesn't matter, in the end - he is willing to place his lonesome ass in the way of seriously bad and scary stuff, and then bring back the tale told better than it's ever been told before' - Esquire

From the Back Cover:

Part political disquisition, part travel journal, part self-exploration, Seek is a collection of essays and articles in which Denis Johnson essentially takes on the world.And not an obliging, easygoing world either; but rather one in which horror and beauty exist in such proximity that they might well be interchangeable. Where violence and poverty and moral transgression go unchecked, even unnoticed. A world of such wild, rocketing energy that, grasping it, anything at all is possible.

Whether traveling through war-ravaged Liberia, mingling with the crowds at a Christian Biker rally, exploring his own authority issues through the lens of this nation's militia groups, or attempting to unearth his inner resources while mining for gold in the wilds of Alaska, Johnson writes with a mixture of humility and humorous candor that is everywhere present.

With the breathtaking and often haunting lyricism for which his work is renowned, Johnson considers in these pieces our need for transcendence. And, as readers of his previous work know, Johnson's path to consecration frequently requires a limning of the darkest abyss. If the path to knowledge lies in experience, Seek is a fascinating record of Johnson's profoundly moving pilgrimage.

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