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Customer Review

on 17 December 2008
'Resuscitation' is a fine, readable novel, but for me it is mainly a dry run for the weird and warped epic that is 'Already Dead'. The titles of the two novels hint at a similar theme, but while in 'Already Dead' the theme is not just carried to its conclusion but driven wildly beyond it into a land of mists you would hardly expect a novelist to reach, 'Resuscitation' never quite fulfils its ambition. Still, there are great things in it, particularly the details of the hero's two jobs - as DJ and private detective - and the landscaping of the east coast outcrop where the action takes place. Denis Johnson is usually happier creating men in depth than he is women; this comes over clearer in this novel than elsewhere, since the relationship between the hero and his Lesbian girlfriend is too central for her lack of substance not to show. What is most interesting about 'Resuscitation', for me, is that having tackled the theme once and not entirely succeeded with it, Johnson then tackled it again but on a far more ambitious scale, in 'Already Dead', and came up with something quite miraculous.
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