Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060988821, 224pp.
Publication Date: April 2002
The most critically acclaimed, and first, of Denis Johnson's novels, Angels puts Jamie Mays -- a runaway wife toting along two kids -- and Bill Houston -- ex-Navy man, ex-husband, ex-con -- on a Greyhound Bus for a dark, wild ride cross country. Driven by restless souls, bad booze, and desperate needs, Jamie and Bill bounce from bus stations to cheap hotels as they ply the strange, fascinating, and dangerous fringe of American life. Their tickets may say Phoenix, but their inescapable destination is a last stop marked by stunning violence and mind-shattering surprise.
Denis Johnson, known for his portraits of America's dispossessed, sets off literary pyrotechnics on this highway odyssey, lighting the trek with wit and a personal metaphysics that defiantly takes on the world.