The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is the long-awaited new story collection from Denis Johnson. It follows the groundbreaking, highly acclaimed Jesus’ Son. Written in the same luminous prose, this collection finds Johnson in new territory, contemplating old age, mortality, the ghosts of the past, and the elusive and unexpected ways the mysteries of the universe assert themselves. Finished shortly before Johnson’s death in May 2017, this collectio...

Details The Largesse of the Sea Maiden

TitleThe Largesse of the Sea Maiden
Release DateJan 16th, 2018
PublisherRandom House
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Favorites, Literary Fiction

Reviews The Largesse of the Sea Maiden

  • Angela M
    The reason I wanted to read this collection is because of how much I enjoyed Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams . After finishing this collection of 5 stories, I initially rated it 3.5 stars feeling that some of the meaning had escaped me . But as I’m writing this and thinking more about it and the writing, I have to give it 4 stars. The writing is good and I liked three of the five stories so I’ll comment briefly on those . My favorite is the fi...
  • Larry H
    I'm between 3 and 3.5 stars."It doesn't matter. The world keeps turning. It's plain to you that at the time I write this, I'm not dead. But maybe by the time you read it."Denis Johnson's last short story collection, The Largesse of the Sea Maiden , was published about eight months after he died from lung cancer at the age of 67. That fact certainly adds a feeling of melancholy to the collection, even when he isn't writing lines like the ones abo...
  • Debbie
    What is the loudest thing you’ve ever heard? What about the quietest? This collection of short stories starts with a party scene where people are wracking their brains for memories. I want to be at this party! For a second, I forget about the book as I race down memory lane, wondering what I would come up with if someone asked me these questions. Seriously, these are delicious things to ponder! Already this writer has me in the palm of his hand...
  • Diane S ☔
    Another literary icon has passed, leaving us with this his offering. Five stories, each longer than your usual shorts. The first, the title story, concern a man who works in advertising, he is nearing retirement, and he tells us in short vignettes about his dead or disappeared acquaintances. All these stories grapple with death in all its different permutations. They oftentimes feature lives that have lost their way, their control of their future...
  • Robin
    Not only had I never read Denis Johnson before this, but I'd never even heard his name before. How's that possible, to live my life, talking books with whoever is willing, not to know of this exceptional writer?This collection is comprised of five sizeable short stories, written in a style that is conversational, meandering, unsentimental and poetic. These stories touch on the tricky business of living and dying, relationships, the absurdity, ran...
  • Perry
    Denis Johnson's Sirenic Stories, Visionary Tumulus at SeaOnce in a while, I know my lexicon is insufficient to give a book all due accolades. That, or I'm speechless from its hypnotic effect, or I'm worried I don't have time to write a review succinct enough that a potential reader will read it and be persuaded to read the book ASAP. Right now it's all of the above, so I borrow from others who've more experience and who were paid to review this A...
  • Angela M
    The reason I wanted to read this collection is because of how much I enjoyed Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams . After finishing this collection of 5 stories, I initially rated it 3.5 stars feeling that some of the meaning had escaped me . But as I’m writing this and thinking more about it and the writing, I have to give it 4 stars. The writing is good and I liked three of the five stories so I’ll comment briefly on those . My favorite is the fi...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    This posthumous story collection by Denis Johnson is my first time reading him, but it won't be the last. Most of the people who have more experience in the group where we are discussing this prefer collections like Jesus' Son, but I'll have to wait to weigh in on the comparison.I chose the audio for this collection because of the narrators, so I will discuss both the story and the narrator. Overall, the stories are manly manly stories, but often...
  • Trish
    I’d never read any Denis Johnson before this, though of course I knew of his work. I thought I had endless days to finally show my appreciation.A GR friend describes the eponymous first story as if watching a magician at work. That story is actually a set of very short stories, each so well-conceived and trimmed of fat that worlds are conveyed in a sentence. Perhaps he could have been a lyricist; another GR friend says he was a poet “first an...
  • Neil
    The thing is, if, like me, you have read nearly all of Johnson’s novels, there is something about his writing that means you feel like you know him. I know that’s not true and I know that the "him" I know probably isn’t Johnson in truth, but the honesty and rawness of what he writes makes you feel that way.This means that reading a book of short stories published posthumously (he died in May 2017) turns into a very emotional experience. Esp...
  • Jill
    What an amazing gift it must be to take instances of everyday life and infuse them with lyricism and meaning.Denis Johnson, in this posthumous collection, expands on this head-on in a story that is appropriately titled, “Triumph Over The Grave.” His narrator confides, ‘Writing. It is easy work…Whatever happens to you, you put it on a page, work it into a shape, cast it in a light.”For those who have ever tried their hand at writing—I ...
  • Lee
    Set in Bodoni Bold, the same old familiar typeface as Jesus' Son, this collection of five longish stories feels like the career-ending bookend that it is. He wrote these stories while alive but now he's not -- the second-to-last story, an autofictional one about a writer friend dying on a hundred-acre place out somewhere south of Austin, not tying-up his robe, seeing ghosts, ends perfectly like this: "The world keeps turning. It's plain to you th...
  • Dax
    Johnson was a poet first and foremost, and it shows in his fiction writing, particularly so in this impressive collection of five short stories. Clearly, Johnson imagined life as an attempt to navigate the darkness and pitfalls that are inevitably encountered on one's path through this world. This theme is the connective tissue that binds these five stories together, and coupled with Johnson's talent for imagery and perfectly crafted sentences, I...
  • Krista
    Three Rules To Write ByWrite naked. That means to write what you would never say.Write in blood. As if ink is so precious you can’t waste it.Write in exile, as if you are never going to get home again, and you have to call back every detail.Denis JohnsonHaving died in 2017 of liver cancer, The Largesse of the Sea Maiden will be Denis Johnson's final release; a collection of five short stories, two of which were not previously published elsewher...
  • Doug
    2.5, rounded up.First off, let me preface things by reiterating that short stories, those amuse-gueule of the book realm, are not really my forte. And that the only other Johnson I've read is his OTHER highly acclaimed collection of stories, 'Jesus' Son', which I also didn't particularly appreciate. So sadly, I must just state that Johnson and I are not ever going to be a good match, and I just don't 'get' what others see in his rather prosaic ta...
  • Kasa Cotugno
    Five lengthy short stories, each one, a gem. Denis Johnson, who died last May, deserved every accolade he received during his lifetime. Numerous awards, prestigious shortlistings -- the list of honors continue to accumulate, to be capped by this extraordinary collection. As I've said, each story which may have roots in Johnson's own life stands on its own and has been summarized elsewhere. If I had to pick one, it would be the Triumph Over the Gr...
  • Truman32
    I first became aware of Denis Johnson from his seminal short story collection, Jesus’ Son; his National Book Award winning novel, Tree of Smoke; as well as his perfectly timed (and downright nasty) passes to Larry Bird that eventually brought the championship banner back to the Boston Garden after the 1984 Finals. The Largesse of the Sea Maiden, published posthumously, is Johnson’s return to short stories and it is sensational. If you are goi...
  • Stef Smulders
    Well, 3.5*s. The writing is good, excellent in certain flashes of brilliance, but as stories these pieces lack power. The title story is the weirdest one, a collection of short scenes or anecdotes in which the main character has a series of encounters and experiences that seem hardly connected. I read it twice and still do not grasp its intention. Most of the scenes are interesting enough, some funny, some absurd, but as a whole it does not convi...
  • Rebecca Renner
    Loved it. Classic Denis Johnson.
  • Christian Paula
    Read it already. If this is your first Denis Johnson, or the last, this is a knockout collection. I may not have cared for some of the stories, but the man could fucking write.
  • Jim Coughenour
    Somehow it was fitting that last week, while I was mourning the sudden death of Joe Frank, I discovered this posthumous book by Denis Johnson. Each of these men were American originals, storytellers who stripped straight through to the dark side of the American dream. In fact, listening to a Joe Frank monologue or reading a Denis Johnson story is a kind of lucid dreaming – the seedy edges of reality shift and shimmer, hilarity and horror intert...
  • Rae DelBianco
    This one was a soul changer. I love Denis Johnson's work with all my heart, and this one, as his posthumously released short story collection, was an emotional one both in concept and content. It fully lives up to anticipation— the moments of emotion and human truth that we find in the heightened plot points of his earlier work are presented more conversationally here, in the same measure, but reading feels like sitting down with an old friend ...
  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    This is a great collection of short stories. I love the way Johnson was able to take stories of ordinary people who have fallen on hard times and make something strangely beautiful out of them.
  • Lori
    I've been a fan of Denis Johnson's writing every since I picked up Jesus' Son on audiobook, stumbling across it in a wholesale distributor pop-up shop in 2012. Will Patton's whispery, clench-teethed narration perfectly complimented the drug addled voice of the collection's protagonist and Denis Johnson's sparse and powerful writing. I was glued to my car's speakers to and from work. I felt the words of the interconnected stories pulsing through m...
  • Nadine
    Johnson starts his stories by disarming you with humor and the off-kilter charm of his narrators, and it stays with you as their crazy unspools - the crazy varying from mildly eccentric to bat shit. It seems like he loves these lost and sometimes beaten men and wants his reader to feel their humanity, but without pity or sentimentality. Women figure very little in these stories and they never have their own voice, but this isn't a criticism or a ...
  • Bob Lopez
    Quick book-5 stories long. The obvious standouts for me where the first (Largesse) and last (Doppelganger Poltergeist) stories. The writing was assured and capable and...masculine. They were winding, but they never strayed, every nuance or detail was integral to the story in some way or bolstered the story in necessary but never convoluted ways. In hindsight, it reminds me of that game, Katamari Forever, where you push a small object and keep col...
  • Joachim Stoop
    Met opperstilist Denis Johnson achter het stuur rijd je via haarspeldbochten bergaf en kom je gedesoriënteerd beneden. Onderweg scheur je van gevangenis langs afkickkliniek richting sterfbed. Nee, dit is geen strandstoelboek. Gemarineerd in bedrieglijke nonchalance en dito onstuimigheid ontbloot hij onze menselijk al te menselijke aard. De scheut humor herbergt genoeg pijn om je mondhoeken te doen twijfelen tussen glimlach en grimas. Hoewel niet...
  • Simon Robs
    I read "Jesus' Son" recently and crapped all over it in review (not much of a review but anyway) - now, after this dazzling collection, DJ's final contribution I may go back and take a more careful consideration of those early stories if only to see where these two books connect. These five stories besides more lengthy are likewise more flushed out exposing greater depth of characterization. I think that was part of my problem with the others, th...
  • Will
    There are two sentences at the end of the fourth of the five stories presented in this too slim volume. I hesitate to share them but I will, knowing they have been used before in reviews. Johnson wrote: It's plain to you that at the time I write this, I'm not dead. But maybe by the time you read it. It hit me really hard. My reading would have been stopped dead in its tracks if not for the fact that it was the story's end. Still, I sat there for ...
  • Mike W
    Review to come. Need to let some time pass. May go to a 5*