Leonard English
Created by Denis Johnson

Not for the meek. American writer and cult favourite Denis Johnson, currently being hyped up the wazoo due to Jesus' Son, the new flick based on his 1992 novel, also gave us Resuscitation of a Hanged Man (1991), the hellish, downbeat, bleak and even sometimes-beautiful tale of a suicidal private eye.

LEONARD ENGLISH is the hapless, guilt-ridden young man in question, trying to come to terms with never having reconciled with his dead parents, and not having served in Vietnam. And to top it all off, he's the victim of a failed suicide attempt. He tries to overcome his depression by taking a case in a small town.

But wouldn't you know it? His client, with whom he's fallen in love, turns out to be a lesbian. And then things get really depressing, as Lenny sinks further into a morass of paranoia, cross-dressing, disassociation, confession, prison, madness, despair and instant potatoes.

It's a nasty, dark book, but well-written as hell, and not soon forgettable. Not for the faint of heart, but well worth checking out.

Denis Johnson is the author of such critically-acclaimed novels as Angels, Fiskadoro, The Stars at Noon and the aforementioned Jesus' Son.



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