And I quote: "I'm not ready to go into all that," I said. A yellow bird fluttered close to my face, and my muscles grabbed. Now I was flopping like a fish. When I squeezed shut my eyes, tears exploded from the sockets. When I opened them, I was on my stomach." p.12.
F'head's friends, Tom, Richard, Jack Hotel, hang out at a shady bar called The Vine and get involved in junkie intrigue: shootings, pill-poppings, and meetings to hatch petty heists. Much of the miserableness starts there. Later (earlier?), F'head works as an orderly in a hospital and a nursing home.
As a narrator, F'head is incredibly unreliable, sprinkling hallucinations into his stories, telling stories that he later realizes never happened, and often going "unstuck" in time, Vonnegut-style, throwing any sense of continuity right out the window. Knock, knock. Who's there? A surrealist. A surrealist who? Banana. Like that, just smarter and silly-less.
Denis Johnson's prose is magnificent. Look:
"...this afternoon was the best of those times. We had money. We were grimy and tired. Usually we felt guilty and frightened, because there was something wrong with us, and we didn't know what it was; but today we had the feeling of men who had worked." p. 65.
Jesus' Son's F'head is probably the most sympathetic anti-hero you'll find. You'll laugh at the dead-on dialogue, smile at F'head's innocence, sympathize with his loneliness, wonder at the wonderfulness of the writing, and act out any other verb that can be associated with a butt-busting good read.
Warning: Jesus' Son contains lots of profanity and random violence -- just like in real life. If that is the kind of stuff that bothers you, then you should definitely stay away from this great book. If not, definitely check it out! Another Amazon pick I need to mention, lighter and funnier in tone, is The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition by Richard Perez, a fun novel I've already read twice this one week.