Denis Johnson Finally Gives Us a Reason to Buy ‘Playboy’

Photo: Cindy Johnson/Courtesy of FSG

At last, Playboy is sexy again! Novelist Denis Johnson — whose magnum opus Tree of Smoke won the National Book Award last year and whose Jesus' Son is a minor masterpiece — will write Nobody Move, a short serialized novel, for Playboy, starting in the July issue. Four 10,000-word segments will be written on deadline for the magazine, together making a noir novel in the spirit, according to Johnson, of Dashiell Hammett — but also of Charles Dickens, whose novels were written and published serially. We haven't been excited about an issue of Playboy since we miraculously were sold one in ninth grade at a gas station outside Madison. We wonder if we'll still be as nervous when we buy this one on Friday.

But this time we really will be reading it for the articles!

Channeling Noir, Dickens-Style [NYT]