I recently received a comment from a reader raving about a novella called TRAIN DREAMS by Denis Johnson. Johnson is a National Book Award winner (Tree of Smoke 2007.) so I immediately was on the alert. My friend called it "a classic American myth, a gorgeous, rich book."
TRAIN DREAMS is set in the 1920's in the logging camps and train stations of Idaho and tells the tale of a logger and his personal defeats. It's been called "a book that packs a wallop written in simple language with arresting details."
Only 128 pages, a "must read."
Note: Personally I'm not a fan of depressing books, but the beauty of the prose and a gripping story often make it worthwhile. (Maybe I'll have a cocktail first...)