I think I've gotta give this another go, with much more attention. I think I've been angry that every book isn't the revelation that _Jesus' Son_ was, and so my enthusiasm for them may be more muted than they deserve.
Still, my read of this was that it worked like gangbusters on the sentence-level, but the thing was a mess--and not the good kind of disorienting, confounding, complicating mess, but an overheated yet undercooked kind of mess--in terms of its narrative. For every grand bit, you got a couple smaller bits of pontificating. More smoke than tree, maybe. Still, it was better than _Already Dead_, which struck me as two hundred pages too long, great in strobe-flashes of scenes and lines that penetrate but epilepsy-inducing over such length. Maybe not that much better. (Besides Jesus, I really loved _Name of the World_ and dig his short fiction emerging spottily over the last few years--particularly the riveting "Train Dreams." Maybe I prefer him distilled?)
I have never read _Angels_, but a review of _Tree_ said that a character repeats ... so maybe I'll go back and read the shorter one, get a running start on the behemoth.