Dow Mossman The Stones of Summer

ISBN 13: 9780760748848

The Stones of Summer

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9780760748848: The Stones of Summer

Originally published to glowing reviews in 1972, Dow Mossman's extraordinary debut is a sweeping coming-of-age tale that developed a passionate cult following. It recently inspired the award-winning documentary film Stone Reader, described by Peter Rainer of New York magazine as "a marvelous literary thriller that gets at the way books can stay with people forever."

Rendered with breathtaking artistry and emotional depth, The Stones of Summer captures the beauty and pain of postwar America. Its vivid evocation of culture-void Iowa in the ’50s and ’60s reveals in layer after layer of richly observed detail the maturation—the very soul—of an artist. Its rediscovery was the catalyst for one filmmaker to confront his faith in the power of great literature to endure, and it can now be embraced by readers everywhere.

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About the Author:

Dow Mossman received his B.A. from the University of Iowa and his M.F.A. from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in 1969.

From Publishers Weekly:

After its 1972 publication, this sprawling, modernist Great American Novel-style epic garnered its author critical comparison to Faulkner, for its saga of rural dynastic decline; Salinger, for its mood of youthful alienation; and Joyce, for its labyrinthine, cryptically allusive, stream-of-consciousness renditions of the private psyche. The episodic coming-of-age narrative follows budding writer Dawes Williams from boyhood on his grandfather's greyhound ranch, through a feckless Iowa adolescence of drinking and joyriding, to a mentally unstable adulthood in which, through rants against propriety, positivism and the establishment and a terminal bout of countercultural dissoluteness in Mexico, he becomes the voice of the 1960s' lost generation. The real action, though, is the development of Dawes's writerly sensibility, his-i.e., the author's-knack for transmuting the dross of reality into the gold of literary metaphor. But Mossman's own lyrical, metaphorical sensibility tends toward pseudo-profundities ("[h]er body was an inward fall, a deep spiral of musky sea lying easily within itself"), abstractions ("[s]he had a metaphysical eye, as blue as perfect nightmares"), and a synesthetic scrambling of sensory categories ("[h]e felt he could not listen to the light anymore, that it stood off in the distance, wordless with impossible opinion"). Long out of print before this reissue, the novel has generated a cult following among those who find in its inchoate but intense imagery the very portrait of the young artist's soul. But many readers may find the book's hallucinatory prose-"In the beginning there was me, green smoke and oatmeal, conscious light, all looking for a shoe to rise from"-interesting but self-indulgent, and the plot insufficiently gripping.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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