14 February 2005

Dow Mossman continued

Tonight I finished the second of the three books in Mossman's novel, The Stones of Summer. I'm guessing that this is the funniest book, but who knows. Maybe the third will be funnier yet. Funny intense adolescent tragic drunk. Drunk is front and center. Brings back memories, as they say. I'm not going to give anything away because if you want to know what happens in this book, you should read it. I love it. Would not have missed it for the world. Here are a few sentences from the last scene:

" 'I been thinking hell, Travis. I been thinking about Charles J. Chaplin. Charlie Chaplin. Travis! I been thinking about impersonators miming themselves mime themselves! About an endless succession of masks! What the hell do you think about that, Travis, you silly sonofabitch?' "

"But Dawes thought the night, mad, deep, lost, going under, witch-strewn, was his only brother, an idiot, a dwarf. In the foreshortened distance of quarried rock he rustled the nightsounds, like a fine shirt of bells, a vest of rings and frills. Dawes thought he waved him home with a flick of his wrist. An elf, twisted in his own mirrors, cast out from his own house, his illusions of possessing a self, Dawes could see he wore another face. His wink, a jaded star, hung out to dry on the green roof of a flooded barn, recrossed itself without effort. He sailed over the moon. Taking his suitcase full of slingshots and explosive pumpkin balls, he was gone."

"Waking, through a dream of falling timbers, on the epileptic sun of the concrete, Dawes could feel his heart exploding in his mouth. It was very quiet, strangely peaceful. For a moment Dawes thought he needed only a ride back to town. That for some reason he had only gone to sleep in the woods, become lost. Then it all came back in a rush of denser air. . . . Then, for some reason he wouldn't admit, he began walking fast circles in his mind without ever leaving it."

"The place was dead with sound; it was like small things, birds, leaves, sticks in the wind blowing up into a waterfall. It was as if the whole world were water and running up over the sky; and he could hear every drop, every note, every particle and gradation. It was music. Nature was a single sound, a blowing up of blood in his ears until thunder and melody came out in a single running water note. They would come."

Mossman takes all the risks he can think.

1 comment:

  1. There is a documentary by Mark Moskowitz called "Stone Reader" about his obsession/fascination with this novel. Frank Conroy is in the flic, and others I don't remember. It's available on Netflix.