The author, Dow Mossman, was a one-hit wonder and had a nervous breaksown after he completed this book. He then spent his life working in a printing press. The imagery and attention to detail in the book is amazing.
There's a fantastic documentary film Stone Reader about him and other one-hit wonder authors such as JD Saligner's, Catcher in the Rye. It's a must-see for book lovers. When I saw the movie (years ago), afterwards he was there and took questions, he was a very endearing and humble man.