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Stone Junction

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4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,640 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
Charging like a runaway semitrailer on a downhill grade and spanning the era from Haight-Ashbury's Summer of Love into the darkness of 1980s Manhattan, Stone Junction is a wise and wildly imaginative novel about Daniel Pearse, an orphaned child who is taken under the wings of the AMO -- the Alliance of Magicians and Outlaws. An assortment of sages sharpen Daniel's wide-eye ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 11th 1998 by Grove Press (first published 1990)
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Magic America by C.E. MedfordStone Junction by Jim DodgeThe Book With No Name by AnonymousHell's Horizon by Darren ShanCity of the Snakes by D.B. Shan
My Cult Fiction
2nd out of 31 books — 17 voters
The Dark Side of the Felt by Tyler NalsDeath Raise by Christopher  ParksThe Mu Rhythm Bluff by Jonathan   MitchellThe Prodigal by Alexander J. AllisonBank Shot by Donald E. Westlake
Novels Featuring Poker
22nd out of 28 books — 13 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oriana
Jan 16, 2011 Oriana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: phenomenal, read-2008
I'm too tired to organize my thoughts into coherent paragraphs, so instead here's a numbered list thingy, sorry if it's lacking in artistry.

1. I'm about 99 percent sure I've read this before, but I can't remember much of anything about it. When I went to my library to find something else today, this just leapt off the shelf at me, so.

2. Not many books seriously grab you with the first five or ten pages; this one had me riveted by the end of the first paragraph.

3. Jim Dodge –- like Pynchon, thou
...more
Drew
Feb 05, 2012 Drew rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Drew by: thomas pynchon
I think the last time I was this gripped right from the beginning of a book was when I read House of Leaves, and the time before that was probably Infinite Jest. Stone Junction isn't really much like either of those, though, so don't get the wrong idea. House of Leaves is gimmicky and academic, and Infinite Jest is long and fairly difficult. Stone Junction is significantly shorter* and definitely way more accessible. On the title page it calls itself an "alchemical potboiler." Using the word pot ...more
Max Nemtsov
Aug 12, 2014 Max Nemtsov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You don’t have to be illegal to be an outlaw.

Это супер-роман о супраментальном. Это идеальный роман идей. Пинчон назвал его «изгойским эпосом», и это недомолвка столетия — по крайней мере, второй половины прошлого века. Потому что это намного больше и алхимического триллера, и квеста поперек Америки, из которого о жизни вообще — не только в Америке — можно узнать намного больше, чем из многих томов. В нем есть все, что нужно для умеющего читать.

Если «Трилогия общественных работ» Мэтта Раффа — «
...more
Allycks
Mar 27, 2008 Allycks rated it it was ok
This is one of those books where the plot is original and the pace is upbeat, the characters are well-desribed and the twists are in abundance, but overall the work falls well short of the sum of its parts. I really wanted to like Stone Junction. I enjoyed its Pynchon-Tom Robbins kind of Americana raw boned wide-eyed American late 20th century style, with occasional touches of Richard Ford-like blatantly non pretentious poetic observations-- but only up to a certain point. Then it kept going, an ...more
tim
Sep 19, 2007 tim rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: magicians, outlaws, diamond lovers
If you have not yet read Jim Dodge, start with Fup, the "fable that became a fable." Fup sets the perfect tone for Stone Junction and introduces a recurring, if minor character in the later. Both stories are deeply moving, full of insight, and written with incredible heart and humor. I also recommend saving the great introduction by Thomas Pynchon until the end, as he gives away plot points that are better left as undiscovered surprises.
Grin
Dec 02, 2007 Grin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Abby Howell
This book is a mix between Lord of The Rings, Huckleberry Finn, On the Road and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I loved it! I recommend this book to anyone who liked the above books, and also people who need books to move fast or end up reading books in short spurts (on the bus) or work a job where they need to leave the world for a while and get totally absorbed. I couldn't put it down and the writing is smart, the characters are just as memorable as anything that Krauss could write- minus any ...more
Mosca
May 12, 2015 Mosca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-be-re-read
This book sets its own terms, existing somewhere in the lands of political fantasy--if such a geography exists. Here lives an underground and ancient, loosly-organized collaboration among those who have always lived outside the law. This loose confederation of anarchists, magicians, gamblers, alchemists--and others who live in a counter-economy//counter culture--has its own codes of honor which easily substitutes for rules.

This organization and the characters that interact with it are the protag
...more
Naomi
Jun 13, 2010 Naomi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bravissimo, 2010
I think I first became aware of this book when searching Amazon for "Haight-Ashbury." I finished it a few weeks ago, and I MISS IT! To have that life, to have people approach the world that way -- man, to have someone take me to a remote ranch with the directives to contemplate, to notice, to think...well, that would outshine a lotto win. I'd explode with happiness! And you get to DO that while you read this mangificent measure of a book. It's pretty obvious I can't contain my zeal. I want to co ...more
Vit Babenco
Stone Junction is tremendously optimistic and incredibly romantic… It’s a book written by an ultimate idealist… And when Jim Dodge starts idealizing he idealizes absolutely everything.
“Outlaws only do wrong when they feel it’s right; criminals only feel right when they’re doing wrong.”
For the presumably all-powerful Alliance of Magicians and Outlaws this postulate sounds childishly naïve.
Literally from the first pages Jim Dodge turns utterly uncritical and Stone Junction is as shallow as childre
...more
Oliver
Sep 01, 2009 Oliver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americana aficionados and Magic Realists
Recommended to Oliver by: my boyfriend
Thomas Pynchon, in his introduction to this novel, talks of a story grounded on Magic (with a capital M) from a time before the internet appeared in our lives. In my view, it's the kind of mysticism which was sought by the Beats (one of them, Gary Snyder, is even thanked in the novel); a form of American Magic Realism as seen through a hashish haze, to the sound of rock & roll.

Like Gabriel García Márquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" (the epitome of Magic Realism), giant characters come
...more
Marcus Miller
Aug 16, 2010 Marcus Miller rated it liked it
This is a great, different and interesting book. It starts off really well, has some truly colourful characters and the story winds and weaves towards who knows where but... then it falls of the rails a little towards the end.

I am not 100% sure if my review is too low, as it really is a great book, but it's quite long, takes it's time building you up and the payoff is a little - weird and ultimately not very satisfying.

It's such a strange book that I am not really confident in my review, it is
...more
Tony Day
Aug 08, 2015 Tony Day rated it it was amazing
Above all, do not read the spoiler-fuelled, Pynchon introduction. 5 stars for trying - I felt let down by the end of the book, and the esoteria paint-by-numbers vignettes in the middle, but the wild ride you get taken on is worth these disappointments. Americana has never been so fun.
Rafa
Mar 02, 2012 Rafa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No puedo dar una opinión, pero me dejó sabor La subasta del Lote 49, 1Q84, Hijos de la media noche...
Theo Logos
May 26, 2012 Theo Logos rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Stone Junction reads like a literary Frankenstein construct - equal parts Tom Robbins' whimsy, Umberto Eco's esotericism, and Ken Kesey's individualism/anarchism, yet it is all Jim Dodge's brilliance. If this witches brew makes you blanche in horror then avoid this book. If, however, like me, it whets your imagination and sets your mind to salivating, then by all means crack the covers and come dance at the monster's ball!
Stone Junction will introduce you to the AMO - The Alliance of Magicians a
...more
William
Feb 12, 2011 William rated it liked it
Shucks. The first quarter of the book (not to mention rave reviews and an introduction by Thomas Pynchon) had me thinking I was in for something special. I also enjoyed Dodge's well-written characters in Fup. However, the middle third of the book drags something awful; most all of it could be excised without dramatically affecting the plot. I had the sensation that Dodge- whose only previous work was a novella- was trying to write a full length novel but could only do so by stringing together a ...more
James
Apr 23, 2013 James rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, crime
I can see what seems to appeal to so many in this book but it left me cold. A woman and her son are taken under the wing of a collective of anarchists and magicans and end up joining the fight against "the man". Gradually the story gets ever more fantastic as the man daniel grows and gets taught various skills culminating in the heist of the worlds biggest diamond. I just could not relate to any of the characters except they reminded me of some very overwrought addled monologues I had to listen ...more
Mells
May 26, 2015 Mells rated it it was amazing
Rereading it was a wonderful experience, and it very clearly reminded me why Jim Doge is one of my favourite authors, even though Much Stone, Such Junction is not my favourite book written by him.

It just grabs you and drags you (with your permission, or possibly without) through itself, constantly surprising you, raining on you colourful people for whom you immediately open all the doors into your heart, a spirit of America so quirky and beautiful you can't help but fall in love with it, and th
...more
Maryann
Apr 16, 2014 Maryann rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1001
After finishing the book last night, I needed to find out more about Jim Dodge. He grew up on a commune, and there are definite influences on his writing. Also, he may have written half of Stone Junction and then put it away for awhile, coming back later to write the second half. There's an obvious shift in feeling just over halfway through, so this is believable as well.

The story is about Daniel and his mother. She met with tragedy early in his life and he was taken in by AMO: Alchemists, Magi
...more
Rudy Waltz
Mar 19, 2013 Rudy Waltz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I got it in San Francisco for a dollar or two, from a drifter peddling books placed upon the sidewalk. A little known gem about a wayward orphaned youth who avenges his mothers death with the help of alchemists, outlaws, magicians, gamblers, and all kinds of hustlers. Here's a summation from a fellow fan on Goodreads:
"This book is a mix between Lord of The Rings, Huckleberry Finn, On the Road and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
Yep.
Jon
Jan 14, 2013 Jon rated it really liked it
Shelves: magic, americana

If Hunter Thompson sat down to write an all-American Harry Potter--this would be it.
Richard Braughtigan with plot and no suicide.Tim Robbins with less whimsey. This book
is unfairly obscure because it is awesomely entertaining and wonderful.

a sixties fueled, magic addled mythic race across America by young Daniel Pearce
as he tries to become a man and solve the mystery of the death of his mother, the greatest,
sexiest, straight shootin proto-hippie there ever was.
Bart Van den Bosch
Oct 22, 2011 Bart Van den Bosch rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, fiction
Young boy is being trained by some sort of ancient secret society. Boy meets several weird characters, all social misfits, all with some special knowledge/ability. Of course the system is out to get them and several times they escape their enemies by a hair's breadth. Too many clichés. Halfway through the book I dropped out. I'm sure the boy will come of age, become a worthy member of the secret society and revenge his mother in due time. But I won't be around to read it.
Simon
Mar 19, 2012 Simon rated it really liked it
Stone Junction By Jim Dodge

Well this is the first Jim Dodge book that I've
read and have to say it was pretty rivetting
reading he is like a cross between Tom Robbins,
Harry Crews, Kurt Vonnegut with a hint of Carlos
Casteneda. the book rips along through many
twists and turns as the plot of the sinister
underground organisation builds and builds
through more and more unbelievable happenings
and events, I had trouble putting it down.
Sonia
Jul 12, 2011 Sonia rated it really liked it
There's something very charming about Dodge's Stone Junction. It kind of reminded me a bit of an edgier Harry Potter novel mixed with a PG13 version of Natural Born Killers.

The characters are interesting, droll, absorbing. The story is engaging. Okay, the stuff about the flame spiral in the diamond was a bit too much for me, but all around, it was a highly entertaining read.
Snob
Sep 15, 2011 Snob rated it it was ok
Tiña moitas ganas de que me gustara, pero na segunda metade foime perdendo, a medida que a palabrería máxica-new-age ía gañando peso. O punto forte da novela son os secundarios memorables que van aparecendo (e desaparecendo) un tras doutro. Por momentos parece todo unha excusa para o desfile de mestres do disfraz, o latrocinio, o poker e o drogarse; eses son os mellores momentos. Logo xa nada.
James R.
Aug 17, 2015 James R. rated it liked it
Stone Junction tell the story of a child that is trained by a secretive outlaw magic society and has to solve the mystery surrounding the death of a relative.

It's a strange book, the first half to two thirds of the book is like an elongated training montage, where you see Daniel go from mentor to mentor and learn skills that will equip him for his outlaw life. Then when that bit's over he then goes on a quest which involves the magical elements of the story really becoming a huge part of how he
...more
Thomas
Mar 07, 2016 Thomas rated it it was ok
SPOILERS

Stone Junction starts promisingly and goes quickly downhill. The opening account of Annalee and Daniel's life and the mysterious AMO is intriguing and fresh. The style is direct and easy reading, with dashes of philosophical ramblings, actions scenes and flashy dialogue. Annalee is the most interesting and fleshed out character - then she's blown up and the novel takes a nose dive.

Part two is a weird series of Karate kid style montages as the faceless, characterless Daniel undergoes long
...more
Rasmus Skovdal
Mar 14, 2015 Rasmus Skovdal rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book – it starts off with a young woman punching a nun (swoon!) - but the further along I got, the less interested I became.

It's not a bad story. Orphaned boy, society of outlaws and sorta-kinda magicians, esoteric training, a peculiar heist, a decent MacGuffin and a host of weird characters.

Let's just cut to the inevitable but (I feel like that has potential as a dumb band name – The Inevitable But), though: for a whole bunch of reasons, the ideas are better than th
...more
Neil Duff-Howie
Nov 17, 2012 Neil Duff-Howie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The sort of wonderfully-written book that makes me want to go back and downgrade a bunch of books I gave 5 stars to ...
Axel Marazzi
Jan 10, 2014 Axel Marazzi rated it it was amazing
Terminé el libro Stone Junction, de Jim Dodge.

No conocía al autor hasta que me lo recomendó @pablorama, pero leí alguna reseña y me pareció interesante.

No pude dejar de leerlo. Como solo te pasa con los libros de los que te enamoras.

Una novela anárquica, alquímica, que trata sobre la vida, desde el nacimiento, de Daniel Pearse.

La relación con su madre, su vida alternativa, sus maestros y todo en relación a su educación y crecimiento como ser humano responsable.

Su ingreso a una sociedad secreta d
...more
TheLongWait
Oct 14, 2014 TheLongWait rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gr-discoveries
A brilliant, rollicking story. Funny and poignant, I need to read more from Mr. Dodge.
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Jim Dodge is an American novelist and poet whose works combine themes of folklore and fantasy, set in a timeless present. He has published three novels, Fup, Not Fade Away and Stone Junction and a collection of poetry and prose, Rain on the River. Dodge was born in 1945 and grew up as an Air Force brat. As an adult he spent many years living on an almost self-sufficient commune in West Sonoma Coun ...more
More about Jim Dodge...

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“Let's get really fucked up and full of sentimental despair and then finally decide life, despite very heartbreak and anguished cry, is worth each pulse and breath” 8 likes
“Why are the ones who are too good to be true always being true to someone else?” 4 likes
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