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Children Of Light

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  359 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Abandoned by his wife, Gordon needs something more - love. Love in the shape of Lu Anne. Following her to Mexico where she is filming a movie he's scripted, it doesn't matter to Gordon that Lu Anne is fighting for survival too, and that Gordon may push her over the edge.
Hardcover
Published February 1st 1999 by MacMillan General Books (first published June 23rd 1985)
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Paul
Feb 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Geez, dude. This thing was . . . I mean don't let the pink cover trick you. Some serious intensity here. I'm fully in love with this guy Stone. COL concerns a Hollywood production in Mexico, and basically revolves around the screenwriter (a serious coke-head) coming together with the star (who's 'troubled' to put it mildly), and what happens when they finally meet up on the set. The scenes featuring the star's schizophrenic(?) visions are some of the craziest things I've ever read—some serious h ...more
Eli Bishop
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-general
This is often described as a minor Stone novel, because it involves Hollywood shenanigans and who cares about that. I disagree: it's not his best but it's up there with the rest of them, and not because of the flavorful prose and the scenes of flamboyant boozery, but because it's a convincing and horribly sad portrayal of love and art at their worst. Gordon (the screenwriter) would read as just another drunken/coked-up wisenheimer except for two things: he's a solid writer who understands how to ...more
Kevin
May 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
Someone gave me this book for my birthday over ten years ago and told me they wanted to get me other works but the used bookstore didn't have them (probably Dog Soldiers and A Flag for Sunrise). So this would do. Finally read it. Clearly a masterful writer, and you would think that I, Wes grad, would love a book remixing King Lear and The Awakening, but I didn't love it.

That said, it's a great drug book. Shows how people with mental illness fall by the wayside when they're surrounded by addicts
...more
Frank
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a bloody marvelous novelist Stone really is. I keep forgetting, maybe because there's something unobtrusive about his artistry, or maybe just because he produced such a small body of work. But no novel of his that I've read has been a dud, and this one is delectable. Not a word out of place, constantly entertaining and cramming a wealth of meaning within a strictly realist framework. Every scene in this novel about Hollywood is as riveting as a scene from a good Hollywood film (but more int ...more
Janet
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love this book unreasonably--I put it right up there with Bear and His Daughters, only second to Dog Soldiers. Maybe it's overlooked so often because it's a Hollywood novel, and has a minimal cast compared to much of the Stone oeuvre. Treading on Didion territory here... I keep thinking they made a movie of this, with someone like Susannah York, but perhaps I just saw it in my head.
Tony
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
CHILDREN OF LIGHT. (1985). Robert Stone. ***.
This novel from Stone is often referred to as his “Hollywood Novel”, as it is situated on the set of a shooting of a movie in Mexico. It is really a love story that occurs between two disturbed people who are surrounded by a bunch of stereotypes slightly displaced from the usual sets in Hollywood. There are no likeable characters in this story, nor do any of the characters actually like each other. It’s mostly about a former love affair gone sour, tha
...more
Jeff Jackson
Jan 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
David Bowman picked this as one of the five best post-Chandler noirs. An interesting lens through which to view one of Robert Stone's most unusual efforts -- often called his Hollywood book, but far from it. Incidentally, it contains one of the best final lines ever. Bowman sez: "The most unloved child of all Stone’s work (even editor Robert Gottlieb hated it), this novel contains the psychic framework of a good noir while simultaneously being the burnout death of the genre (despite noble attemp ...more
Whitney
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
It's like Hemingway for the 80s...so with a lot more coke. I found a lot to like in this book, but it wasn't quite a pleasant reading experience. Interesting way of combining a kind of experimental style (mostly coked-up or drunk dialogue) with traditional themes (the characters are filming an adaptation of The Awakening). But the examination of a character's schizophrenia was a little incomplete for me when done this way. And I would have loved more movie industry sprinkled in - I think fleshin ...more
Brad
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Not as epic-ly good as Dog Soldiers or Flag for Sunrise but still awesome.
Eve Kay
Children of Light briefly rose to a four but quickly crashed back down.
The story, in short, is:
Gordon Walker is a writer and wrote the screenplay to Chopin's Awakening. Lu Anne is his lover and is playing Edna in the movie. Gordon Walker follows her to where they're shooting the movie.

Like I said, that was the short version.
I left out all the parts about all the alcohol, cocaine and mental illness.
Anywho...
The parts I left out are the parts that I most enjoyed. Definitely my stuff all that crazy
...more
Gary Sedivy
Feb 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
Don't waste your time reading this novel: unless you like stories about self-obsessed druggies in the movie business, who don't like themselves, or others, who have hallucinations, all of whom (the druggies) are unlikeable. Unlikeable hedonists! Now there's a concept.
At the halfway point in this novel, I finally decided it wasn't worth my time. There is no way this novel ends well unless everyone dies, but then there would be no one to tell the story. Bummer. Decided to cut my losses and dump t
...more
Susan
Aug 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Read a number of years ago but it is now heading out with some other books for some lucky future booklover to find at the great book sales our library puts on (we have a very dedicated Friends of the Library group).
Book is terrific but you have to read The Awakening by Kate Chopin first or it won't make as much sense to you. Which is hardly asking too much since that is a terrific book, too.
Maybe all good books should be set up that way, so you have to read another good book - a twofer sort of l
...more
Jaron
Oct 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Three and a half stars. There were many well-observed, insightful passages in this book. There were also quite a few ridiculous parts. I read much of this book while traveling and I appreciated how I was swept along by the story -- there aren't a lot of books I'm able to read for long stretches, and I was thankful that this was one of those.

I enjoyed Stone's Bay of Souls years ago and I will definitely read another of his novels soon.
David
Nov 13, 2007 rated it did not like it
Having now read Stone's Children of Light, I can say I no longer have higher hopes for his fiction. It was one of the most hollow novels I've ever read. Remarkable, perhaps, for having such a quality in spades. Maybe I'm reading the wrong things. I'll give him one more chance with something early like A Hall of Mirrors or Dog Soldiers. And that's it.
Scott Sanders
Jun 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Excellent writer, and the story was entertaining. My problem was Lu Anne, who was insane. Literally. And she started to drive me insane by the end. That's a mark that Stone did his job, but, be that as it may, she got on my nerves too much. Regardless, I thought the writing itself was top-notch.
Leo T
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
By the late, great Robert Stone - one of the last of the big-time literary heavyweights. Had the good fortune to attend a couple of readings of other books by him and got the chance to pose a question or two. This novel was the only one I hadn't read and did so when the news broke that we had lost him....
SSteppenwolFF
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book ! This is the first book I have read by Robert Stone although I have had this book for a while . Good story ,good writing . I also have Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone that the movie "Who'll Stop The Rain" starring Nick Nolte is based on and will be reading that soon .
Paul Wilner
Dec 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. Deals in part with Hollywood, moviemaking (though so much more), which may help explain why it doesn't have the reputation of, say, Dog Soldiers or Flag for Sunrise. But it is DEFINITELY up there. Bleak, powerfully, totally well-realized.
Will
Jul 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Everything about this book is brilliant until you get to the end. It's totally inexplicable-- feels like he just got really tired and just decided to stop writing and go to bed. Which is too bad, because the first four fifths of the book is incredible.
Kurt
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stone turns his creative powers and jaded eye on a corrupt Hollywood. There's a fascinating struggle as a mentally ill actress has to choose whether or not to take medication that keeps her sane but dulls her talents.
aPriL does feral sometimes
Lots of allegories and metaphors and symbolism, but in the end the book was empty nothings. Seemed like a paper you write in 7th grade - "What I did this summer when I won a trip to a movie set on The Price is Right TV show but the star died".
Mientras Leo
Sep 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Me ha gustado la historia, me ha gustado el tono... pero no he terminado de encajar con la historia
Matthew Mitchell
Sep 17, 2008 rated it liked it
I saw this on another members list and remembered I had read it in college and loved it. Makes me want to read more Robert Stone.
Eleanor
Sep 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
This one star rating isn't fair on my side - I know this is well written. I just did NOT like the characters or the "story" .... I disliked the characters so much I couldn't finish the book.
Jane Ciabattari
Mar 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of the top 5 Hollywood novels:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-an...
Karen
Jan 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the film shoot setting of this one. I'd go for 3 1/2.
Susan Rubinsky
Jan 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
Self-indulgent writing about self-indulgent people. I'm 84 pages in and I doubt I will finish it. there is not one likable character.
Peter
Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
I'm a little predjudiced against books about mental illness. For some reason they make me feel like my grasp on sanity is slipping so I never really enjoy them.
Mark
rated it really liked it
Apr 30, 2017
George Snyder
rated it liked it
Aug 09, 2008
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ROBERT STONE was the author of seven novels: A Hall of Mirrors, Dog Soldiers (winner of the National Book Award), A Flag for Sunrise, Children of Light, Outerbridge Reach, Damascus Gate, and Bay of Souls. His story collection, Bear and His Daughter, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and his memoir, Prime Green, was published in 2006.
His work was typically characterized by psychological compl
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