- Stone Junction
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I'm going to call this book mystical realism. I think this is distinct from magical realism because the first three quarters of the book is totally grounded in the consensus version of reality that's good, right? I got it from Atmospheric Disturbances. Since you probably don't have any clue what I'm talking about, I'll do a quick summary. This is the story of Daniel Pearce. He is the kid who the woman in points 2 and 4 is pregnant with. He grows up in a totally loving and wholly unorthodox environment, as his mom sort of runs a safe house for outlaws but the honorable kind, the fascinating and brilliant and good kind.
Everything is cool until mom is killed when Daniel is fourteen. After that he is taken in by the people for whom his mom ran the safe house: AMO, a loose network of alchemists, magicians, and outlaws. He falls under the tutelage of a series of incredible men and women, who each teach him various amazing skills meditation and waiting, safecracking, drug and sex appreciation, poker and gambling, disguise, and finally vanishing. You realize that he is amassing the lessons he will need for the quest he's about to embark upon, on which he will both search for his mother's killer and steal a six-pound round diamond from the CIA.
Regardless, it's a sensational story of an incredible journey undertaken by an amazing hero and populated by a stunning array of fantastic supporting cast members. The book is introduced by Thomas Pynchon. Jim Dodge has a spectacular writing style, combining totally believable dialogue with amazing characters and plenty of beautiful description. As I said earlier, there's a certain kind of author who you can tell just had so much fun writing that you can't help but be just as enthused to read it.
I fucking loved this book. View all 15 comments. Oct 05, Drew rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: 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. On the title page it calls itself an "alchemical potboiler. But Stone Junction contains plenty to think about, if you're the thinking type. There's Oedipal stuff, ethical quandaries, obsession, betrayal, outlaws not to be confused with criminals, as distinguished later , and even a heist.
Basically, Daniel Pearse is being trained by the best in all the dodgiest, sketchiest outlaw arts, in order to get some sweet revenge. And also to steal a huge diamond. The thing is, Daniel, the main character, goes through a series of teachers for the first part of the book, who teach him a number of skills that flirt with the supernatural.
Mystical is probably an appropriate word. And these teachers dispense knowledge in all sorts of pithy little lines. But the tricky part of having a whole bunch of wise teachers or gurus in your book is that you have to be as smart as all of them. Shantaram is a good example of this.
Dodge's aphorisms are spot on, though, which is really cool. Just a couple examples: Maybe the first one's a little tired, and the second's more of a joke. Maybe I'm overestimating how much other people will like that sort of thing. Oh, wait, though, did I mention there's a heist? That's my point about this; that there's something for everyone. I should note that, like House of Leaves , and un like Infinite Jest , the end of the book doesn't quite live up to the promise of the beginning.
But no less a man than Thomas Pynchon disagrees with me on that point, and who are you going to believe? The strange thing is that my copy has taller, wider pages than a normal book, and also small, close-packed text, so small it's actually sort of hard to read the passages that are in italics of which there are few, thankfully. And that comes out to about pages. So it's hard to say. Spoilers would likely cripple enjoyment, although I had some slight spoilers thanks to Pynchon's intro, which I skimmed, and I still loved it.
View all 10 comments. Sep 13, Setenay K. Oct 13, Grin rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: 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 This book is a mix between Lord of The Rings, Huckleberry Finn, On the Road and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
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 sentimental crap. The only thing I would say is don't read the intro or the back of the book- I didn't and there are plot spoilers so thank god. Also there are two chapters which are particularly slow, one of them being right before the end. But I forgive that Sep 13, tim rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: If you have not yet read Jim Dodge, start with Fup, the "fable that became a fable. 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. Mar 27, 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 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. Then it kept going, and the characters kept piling up to overabundance, and we kept on getting reasons to love the protagonist and his mother, and the enthusiasm for life got a little canned, and the pace and plot started grinding down, and it was tough to get through at the end.
I do appreciate Jim Dodge's utter writerly brio, and I'm looking forward to reading his 'Fup' based on goodreads reviews but I must say that Stone Junction is pretty much an overcooked fowl. 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 organization and the characters that interact with it are the protag This book sets its own terms, existing somewhere in the lands of political fantasy--if such a geography exists. This organization and the characters that interact with it are the protagonists of this lively tale.
And the anarchic assumptions by which these folks measure their actions are a big part of the charm of this book. I was drawn in from the start and held attentive until the end. This book is fun and worth your time. I am confused about the darkness and other elements of the ending. But I may re-read this book at some time and clarify some of my confusions. Apr 02, Naomi rated it it was amazing Shelves: I think I first became aware of this book when searching Amazon for "Haight-Ashbury.
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 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 cover my walls with the words and thoughts contained in this book and make my house a poetry magazine of Jim Dodge quotations his idea as described in the book, not mine. I had to celebrate a bit with you. To quote Dodge, "I found the truth, and it is simple. For the full review, go here: I don't recall noticing the ad blurb on the back from one of my favorite authors, Thomas Pynchon: Reading Stone Junction is like being at a nonstop party in celebration of everything that matters.
At least one character is almost straight out of a Hunter S. Thompson tale of drug abuse. All that didn't necessarily bode well for me - including the sensationalist dramatic beginning: Apparently, one of the doctrines of the church was that the left hand is the 'devil's hand'. NUNtheless, to some readers this might be a chain-puller. One of my initial criticisms of Stone Junction was the fantastic improbability of much of it. I made a similar observation in my recent review of Bruce Sterling's Heavy Weather: I was immediately sucked into the writing, it was thrilling , it's a thriller of sorts.
Am I a storm chaser? Am I a meteorologist? Am I a hacker? So it really just plays into an aspect of my fantasy life. I am, however, an 'outsider', a person barely tolerated by a society of robopaths. Is this something written by someone who knows how to write a thriller but who doesn't necessarily come from the social milieu that his heros are located in? He had a faded IWW button on his Stetson's band and a pair of rolling dice on his belt buckle.
Annalee liked him immediately. Then again, it's not impossible. Each New Year's Eve they chose a subject to study together. One year it was rocks. One year, birds of prey. The year devoted to meteorology was the most fun. Each night they put their sealed forecasts for the next day's weather into a jar, opening them after dinner on the following day as if they were fortune cookies.
They plotted their relative accuracy and the day's weather data on a wall chart that had become a mural by winter solstice. On New Year's Eve, a few minutes before midnight, they ceremoniously rolled the mural up, tied it with a sky-blue ribbon, and stored it like a precious scroll in a fishing-rod case.
Home schooling can be an honest attempt to break free from indoctrination or an attempt to make the indoctrination airtight. I hated school but in my experience of it it wasn't so bad. If there had been a school for 'exceptionally bright or talented' students my parents wdn't've wanted me to go there anyway - esp if it meant spending money.
I certainly wdn't've wanted to be schooled by my parents. These days, schools have changed so much. I don't know anyone who sends their kids to public schools, as in the neighborhood school. It seems like an improvement to me. One friend of mine who taught at a local school for the arts put together a music ensemble that was so good that being part of it wd be an honor indeed. The current extent of my knowledge is based on my own research conducted outside of school.
If a person's desire to be educated is self-motivated then they're much more likely to accomplish something important, IMO. Then again, there's the usual situation of privilege: I only have one friend whose child has been partially home-schooled. I don't know how successful the home-schooling's been but I'm sure it's been subject to the erratic difficulties of the parent's life. As such, these are people who want their children to be thoroughly indoctrinated in whatever their religious beliefs are.
I suppose one can say 'That's their right' fairly enuf but I don't think any schooling is satisfactorily educational if its myopic. Parents like Annalee in Stone Junction wd be rare indeed. Parents like those that Betsy DeVos represents seem much more common. DeVos justifies this by fear of bears but somehow I reckon that more humans have killed their fellow humans than bears ever will.
He told them to drive to Dubuque, Iowa, and make a phone call to the number he provided. It went off harmlessly, but the shot brought security to full alarm. As for a guard guarding a place where uranium cd be stolen getting stoned, some might say that's really ridiculous. To the contrary, I had a friend who was in the US Army whose job was guarding nuclear missiles as they came off a conveyor belt in South Korea.
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My friend loved being in the military in S. He told me that they got stoned all the time. He also told me it wasn't too unusual for the conveyor belt workers to be so incompetent that the nuclear missiles might fall off the belt from time-to-time. Apparently, it took more than that for them to explode but, still, wd you want stoned soldiers guarding nuclear missiles?! Anyway, Shamus's fortune turns as he takes a hostage to drive him out who wants to escape too.
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Shamus intended to keep Trakl only until they reached the getaway car, the first of three switches he'd already set up. He told Shamus that he was a virtual prisoner of the U. Got a good place for you to ride, too. I'm sure that many or most of my so-called friends wd turn me in immediately, people are venal. Even the Cosa Nostra, wch seems to be strongly united around greed, ends up having internecine bloodbaths.
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Basically, AMO is a historical alliance of the mildly felonious, misfits, anarchists, shamans, earth mystics, gypsies, magicians, mad scientists, dreamers, and other socially marginal souls. I'm told it was originally organized to resist the pernicious influences of monotheism, especially Christianity, which attacked alchemy as pagan and drove it underground.
The Random Canyon Raiders were devoted to high times and low art, and Annalee rediscovered a social life. She began to cut loose. In my own life, I think of B. He sucked air to cool it. Secret's in the chiles. I grow my own, out o' my own stock—been perfecting it for ten years now. Temporarily out of stock. Only 2 left in stock - order soon. Vuelo diurno Jan 10, Only 1 left in stock - order soon. Out of Print--Limited Availability. Provide feedback about this page. There's a problem loading this menu right now.
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