February 15, 2010
EVENTS Free Autry Admission for Kids The Autry invites kids ages 9 and under to celebrate Presidents Day with free all-day access to the museum's exhibits, including "The Art of Native American Basketry" and "Masters of the American West." Free craft activity included. Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Adults, $9; children, free. (323) 667-2000. www.autrynationalcenter .org . BOOKS Robert Stone Stone spent part of his childhood in an orphanage, was a member of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters and a journalist in Vietnam.
April 20, 2003 |
The title of Robert Stone's new novel, "Bay of Souls," is evocative of other times, of thwarted adventurers on the high seas, of midnight attacks, of political intrigue and spies, of palm trees and beaches under the moon and important moral imperatives. Say "Bay of ... " to Americans of a certain age, and they'll know how to finish the phrase. Stone is one of our great living writers, and always an explosive and problematic one. He can set a scene like almost no one else.
March 1, 1992 |
Even the climate in "Outerbridge Reach" speaks corruption. It declares America's decline in loyalty, valor, love, republican virtue, individual pride, sound workmanship and the tang of the wilderness. Global consumer greed equals global warming; it has been the mildest winter in 100 years: "The ambiguity of the weather made time seem slack and the year spiritless." Such is the opening and theme of Robert Stone's novel about a man's ill-fated revolt against the moral entropy of the day.
April 30, 2003 |
On a recent Tuesday afternoon, Le Meridien Hotel in Beverly Hills looks like a setting from a Robert Stone novel, a study in contrasts, in silence and movement, in darkness and light. In the back of the lobby, the hotel bar sprawls like some abandoned post-colonial outpost, empty except for CNN beaming the latest images from Iraq. A few feet away, a Japanese model poses before a fountain. As a photographer circles deliberately, like a predator, assistants jostle for position at his side.
April 6, 1997 |
Like the protagonist of his last novel, "Outerbridge Reach," the principal characters in Robert Stone's short-story collection are single-hand sailors on a course to disaster. It is not because the gales and currents of their existence are too powerful. Stone's blighted heroic vision proposes extreme hardship as the measure of a sound life. Rather, it is because the sheets and timbers of their craft are unsound, owing to the sleaze and lack of standards in the world that fitted them out.
April 30, 1998 |
Imagine a hospital ward full of lunatics whose fantasies and delusions are strictly biblical: In one corner, "John the Baptist" is chattering excitedly to the wall, while "Moses" and "Samson," both heavily sedated, are nodding off in straitjackets. "Jesus" begins yet another sermon, until he's whisked away for blood tests. It might sound like a bad comedy skit, but such a ward exists in Jerusalem, where millions of people, some of them deranged, make pilgrimages every year.