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January 12, 2015 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Robert Stone, Novelist of the Vietnam Era and Beyond, Dies at 77 [New York Times]
"Robert Stone, who wrote ambitious, award-winning novels about errant Americans in dangerous circumstances or on existential quests — or both — as commentary on an unruly, wayward nation in the Vietnam era and beyond, died on Saturday at his home in Key West, Fla. He was 77.


Robert Stone, The Art of Fiction No. 90 [Paris Review]
Remembering Robert Stone [LA Times]
Robert Stone, Known For 'Dog Soldiers,' Dies At 77 [NPR.org]
posted by Fizz (17 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Fizz at 11:09 AM on January 12, 2015

Read Dog Soldiers and Outerbridge Reach.

A lifelong adventurer who in his 20s befriended Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady and what he called "all those crazies" of the counterculture, ...

Say hello to all those crazies for me. RIP

posted by 724A at 11:13 AM on January 12, 2015

The two books of his that I've read and really enjoyed were Dog Soldiers and Outerbridge Reach. This is a good reminder to read more of his books.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:26 AM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


My dad and Bob were great friends, and I imagine my pops is broken up about this. I spent many Summers of my childhood at his house on Block Island, and knew him to be a very kind, welcoming and entertaining man. Like many of the male novelists of his era and scene, I don't know that he was an entirely positive figure in the lives of the women he knew, but he was great to me.

Once, at about 8 years old, I found a $50 bill in the ocean near Bob's house. He told me a story then, about his first real financial windfall as a writer. He had received an advance of some then-substantial sum, and cashed the check with plans to buy a van and drive west. Before leaving, he went to the beach for one last Atlantic swim, leaving his envelope of cash in his shoe on the sand. At some point during his swim, he glanced up only to see that his envelope had come unsecured, and the wind was whipping his money--all of his money--around the beach. He playfully insisted that, surely, the money I'd found was his, and that it had been stuck in the tides for decades. As a kid, it was a favorite moment of my life, and it's stuck with me for a long time now, much more than nearly any other childhood memory.

Thanks, Bob, for being good to me and being a reliable friend to my old man.

posted by still bill at 11:26 AM on January 12, 2015 [19 favorites]

posted by allthinky at 11:35 AM on January 12, 2015

The Paris Review's blog post on Stone (with a page from the MS of Children of Light).
posted by chavenet at 11:36 AM on January 12, 2015

posted by Cash4Lead at 11:57 AM on January 12, 2015

posted by Glomar response at 12:00 PM on January 12, 2015

posted by LeLiLo at 12:07 PM on January 12, 2015

posted by Michele in California at 12:18 PM on January 12, 2015

posted by Mental Wimp at 1:27 PM on January 12, 2015

still bill, thanks for the story about Stone. I read Dog Solders for a college English class in the 70s and while I remembered that it had turned me on to Stone's writing, it wasn't until I read the obituary that I realized how many of his books I had enjoyed over the years; not just the two mentioned, but also Hall of Mirrors, A Flag for Sunrise, Children of the Light and Damascus Gate. Some were better than others (I think Hall of Mirrors is outstanding), but even the least of them a good read.

Sorry to hear he's gone, but happy to also learn in the obit that there are a couple of his books I haven't read yet.
posted by layceepee at 1:27 PM on January 12, 2015

Oh man, I'm currently working my way through his books. I enjoyed "A Hall of Mirrors" even more than "Dog Soldiers." I found a signed copy of "Outerbridge Reach" in a discount store a couple of months ago, too.
posted by hyperizer at 1:51 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

"Damascus Gate" is probably the best novel I've ever read about the Israel and the Middle East. "Dog Soldiers" and "A Flag for Sunrise" were also outstanding.
posted by hwestiii at 1:59 PM on January 12, 2015

posted by Smart Dalek at 2:15 PM on January 12, 2015

On reflection, it's odd that I heard of his death today. I spent a few seconds earlier today--before seeing this FPP--thinking about him, because my other enduring memory of Bob is that he was pretty close with Salman Rushdie, and the recent stuff in France had me thinking about the new tone of European criticism of Islam and how artless (and heartless) it is. When The Satanic Verses was published, I was just aware enough to understand things like the fatwa on Rushdie, and I remember thinking it was cool that this friend of my dad's (kinda; I think my dad only knows Rushdie via friends like Bob) was so important and controversial that people wanted to kill him. Bob noticed my fascination with it, and told me--in what I remember to be a delightfully conspiratorial tone--that he would let me meet him. At the time, it really felt like something out of a spy novel to me. Later, when I actually read some of Stone's writing, it made it all seem so intentional.
posted by still bill at 2:59 PM on January 12, 2015 [4 favorites]

Thanks for the recommendations y'all! Gonna seek out A Flag For Sunrise now.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:55 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

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