Customer Reviews for

The Stones of Summer

Average Rating 3.5
( 23 )
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(11)

4 Star

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(2)

2 Star

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1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Stones of Summer

As a reader, a reviewer and a writer, I know well how rare the occasion that I've composed or come across a review which begins with the edict: 'If you read nothing else this year...' and yet, here is such a find. The Stones of Summer is a literary force of nature so r...
As a reader, a reviewer and a writer, I know well how rare the occasion that I've composed or come across a review which begins with the edict: 'If you read nothing else this year...' and yet, here is such a find. The Stones of Summer is a literary force of nature so rare in creation and scope that it simply should not be missed. At once lyrical and comical, phrased with a narrative that is like a postmodern Faulkner, the story unfolds like a dream. The Stones of Summer is a rare find, a definitive and remarkable work of art brought back for a whole new generation to read as a treat not to be missed! Steven Gillis is the author of WALTER FALLS (barkingman@aol.com)

posted by Anonymous on November 3, 2003

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Has anybody actually tried to read this?

I have to say I tried, I really, really tried to like this book. I gave it my best effort, but comparing this novel to the other paragons of early-70s excess - Gravity's Rainbow, The Sot-Weed Factor, The Public Burning, etc. - is a disservice both to those novels and th...
I have to say I tried, I really, really tried to like this book. I gave it my best effort, but comparing this novel to the other paragons of early-70s excess - Gravity's Rainbow, The Sot-Weed Factor, The Public Burning, etc. - is a disservice both to those novels and this one. It owes most of its logorrhea to the descendants of Kerouac's On the Road, and like most of the post-Beat miscegentions, is a hopeless muddle, practically unreadable. Again, I tried. I applaud the ambition, but I'd like to meet the person who reads more than the 100 pages I did.

posted by Anonymous on November 2, 2003

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2004

    Well I Liked it!

    I picked up this book and couldn't put it down. I carried it everywhere with me so I could sneek in a few pages at whatever apportunity aross. I think that this book is a Love it or Hate It type of book. If you are expecting to pick it up and have it be like something else you have read before you, will be disapointed. It is a great coming of age story. The charcthers are raw and sometimes crazy, and the prose are also insane. Mossman is a very passionate writer, and his passion pulls you in along side Dawes in his Journey. I am looking forward to re-reading the book as soon as possible.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2003

    Stones of Summer

    As a reader, a reviewer and a writer, I know well how rare the occasion that I've composed or come across a review which begins with the edict: 'If you read nothing else this year...' and yet, here is such a find. The Stones of Summer is a literary force of nature so rare in creation and scope that it simply should not be missed. At once lyrical and comical, phrased with a narrative that is like a postmodern Faulkner, the story unfolds like a dream. The Stones of Summer is a rare find, a definitive and remarkable work of art brought back for a whole new generation to read as a treat not to be missed! Steven Gillis is the author of WALTER FALLS (barkingman@aol.com)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2005

    HES A WELDER NOW AND I WONDER WHY!

    Dow Mossman has been working as a welder for twenty years, and it is obvious why. The book is a combination of The Catcher in the Rye and James Joyce, and of course, who wants to read James Joyce?! And the characters were hard to understand. At no point in the book did he lay out who thought this way or who was the good guy and the bad guy. And he did dialogue in a realistic fashion, and who wants to read about realistic dialogue? Also you had to read the book to get through it, which was extremely bothersome, because if I'm not watching a scientist's daughter and a CIA agent save the world by page 70 I'm closing the book immediatly. So if you like Faulkner, James Joyce, Shakespear or Mark Twain I'd suggest reading this book, as the author is more lyrical than all of those but shakespear. But if you like Anita Shreve..... who i absolutely love, and characters that have real feelings that show up constantly in the book and they talk about them like, 'i can't believe he left me, i think i am going insane.' then you shouldn't read this book. Read this book if you are some snobby, secular, liberal, leaning-towards-communism left-winger who thinks that poetry can explain the world. Freak.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2005

    You have to be patient

    This is the kind of book that honestly is going to be hard to get through.Even if you realize what an amazing story it is.Everything is so perfectly wirtten,like a poem.I liked the characters, and they made me think about the country and things that are unexplianable but you still need in life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2005

    Stumbling on your own thoughts

    I'm not sure what kind of social skills the people who wrote positve reviews of this book have because it's obvious the writer has none. Read the first two pages and you become to understand how thinking too much can cause insanity. I don't care how many books you've read you'll never be able to understand this one. I would equate my enjoyment of reading this (only on page 61) to reading the orginial King James version of the Bible. It makes about as much sense and flows about the same way. The night was dark, WE GET THE PICTURE. I don't need your 'bones' and stupid abject words describing nothing to tell me that. Seriously, how is a tree like a bunch of bones and how is it a murderer?!?!? STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOK.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2005

    Give the book a chance!

    The perfect summer read. Some parts may have ended up dry, but it always pulled through with that unique, mystifying style it is known for. I recommend that you shouldn¿t entangle yourself in the logic of his prose, though, and in that respect, I probably should give it a reread, myself! At least give it a chance--you'll either entirely love it or hate it. Who knows? Maybe you'll get lucky.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2004

    Grateful Dead meet Huck Finn

    If you only read for plot or to bind with characters, don't bother, but if you can let the words wash over you, keep listening even when what you're hearing makes no sense and let the intensity and the rhythem catch you up, you must read this. At first I couldn't understand how someone with this much talent could write only this book but by the time I finished I wondered instead how the author could have survived writing it. Find spaces in your life to read a few pages at a time and you will eventually find it tears you along as if you fell into a torrential downpour of words. Just try not to get too worked up by all the typos in the cut rate printing. You'd think someone would have noticed the difference between an n or an r.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2004

    The SAT's were more fun

    I really tried to get into this book. I tried to care about the characters. It just wasn't happening. This book started slow and only got slower. The writing was so thick it seemed like no one had bothered editing it. I think a lot of literary 'wanna be's' will claim to love this book, but I found it a disappointment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2004

    Too much hoopla.

    There wasn't a single character in this novel to admire, to identify with, to cheer on through whatever struggle arises. I'm putting this book out on the table in my next yard sale.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2004

    disappointing

    what a dreadful novel. I suspect the first few who read the original publication back in the 1970s were blind if they thought this novel was worth reviving. What a disappointment. Not only am I sorry I spent the money on it, but I am sorry I invested the time and mental effort to read it. Don't waste your time or your money on this one!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2003

    this is a lost novel for a very good reason

    I was very excited when I bought this book - couldn't wait to get home and read it. I tried; I really, really tried to get into it. But, alas, I couldn't even get past 90 pages. The main character is not convincingly realistic. He is crude and vulgar and completely unlike a real 9 or 10 year old boy. To compare this author to J.D. Salinger and Dickens is an insult to those greats and to American literature. I think Dow has potential. But he needs to hone his craft.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2003

    Purple Is His Favorite Color

    Why do all the positive reviews in this forum sound alike? Every page in this book is evidence of an author besotted with his own overblown style. Good writing means revision, craft, thought- -careful constructions of language that build an alternate reality. The Stones of Summer is simply not that. But it does feature a kind of writing that certain types of readers are continually attracted to--those delillo fans across the land who like writing that sounds 'writerly.' The less sense it makes the better, because the more sense it makes, the more fans it will have. And the more fans it has the less special you are for having discovered or rediscovered this 'lost masterpiece.' Oh brother. These are the same readers who don't like Jane Austen. And of course Mr. Mossman's protagonist is disgusted by Pride & Prejudice. That book is everything this one is not--a tightly constructed, well written, charming, witty, and very readable book--one written by a writer who must have been as talented editing her work as Mr. Mossman is not.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2003

    Has anybody actually tried to read this?

    I have to say I tried, I really, really tried to like this book. I gave it my best effort, but comparing this novel to the other paragons of early-70s excess - Gravity's Rainbow, The Sot-Weed Factor, The Public Burning, etc. - is a disservice both to those novels and this one. It owes most of its logorrhea to the descendants of Kerouac's On the Road, and like most of the post-Beat miscegentions, is a hopeless muddle, practically unreadable. Again, I tried. I applaud the ambition, but I'd like to meet the person who reads more than the 100 pages I did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2003

    One of the few that I won't pass on.

    I'm all for being raw in the interpretation of our times but a great deal of the conversation was so raw I felt as if I was going to get samlonella and die. I realize that not all of us can speak in multi-syllables but Dawes and his array of cronies left me in great desire for sentences just above the layer of pond slime that continued to come out of their mouths. The description of places was well done but that is all that kept me going. This is definitely a guy's book and best read in the john!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2003

    Stones of Summer

    by Steven Gillis (Author of WALTER FALLS) In 1972 Dow Mossman published his first -and only - novel, The Stones of Summer. A lyrical work, wonderously conceived, the book tells the story of Dawes Williams' coming of age in Rapid City, Iowa during the nineteen-fiftees. Over the course of some 600 pages, the novel follows Dawes into the turbulent sixties where he struggles to adapt to an ever changing America. The Stones of Summer met with strong early reviews in 1972, and had enough hardcover sales to warrent a paperback printing. Yet, as is often the case with literary fiction, the novel soon disappeared from the American consciousness. So, too, did Dow Mossman. At 29, three years removed from earning his MFA at the Iowa Writer's Workshop, Dow vanished, and for the next 30 years no one in the publishing world heard a word from him. Not until the filmaker Mark Moskowitz took it upon himself to search for Dow and in the process return The Stones of Summer to the public eye - after 30 years - was this wonderful novel brought back to us. The Stones of Summer is clearly a work of genius. The writing is akin to a post-modern Faulkner, at once comical and trancendent. Divided into three parts, each section has a distinct narrative and compelling tone. (The final section involving letters from Dawes friends from Vietnam and Dawes own life as a young man in America offers a reflection of the 60s so insightful and staggering as to shake the very foundations of the reader's soul.) The Stones of Summer is a rare find, a definitive and remarkable work of art and having it brought back for a whole new generation to read is a blessing not to be missed!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2003

    Incredible!

    This is the finest book I've read in the last 30 years! Once I started reading I could not put it down. Please Dow, give us more!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2003

    This is a Pure Work of Genius

    From a literary perspective I thought 'Stones' as a period piece surpassed Steinbeck's 'Grapes of Wrath' and as a coming of age piece surpassed 'Catcher in the Rye'. This is a work of pure genius. Mossman's dialogue was so crisp and powerfully interwoven within a complex shifting emotional young man challenged by his gifts and outside circumstances. Outstanding book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2003

    I READ THE BOOK IN ONE NIGHT

    Bought the book in a store Sunday afternoon and sat down to read. It took all night and I was in Iowa with Dawes at the time when as a teenager immigrant I was growing up in Michigan. This is how the natives came to maturity and it was similar to my experience. It was bringing back my youth in my ripe age.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2003

    Best novel since Huck Finn

    Mossman is the consumate novelist of our time. At least if you still have to write novel's in words.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2003

    Blakean Brilliance

    The Stones of Summer opens with prose poetry which transports you into the furies of an imagination that hasn't seen the light of day since William Blake. The pleasure of reading these magical words continues to haunt me as it haunts Dawes Williams in his search for meaning.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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