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A new novel from an American master, Bay of Souls is a gripping tale of romantic obsession set against the backdrop of an island revolution. Michael Ahearn is a midwestern English professor who abandons his comfortable life when he becomes obsessed with a new colleague from the Caribbean, Lara Purcell. When Lara claims a vodoun spirit has taken possession of her soul, Michael follows her to her native St. Trinity, only to find himself in a whirlpool of Third World corruption. A finely wrought tale of one man’s ...
A new novel from an American master, Bay of Souls is a gripping tale of romantic obsession set against the backdrop of an island revolution. Michael Ahearn is a midwestern English professor who abandons his comfortable life when he becomes obsessed with a new colleague from the Caribbean, Lara Purcell. When Lara claims a vodoun spirit has taken possession of her soul, Michael follows her to her native St. Trinity, only to find himself in a whirlpool of Third World corruption. A finely wrought tale of one man’s moral dissolution, Bay of Souls showcases Robert Stone at his most provocative and psychologically acute.
A tight brillianty observed tale.... A novel of bold prose and subtle perceptions, a small, hard gem from a master writer.
Publishers Weekly, Starred
Stone is at his best here, and that's very, very good.
Library Journal Starred
It's "must" reading in the way everything Stone writes is.
Every so often, a novel comes along so electrically charged with atmosphere and eroticism that the reader has to consume it in small morsels, stopping from time to time to digest what has been read.... Robert Stone's latest, BAY OF SOULS, is such a novel. Bookpage
The latest addition to Robert Stone's dark canon. It's a fascinating addition. Unusual (for Stone) in its brevity, this is a highly concentrated work.... Stone gives us another wild ride, one that leaves the reader rather dazed, shaken up and moved....
The New York Times Book Review
In Stone's intense, intricate story, moments as minor as a flashlight dropped in the water or a frustrated hunter trying to carry his kill in an unwieldy wheelbarrow are miniatures of the grotesque episodes in which Michael will later find himself.
The Seattle Times
Robert Stone's BAY OF SOULS shows the author in a stylistic languor as narcotic as the Caribbean island on which the story takes place....more fun than vacationing with your family.
Hypnotic.... BAY OF SOULS takes all of this important writer's motifs to a new and unanticipated level of scrutiny.
The Chicago Tribune
Stone just keeps getting better.
Readers who go along with Stone on this voyage won't be disappointed. USA Today
A stunning work, a profound and profoundly moving meditation tethered to a runaway train. ... Bay of Souls is a triumph. The San Diego Union-Tribune
Bottom line: Big bad voodoo dandy.
Here as elsewhere [Stone] orchestrates the bottomless complexity of political corruption with the subtlety of a jazz composer. The Washington Post
[Stone's] action scenes are taut, polished gems .... and his gift for conveying a building sense of dread is unmatched.
As always, Stone dares to probe the territory of personal salvation—the courage needed to find it and the consequences of not having what it takes—with unflinching steadiness.
Pittsburg Post Gazette
With steely prose, Stone cuts through to the heart of darkness lurking not in some exotic, far-flung locale, but beating insistently inside any sensitive man.
San Antonio Express-News
Beautifull written.... a gripping book filled with profound portraits of longing and distress.
The Detroit Free Press
The real action of BAY OF SOULS takes place in the heart of the protagonist, and Stone handles this drama masterfully.
Succeeds splendidly...delicate, even beautiful.
Posted July 8, 2004
This book was a difficult read for me for several reasons. The biggest however was the fact that I just felt absolutely nothing for the main character, which made it difficult to finish. But finish it I did. I couldn't help but blame the character for all his woes. Everything that happens is pretty much his fault and a direct result of his own bad (very bad) decisions. When I don't like the central character, it is always difficult for me to enjoy a book. I realize that a lot of research went into this book, I only wish that Stone included more of his voodoo knowledge to me, the reader. I know nothing about voodoo and after reading this book, I know even less. I needed more information, which was just not there for me to fully comprehend the events and happenings and meanings in this novel. I'm sure I missed a lot due to my lack of knowledge...but knowing that the author had that knowledge and didn't expound on it in this book....well, that's basically, my point. Write it and tell me, show me what those names and facts mean. There's a lot of info in this book, but it fell on deaf ears...so to speak. I did however enjoy the patterns woven in this book, which was why I gave it 3 stars and not 2. The recurring images and themes were well done and actually pretty interesting.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 22, 2003
Robert Stone's new book, BAY OF SOULS is a very interesting novel in its rather factual revelations on a rarely discussed religion: Voodoo aka Vudun etc. This writer studied Voodoo at the State University at Stony Brook Graduate School. As the Commanding Officer of the 77th Precinct [NYPD] in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, I studied and wrote articles on Voodoo in Urban Antropology, including 'Saturday Night Voodoo; Sunday Morning Mass', for US CATHOLIC Magzine. Robert Stone did his homework; his understanding of Voodoo is excellent, as is his book, 'Bay of Souls.' The book is a thriller; a page turner; an outstanding read. Yes! Voodoo is out there in the most unlikely places andd churches. My personal THANKS Robert Stone:Well Done.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.