The History of Luminous Motion

Overview


Fiction. First published in 1989, this long-neglected cult classic features revisions, and a new afterword, by the author.

"A novel as mysterious, beautiful, sad and frightening as contemporary American childhood itself—and, fortunately, a good deal funnier. Bradfield's California is haunted by vast primordial Lovecraftian forces—death, sex, credit cards, Mom—which threaten always to emerge from their ancient hiding places and engulf the world and the narrator, eight-year old Phillip and his preteen Karamazov ...

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Overview


Fiction. First published in 1989, this long-neglected cult classic features revisions, and a new afterword, by the author.

"A novel as mysterious, beautiful, sad and frightening as contemporary American childhood itself—and, fortunately, a good deal funnier. Bradfield's California is haunted by vast primordial Lovecraftian forces—death, sex, credit cards, Mom—which threaten always to emerge from their ancient hiding places and engulf the world and the narrator, eight-year old Phillip and his preteen Karamazov friends. Those who think they know all about California and Oedipal drives will here discover the true extent of their ignorance. The thing is indescribable—violent, hallucinatory, comic and incredibly well written. Scott Bradfield has not simply staked out new literary terrain here, he has mapped and colonized an entire new plant."—Michael Chabon

"If you spot it, grab it."—J.G. Ballard

" An eight year old psychopath is a boy, and the object of his murderous obsession is the chief rival for his mother's attention."--New York Times.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``In his first novel, Bradfield composes a verbal fantasia on the theme of a young felon's confused feelings and reckless misdeeds.'' A psychotic seven-year-old and his mother drift around California, murdering and thieving. This ``offers the fruits of a rich novelistic imagination,'' wrote PW. (Aug.)
Library Journal
This ambitious first novel, with its echoes of everything from Oedipus Rex to Camus and Mishima, concerns the exploits of an eight-year-old California psychopath. Phillip Davis and his mother travel the highways, living by their wits and occasionally settling down with various men his mother meets. Wanting mom totally to himself and desiring the more ``authentic'' existence of the road, Phillip contrives ways to eliminate all rivals, culminating with an attempt to murder his returned father. Phillip is a perversely fascinating character--alienated, self-educated, and intellectually mature beyond his years, a prepubescent existentialist who finds killing a redemptive act. But ultimately he is so advanced as to be unbelievable, casting doubts on Bradfield's intention and considerably weakening the novel's impact.-- Lawrence Rungren, Bedford Free P.L., Mass.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780983163329
  • Publisher: Calamari Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2013
  • Pages: 156
  • Sales rank: 918,240
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Born in California in 1955, Scott Bradfield has lived in London for thirty years. He is the author of THE HISTORY OF LUMINOUS MOTION (Calamari Press, 2013).
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