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Bear and His Daughter by Robert Stone 9780395901342 (Paperback, 1998) Delivery US shipping is usually within 13 to 17 working days.
A collection of short stories includes Miserere, in which a widowed and childless librarian becomes an avid participant in the anti-abortion movement, and the title story, about the relationship between a father and his growing daughter.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
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Booze hounds and dope heads, trippers and pill poppers: Just about everybody in these seven hypnotic stories is getting over or giving in to a serious case of substance abuse. It's like the '60s all over again, except that every trip is a bad trip, and the flower children aren't trying to raise consciousness, they're trying to drown it out. "There are times when I don't think I will ever be dead enough -- or dead long enough -- to get the taste of this life off my teeth," says Elliott in "Helping," trying to explain to his wife why he's fallen off the wagon after 18 sober months. A social worker, Elliott has been driven back to drink by a client whose dream about wartime Vietnam -- which the client never experienced -- uncannily recalls Elliott's own nightmarish service there, under "a sky that was black, filled with smoke-swollen clouds, lit with fires, damped with blood and rain." Best known as a novelist ( Dog Soldiers, Outerbridge Reach), Stone brings a deceptive lyricism and a knack for emotional complexity to these shorter pieces. He doesn't condemn his addicts; neither does he sentimentalize them. Taking a shot at a bird, Elliott misses: "he was glad he missed. He wished no harm to any creature. Then he thought of himself wishing no harm to any creature and began to feel fond and sorry for himself ... Pissing and moaning, moaning and weeping, that was the nature of the drug." Elliott's relapse has a certain perceptive hopefulness to it; there's life beyond the bottom of the bottle. But things don't always turn out so well for Stone's people. In the title novella, drugs show their nastiest side when a poet and his daughter, who share a dangerous desire for poetry, alcohol and each other, have a reunion that gets murderously out of hand. One of the best, most chilling stories in the book, "Under the Pitons," takes place on a boat bound for Martinique with a hold full of marijuana and cocaine. The pilot, Blessington, and his partner are amateurs at drug-running, and Blessington's trying to get both of them and their haul to safety. Doped up to stay awake, "his peripheral vision was flashing him little mongoose darts, shooting stars composed of random light. Off the north shore of St. Vincent, the winds were murder." And he's using alcohol to kill the fear and his memory of the deal, conducted with three sinister islanders: "It seemed to him no matter how much he drank he would never be drunk again. The three Vincentians had sobered him for life." The drug lords and narcotics agents he fears never materialize. The real enemy is already on board. Sometimes Stone edges in and out of the shadow of addiction; sometimes he plunges a story straight into the heart of it. But it's not the drugs per se that interest him (in one story, "Mercy," there's no substance abuse at all -- but plenty of abuse of another kind). Liver-wrecking is incidental to these stories; it's the wreck of the soul that intrigues Stone, and he describes it time and again with complex grace and rationed brutality., "Masterful and wrenching." Boston Globe "A volume of short stories that belongs alongside those of Raymond Carver . . . Brilliant, moving, often gloriously funny and triumphant." The San Francisco Chronicle "As interesting a group of stories as can be found in contempory literature." The Miami Herald, "Masterful and Wrenching.", "A volume of short stories that belongs alongside those of Raymond Carver . . . Brilliant, moving, often gloriously funny and triumphant.", "As Interesting a Group of Stories As Can Be Found in Contempory Literature.", The stories in Robert Stone's first collection, Bear and His Daughter were written over the course of 30 years and cover a variety of topics from abortion to drug dealing. In "Miserere," Mary Urquhart, a widow who lost her own children in a terrible accident, now assuages her guilt by taking responsibility for the souls of the unborn. In "Under the Pitons, " the reluctant Blessington finds himself caught up in the grim aftermath of a drug-running scheme, while in "Porque No Tiene, Porque Le Falta" a hike up the side of a Mexican volcano brings about eruptions in the personal lives of ex-patriot Fletch and his companions. Most of the characters in Stone's stories are male, most of them have no first names. The writing is spare, the motivations and emotions are telegraphed. Everyone in this collection has been wounded by life, and anger is their shield against further pain. Stone is well-known for uncompromising prose on subjects as divergent as Vietnam and Hollywood. In Bear and His Daughter , he continues his exploration of the dark recesses of the human soul.