Stereotyped issues and characterization are given a whipped-cream topping of pompous, overwrought fantasy ha this latest...

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THE LIGHTNING TIME

Stereotyped issues and characterization are given a whipped-cream topping of pompous, overwrought fantasy ha this latest battle to save a pristine mountain from development. When David arrives for a stay with his grandmother, who owns the property, he finds Carrie, a ""distant relative"" his age, already in residence. She takes him at midnight to the mountain top, where they witness strange lightning, transcendent music, and a moonlight dance performed by animals. More glories and visions follow; a stone lion runs around giving advice; peak moments are piled breathlessly upon peak moments; and the forces of nature--and of religion (there's a priest on the good side)--are trivialized in airy-fairy numbers and senseless confrontations. Malevolent machinery seems somehow allied with the villain, relentless Holiday Heaven representative Sydney Spurr who wants to build a luxury resort complex on Grandma's mountain. A boat's motor almost sucks David ha during a magical-mystical underwater swim, and a driverless bulldozer kills Tarragon, a ""small furry animal"" (species unspecified) who has been hosting David and Carrie (both conveniently shrunk for the occasion) in his den. Stranger yet, David ultimately defeats the developer by blinding a statue--a symbolic, evil monument to Modern Man which suddenly appears on the contested site. When it's all over David learns that Carrie is Grandma as a girl, come back to help him save the mountain and re-absorbed at the end into the dying old woman. But by then so many gratuitous miracles have occurred that readers will have run out of wonder.

Pub Date: July 1, 1978

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1978