THE SINGER IN THE STONE by John Willett

THE SINGER IN THE STONE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A lifeless and didactic brief for dreams and song and joy, of which this story has curiously little. It takes place in a distant time when Plain People live their basic lives, able to levitate and communicate mind-to-mind, but attending only to duty and facts. Then Angelina, a ""grown-up young Plain Person,"" hears a cry for help come from a large stone obelisk. Guided by a Guardian Spirit named Maestro Alphonse Spillinini, Angelina rescues the young man trapped in the stone. This person, a Lost one (not dead, for it is now known that people do not really die), tells how long ago his faction, the Dreamers, lost the world to the Factists, who believe that peace requires screening out everything but truth--defined as ""facts that all people on earth understand just exactly the same way."" At that time the Lost One, named Rubythroat Singer, retired to the stone to emerge, like King Arthur, when needed. Now he goes about singing to rekindle dreaming and excitement among the people; but when he reaches only Angelina, he realizes that he must ""transition"" and collect all the Lost Dreamers to be special one-on-one Guardian Spirits for the Plain People. If the Dreamers' art is anything like Willett's, the Plain People are in no danger of bursting into song.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1981
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin