DOG SOLDIERS by Robert Stone
Kirkus Star

DOG SOLDIERS

KIRKUS REVIEW

As charged and impacted as the award-winning A Hall of Mirrors (1967), Dog Soldiers is the best dope novel in recent memory, filled with its spirituality from addicts of every chemical persuasion. As the novel grows it also twists, turns and reverses. John Converse, a fear-ridden writer in search of a book in Vietnam, has been so corrupted by the satanic horror of death in the war that he sells himself out and tries to ship three kilos of heroin to his wife in Frisco by way of a psychopathic sailor (who conducts himself as a neo-Nietzschean samurai). Hicks, the sailor, and Converse's wife Marge are attacked by some Stateside burn artists -- then begin a long flight from a corrupt federal official and his insane henchmen. Converse arrives in Frisco and is taken captive and tortured over a kitchen stove by the narks. As their prisoner, he joins in the chase after Marge, Hicks and the scag, which leads to a Zen Disneyland monastery on a Mexican mountaintop. The plot, a sustained melodrama, deserves every reticence from reviewers. The novel bears its own weight of infinite evil in the endlessly bizarre parade of spiritual zombies and double-dealers, while the language is stripped and strong. A slippery climax, but unerring dialogue and characterization.
Pub Date: Nov. 4th, 1974
ISBN: 0395860253
Page count: 360pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1974




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