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Bear and His Daughter Paperback – May 14, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

From the author of Outerbridge Reach: stories written over 30 years.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (May 14, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395901340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395901342
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

ROBERT STONE is the author of seven novels: A Hall of Mirrors, Dog Soldiers (winner of the National Book Award), A Flag for Sunrise, Children of Light, Outerbridge Reach, Damascus Gate, and Bay of Souls. His story collection, Bear and His Daughter, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and his memoir, Prime Green, was published in 2006.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
In William Golding's landmark The Lord Of The Flies we weep for "the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart." The heart's blackness is mourned again in two sharply drawn story collections. Despair is their leit motif.
Emotionally scarred, the characters in these tales are fragmented by substance abuse, by obdurate personal demons or both. Nonetheless, such unengaging personalities become compelling when presented by a pair of Pulitzer Prize nominees writing at top form. The child of a schizophrenic mother and unknown father, Robert Stone spent three years in an orphanage. Later, as a New Orleans census taker, he walked that city's back streets. With Bear And His Daughter, seven intense tales penned between 1969 and today, he depicts communal deadends and the dissolute souls trapped therein.
Begin with "Miserere." A widowed librarian's bitterness becomes a mission to have aborted fetuses receive the church's blessing. Another vignette explores the effects of childhood violence: "The worst of it, Mackay says, was the absence of mercy. Once the punishment began, no amount of crying or pleading would stay the prefect's hand. Each blow followed upon the last, inexorably like the will of God. It was the will of God."
The title story sears as it traces the downward spiral of a visit by an alcoholic poet to his drug addicted emotionally deprived daughter. The author's chilling denouement rivals Euripidean tragedies.
Robert Stone's writing is edgy, scalpel keen. He probes, cuts, laying back the protective coverings of our human condition. He well knows life's underside.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 18, 1997
Format: Hardcover
The themes will be familiar to those who've read Mr. Stone's novels. Alcohol & drug abuse, characters haunted by the past. His characters are on the verge of losing it, and often do. Mr. Stone knows how to build intensity, and his style and structure propel the reader toward the climax, climax being a more apt term than conslusion. Not for the faint of heart or those looking to be uplifted, but a look at life that is real indeed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
Stone's short stories don't have much in the way of plot, but they each leave the reader with an unforgettable insight into the way Stone feels the world works. My favorite tale is "Aquarius Obscured," in which a woman gets high and takes her dog to the aquarium, where the woman has a conversation with a fascist dolphin. Each story here deserves careful reading, and readers who comply will not be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steiner VINE VOICE on February 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
This collection of Robert Stone stories is a deeply felt, often beautiful arrangement of fictions dealing with the great themes of Conrad, Hemingway, but also without the obligatory machismo. "Helping," in particular, is an extraordinary story--masterfully crafted and with a beautiful command of negative space. Stone's preoccupations are with the possibility of heroism in the modern world, the nature and contradictions of piety and faith, the tragedy of addiction, as well as American hubris and stupidity. "Under the Pitons" is a particularly engaging story that doesn't shy away from the conventions of the sea-adventure--Stone employs his tropes strategically and with obvious skill. "Bear and his Daughter" takes you to the fullest depths of tragedy--its precision of feeling lies in the kind of command of character rarely seen in American short fiction today. An outstanding collection.
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