- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (March 10, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679737626
- ISBN-13: 978-0679737629
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #805,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Flag for Sunrise Paperback – March 10, 1992
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Narrator Information: Stephen Lang's television credits include recreating his stage role of Happy opposite Dustin Hoffman's Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman; portraying the legendary star in Babe Ruth; and playing the role of a man struggling with an evil force in The Possession of Michael D. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
An emotional, dramatic and philosophical novel about Americans drawn into a small Central American country on the brink of revolution.
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Top customer reviews
• Holliwell is an American academic who spent time in Vietnam before going to Honduras to speak at the university. He is drafted by a pair of CIA agents to come with them to the fictional country of Tecan.
• Pablo Tabor is an awol, drug-addled Coast Guardsman who joins up with a group of gun runners who are heading to Tecan.
• Sister Justin is a beautiful young nun who works in a mission on the Caribbean coast of Tecan. She questions not only her faith, but her reasons for staying in a country where she is not wanted.
• Father Eagan is an elderly priest who works in the mission with Sister Justin. He’s driven to madness after seeing the frozen body of a young woman who was killed by a psycopath who roams the beaches of Tecan.
Robert Stone has written a story that is at times brilliant and mystical, at times unfathomably abstract. He beautifully portrays the lives of four people suffering from the disillusionment and drift that infected so many post-Vietnam Americans. This is not an uplifting book. By the end, the reader is left with the same sense of despair and emptiness that consumes all four characters.
only a few criticisms here. i found the beginning somewhat slow/opaque as stone establishes his characters & plot in the book's first half. the pace quickens in the second half once he's dispensed with this work. additionally, there are not a lot of sympathetic characters here. that makes stone a realist, which i appreciate, but also makes it a little harder sometimes to empathize. Having said that, by midpoint you do develop empathy for Justin, and to an extent for Pablo and Holliwell, though both the latter are flawed characters.
nonetheless stone is a master, one of the greatest novelists plying his trade today.
Especially amazing is the way Stone fleshes out a set of characters, Justin Feeney, Holliwell, Pablo Tabor, Naftali et al, all of whom exhibit what it is really like to be a human being in full ambivalence and confusion, and yet the writing is not at all ambivalent and confused, but pushes to the very limits of verbal expression to say what it is really like to be alive in a fallen, broken world, our world.
One of the reasons the book doesn't date is because it strikes at the heart of the American assumption that we have the right to be in charge, an assumption still working itself out in other faraway places that tragically resemble Stone's imaginary Central American country. But the book is not only effective because it is relevant to ongoing cultural issues. There are incredible set-pieces, Holliwell's drunken lecture, the conversation between Naftali and Tabor, the violence on board the vessel Cloud, the climactic events. Exactly where everyone's allegiance really lies is kept ambiguous enough that you have to really stay alert to work through the fog of paranoia that provides the overall atmosphere of the story, even though there is plenty of pitiless Caribbean sunlight piercing that fog.
Having been to Costa Rica and Panama in the last two years very strong descriptive prose without impeding the narrative
Several vivid characterizations but utterly cynical as opposed to Dog where there was one character who you could at least root for
An interlocking plot with three strands which I found ultimately implausible
Saints and sinners compete in this Third World nightmare, each with a different agenda. It's an ideological train wreck and the ultimate victims are the disenfranchised. The name of the game is greed and the players are the usual: privately owned corporations, interested governments, a militia trained to fight insurrection, various criminals, religious zealots and a panoply of hired spies and assorted operatives. Our personal guide is Frank Holliwell, an American anthropologist with "Company" ties from his days in Vietnam, visiting the region ostensibly to give a lecture. Holliwell becomes one more pawn in a dangerous game with incredibly high stakes.
In the final act, no one is who he seems in this Darwinian struggle for dominance. The common people are disposable, the cause is mutable and the quality of civilization a casualty of events. Enter at your own risk, this is Robert Stone at his best. But know this: you step into chaos in this novel (with no separate chapters) that jolts from one state of anxiety to another, watching over your shoulder at every turn.