The History of Luminous Motion

Scott Bradfield, Author Knopf Publishing Group $17.95 (274p) ISBN 978-0-394-57875-0
In his first novel, Bradfield composes a verbal fantasia on the theme of a young felon's confused feelings and reckless misdeeds. Phillip is seven years old and psychologically all but immured within his mother, a sort of wastrel saint, containing ``infinite space,'' who is drifting about California in an ``untuned and ominously clattering beige Ford Rambler'' seeking short-lived material benefits from a long list of faceless men, her husband neither present nor accounted for. ``There were many times when I thought of Mom and me as a sort of weapon,'' Phillip concedes, and words--lustrous, grand, sometimes pontificating--are the main signal of mother and son's amniotic affinity: ``Everything I did I did at Mom's unspoken command . . . I had broken the cipher of eternal language; I was learning new words about the real universe, and with this eternal language I would live forever.'' The two murder a few men and commit countless petty thefts. Phillip's father returns and is almost poisoned by his son, who is apprehended and placed in an institution, but finally returned home. The strange psychic daydream they live through conveys little of familiar reality but offers the fruits of a rich novelistic imagination. 50,000 first printing. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 978-0-312-14089-2
Paperback - 978-0-679-72943-3
Video, VHS Format - 978-0-7942-0116-6
DVD-Video - 978-0-7942-0117-3
Paperback - 156 pages - 978-0-9831633-2-9
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