Prisoners of Twilight

Don Robertson, Author Crown Publishers $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-57134-7
Recently ``rediscovered'' when Stephen King cited him as a major influence and published one of his books, veteran novelist Robertson ( Praise the Human Season ) has crafted a grisly, gripping war novel that deserves to stand in its own light. At the end of the Civil War, the ragged remnants of a Confederate troop retreat homeward, numbed by the carnage that has surrounded them and by their own decaying minds and bodies. Their nominal leader is a 20-year-old sergeant who's busy nursing his own bewildered lust for another soldier, and the men in his command, ranging from the teenage country bumpkins to a near-psychotic sadist, can no longer tolerate each other or their ceaseless, starved struggle. Coursing with sexual longing, bitterness and random cruelty, the Civil War Robertson pictures is searingly distinct and distinctive; the psychological acuity of his narrative cuts fiercely through any cliches. In the soldiers' rambling, slangy interior monologues, readers will have no trouble spotting Robertson's contribution to Stephen King's style, but in substance, this is a horror story of a very different sort. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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