Stone Junction: An Alchemical Potboiler

Jim Dodge, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $19.95 (355p) ISBN 978-0-87113-331-1
A short but remarkable life leads wizard-in-training Daniel Pearse to the ``junction'' (entrance) of the legendary philosopher's stone, but not before this novel chronicles his extraordinary education. Daniel's unwed mother, Annalee, raises him in a shack that serves as the hideout for an ancient counterculture society, the Alliance of Magicians and Outlaws (AMO). Annalee falls for AMO poet Shamus Malloy, whose plot to steal plutonium results in her violent death. Young Daniel, in pursuit of his mother's betrayer, joins AMO and discovers a faculty that includes Wild Bill Weber on meditation and survival; rancher Mott Stocker on sex and drugs; Willie the Click on safecracking; and Bad Bobby Sloane on poker. Daniel wants to learn who betrayed Annalee, but is distracted by the task of stealing a glowing, perfectly spherical diamond from the White Sands Proving Grounds, an easy proposition for the well-schooled youth. But instead of relinquishing the stone to AMO leader Volta, as he had sworn to, Daniel surrenders to total obsession with its mysteries. Aptly subtitled ``an alchemical potboiler,'' and smartly crafted, Dodge's ( Not Fade Away ) third novel may be his first cult classic. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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