cover image Sun Moon and Stars Hc

Sun Moon and Stars Hc

Steven Brust. Ace Books, $16.95 (210pp) ISBN 978-0-441-08410-4

This thoroughly refreshing, informative novel contains disparate components that coalesce nicely: an examination of how five struggling artists who share a studio interact with each other, a discourse from one of them about his craft, and a Hungarian fairy tale featuring Csucskari, a gypsy who tries to find the sun, moon and stars and restore them to the vacant heavens. Narrator Greg and his friends routinely assemble at the studio to work and exchange ideas. After three years, however, their enthusiasm ebbs as solvency and acclaim seem no closer. The five contemplate disbanding, while Greg labors on an immense, ambitious painting entitled Death of Uranus. With engaging unpretentiousness he explains some fundamental artistic issues to the reader: technique, the difficulties inherent in creating visually and intellectually stimulating paintings and the vacuousness of ""pretty'' pictures. Interspersed throughout the book is a fairy tale also told by Greg, who excitingly chronicles Csucskari's skirmishes with dragons and other foes. This fanciful fable ingeniously reinforces the book's principle theme of persevering despite adversity, yet it is Greg's amiable, frank discussion of his vocation that truly fascinates. (May 1)