Make Book On This One
by Lou Lumineck

Mark Moskowitz's Stone Reader is a remarkable accomplishment, an absorbing documentary about the joy of reading that's also a positively gripping literary mystery.

The mystery - and the obsession of Moskowitz, a respected director of political campaign spots -- is what became of Dow Mossman, who wrote a 1972 coming-of-age novel called The Stones of Summer.

The novel was hailed as a masterpiece by a reviewer for The New York Times, but Moskowitz found that it was long out of print by 1998, when he finally got around to reading the paperback he'd acquired as a teenager, but abandoned because it was a tough read.

Moskowitz consults a Who's Who of the literary establishment -- among them book editor Robert Gottlieb and the recently deceased critic Leslie Fiedler -- who don't remember Mossman or his novel.

But these wise talking heads spin fascinating yarns of "one-book wonders," authors like Harper Lee of To Kill a Mockingbird, who turned out a single masterpiece.

The ingratiating Moskowitz is determined to discover whether Mossman killed himself, went insane or simply abandoned writing altogether, as did several writers who couldn't deal with the strain of creating a major literary novel -- and the pressure to deliver a follow-up.

I'd strongly recommend you see for yourself what he ultimately comes up with -- this is the finest, most poetic, entertaining and moving documentary since the very different (but equally personal) Bowling for Columbine.

It's almost impossible to watch Stone Reader and not want to rush out and read The Stones of Summer, so Moskowitz may well accomplish his stated goal -- getting the novel back in print.


Site design by  

 2001-2003 JET Films, LLC