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A Child's Night Dream Hardcover – 23 Jul 1998


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x96529a2c) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x965ff4f8) out of 5 stars Deserves at Least 3 1/2 Stars 17 Sept. 2002
By Richard Cunningham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is underrated and underappreciated. It's quality is uneven and inconsistent, but I think worth reading for the good parts. It is pretty clear that Vietnam represents an overwhelming catharsis or abreaction for his character, even to the point of a certain amount of mythologizing. For any reader not expecting a large dose, be prepared. Overall, this novel deserves merit for not keeping to the beaten path.

In the book Stone differentiates between Imagination & Creativity. I argue that a worthy critic needs at least Imagination but an artist needs Creativity, and a quality artist needs both.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98a740e4) out of 5 stars A hauntingly beautiful novel -- poetic and revealing 5 Oct. 2000
By Kristy Dark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
_________________________________________________________________
They say if you stare into a mirror long enough, you'll see the face of your own mother or father. But what if you saw Mother/Father/eagles in Mexican mountains/Godeath with sun in your eyes/"Ghost of a panther's soul"?
A CHILD'S NIGHT DREAM is the first novel written by celebrated screenwriter/director/producer Oliver Stone, winner of three Oscars (for the screenplay of MIDNIGHT EXPRESS and as director of PLATOON and BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY), and whose films have earned 37 Academy Award nominations. First embarked on when Stone was 19, the novel lay becalmed inside a shoebox for 30 years until Stone took a deep breath and set sail once more. Graciously, he's invited us along as fellow voyagers, or voyeurs.
A CHILD'S NIGHT DREAM is the autobiographical/fictional story of young William Oliver Stone, whose neglectful haut monde mother made him a haunting promise one night long ago. A promise Stone must prove or dispel or run from or embed like a Cambodian dagger in his own flesh.
Torn between his estranged parents, Stone lives in two worlds. The world of "Oliver" is warm, carnal. Lust replaces love, and his mother has the "...face of a growling meateater. Wolfess." The world of "William" is cold, rigid, rigor mortis. Money replaces love, and his father unerringly hammers a stake through his son's heart, "You can't be an individual in this world..."
Rejecting both worlds, Stone volunteers for combat in Vietnam and enters the Inferno. Raw, visceral, shot through wih madness, it's a microcosmic version of the film PLATOON, with fascinating additions -- the ghosts of French soldiers, Indians taking scalps, and Stone experiencing his own death.
But reality is shape-shifting, and when Stone discovers he's alive, he embarks on a sea voyage. And what a voyage this proves to be -- mano a mano confrontations, a devastating hurricane, a man lost overboard, and Stone's terror when his "own devil voice" calls to him from the impenetrable depths. It's a masterfully told tale that lashes us with all the fury of a storm at sea.
Stone's odyssey leads us through dark bordellos, a murderous rainy afternoon in France, and an erotic encounter with an angel. Ultimately we find ourselves in a cheap Mexican hotel room where Stone confronts the ashes of a book, a mirror, a dream.
A CHILD'S NIGHT DREAM is an extraordinary novel -- poetic, painful, elemental, pounding to the demented rhythms of the sea and a young man's blood. In Stone's hands, language itself becomes an adventure, and images can be cool, mystical, silvered to the back of a mirror -- or hot, panting beasts rampaging through the jungle.
And who will ever forget the courage and tragedy of this Boy/Poet who strips himself naked, shivering outside the garden like a lost cherub?
A CHILD'S NIGHT DREAM is an intensely moving experience. Even if we tie the heart in a double sailor's knot for safety, Stone will unravel it. And if we've managed to hold them back, Stone's Epilogue, written at age 50, finally releases them -- "long tears like boats sailing from the ports of [our] eyes."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9676c4ec) out of 5 stars OLIVER STONE....NEED I SAY MORE? 30 Oct. 2011
By Jmroark80 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent!!! A fantastic insight into the mind of a troubled youth. Oliver Stone, the director of JFK, WORLD TRADE CENTER, NATURAL BORN KILLERS, U-TURN, NIXON, WALL STREET, ALEXANDER, ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, THE DOORS, HEAVEN & EARTH, W., BORN ON THE 4TH OF JULY, SALVADOR, TALK RADIO, WALL STREET MONEY NEVER SLEEPS, SAVAGES, and most importantly in reference to this book, PLATOON. Following Stone as the books protagonist, he hastily drops out of YALE and enlists as an infantryman in Vietnam. Stone covers the first time he killed someone and how he felt about it during and afterwards. He also covers his excessive drug usage of LSD (and slipping some in his father's drink at a dinner party) and marijuana. You will read what it was really like in Vietnam, his hard nosed, straight edged, strict upbringing by his father. His mother's sexual ventures that were paraded in front of Oliver. Nude parties, rape, combat, drugs, suffering, confusion of a young man, finding one's self, and more are all here. This is a compelling read, with a unique writing style, Oliver Stone churns out a classic!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x965b0b28) out of 5 stars Difficult read - slow start, gutsy middle, confused ending 12 Jan. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's hard to believe that a 20 yr old wrote this book. Stone is obviously talented but in such a way that it's difficult to relate to his wandering prose and stacatto syntax.
I LOVED parts of the book but was bored senseless with the metaphors riddled throughout. There must be a thousand "it was like..." sentences in the book and he probably had a giant thesauraus (or great imagination!) to assist with the words.
Some memorable quotes made this well worth reading and when he relaxed his tortured style, it was an intriguing read.
It's a book that you'll struggle with but you'll miss it when you've finished.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x966020cc) out of 5 stars A hauntingly beautiful novel -- poetic and revealing. 20 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
They say if you stare into a mirror long enough, you'll see the face of your own mother or father. But what if you saw Mother/Father/eagles in Mexican mountains/Godeath with sun in your eyes/"Ghost of a panther's soul"?
A CHILD'S NIGHT DREAM is the first novel written by celebrated screenwriter/director/producer Oliver Stone, winner of three Oscars (for the screenplay of MIDNIGHT EXPRESS and as director of PLATOON and BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY), and whose films have earned 37 Academy Award nominations. First embarked on when Stone was 19, the novel lay becalmed inside a shoebox for 30 years until Stone took a deep breath and set sail once more. Graciously, he's invited us along as fellow voyagers, or voyeurs.
A CHILD'S NIGHT DREAM is the autobiographical/fictional story of young William Oliver Stone, whose neglectful haut monde mother made him a haunting promise one night long ago. A promise Stone must prove or dispel or run from or embed like a Cambodian dagger in his own flesh.
Torn between his estranged parents, Stone lives in two worlds. The world of "Oliver" is warm, carnal. Lust replaces love, and his mother has the "...face of a growling meateater. Wolfess." The world of "William" is cold, rigid, rigor mortis. Money replaces love, and his father unerringly hammers a stake through his son's heart, "You can't be an individual in this world..."
Rejecting both worlds, Stone volunteers for combat in Vietnam and enters the Inferno. Raw, visceral, shot through wih madness, it's a microcosmic version of the film PLATOON, with fascinating additions -- the ghosts of French soldiers, Indians taking scalps, and Stone experiencing his own death.
But reality is shape-shifting, and when Stone discovers he's alive, he embarks on a sea voyage. And what a voyage this proves to be -- mano a mano confrontations, a devastating hurricane, a man lost overboard, and Stone's terror when his "own devil voice" calls to him from the impenetrable depths. It's a masterfully told tale that lashes us with all the fury of a storm at sea.
Stone's odyssey leads us through dark bordellos, a murderous rainy afternoon in France, and an erotic encounter with an angel. Ultimately we find ourselves in a cheap Mexican hotel room where Stone confronts the ashes of a book, a mirror, a dream.
A CHILD'S NIGHT DREAM is an extraordinary novel -- poetic, painful, elemental, pounding to the demented rhythms of the sea and a young man's blood. In Stone's hands, language itself becomes an adventure, and images can be cool, mystical, silvered to the back of a mirror -- or hot, panting beasts rampaging through the jungle.
And who will ever forget the courage and tragedy of this Boy/Poet who strips himself naked, shivering outside the garden like a lost cherub?
A CHILD'S NIGHT DREAM is an intensely moving experience. Even if we tie the heart in a double sailor's knot for safety, Stone will unravel it. And if we've managed to hold them back, Stone's Epilogue, written at age 50, finally releases them -- "long tears like boats sailing from the ports of [our] eyes."
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