October 03, 1997 at 04:00 AM EDT

A Child's Night Dream

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Oliver Stone
genre
Fiction
We gave it a C

At 19, after leaving Yale to spend a year teaching in Saigon and before his well-publicized Vietnam War experience, the Oscar-winning director and screenwriter wrote this ambitious, fevered first novel in a hotel room in Guadalajara. He should have left A Child’s Night Dream there. Although his raging, self-indulgent narrative has moments of artistic control as its death-obsessed hero flees jaded, jet-set New York for the killing fields of Vietnam, it is mostly a careening effort. Still, the occasional beautifully wrought scene hints at the more accomplished novels Oliver Stone might have in him. C

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