He swings from baroque literary flourishes to down-and-dirty street talk, creating a rhetoric all his own.Restless and romantic, he and his wife Janice soon decamped to New Orleans. As he stood at the window over the rain-soiled sea, his blood quickened at the prospect. The title refers to the greening of the day on Manzanillo Bay in Mexico, where Kesey hid out for a while — primal, primary, primo. In exchange for arranging to smuggle three kilos of heroin into California for a former lover Converse will make a cool twenty grand. The book starts out with John Converse sitting on a bench in downtown Saigon. Converse is a journalist of sorts that has put himself on assignment in Vietnam with the hopes of writing a novel or a play. Moral objections can be slippery in Vietnam, however. For four years from the age of six he lived in an orphanage run by Marist brothers. They had become popular. Of course, not even Hemingway enjoyed them much in the end.
For Stone, civilization in the twentieth century, or what passed for civilization anyway, was all about mistakes. As an uncritical reader of Hemingway, he would have imagined his future self suitably disillusioned and world-weary.
But if you like tough, uncompromising books about fallen people you wouldn't step within ten feet of, these dogs do hunt.
Indeed, even his smaller-bore works incorporate plangent social and political criticism, resonating with a sardonic awareness of generational flaws and failures. Once an all-American Marine, now a lone wolf, Hicks is a survivalist and an autodidact trying to apply in himself Zen Buddhismmartial arts and the philosophy of Nietzsche.
Moral objections can be slippery in Vietnam, however. He admired Richard Yates, whose novel of suburban desperation, Revolutionary Road, he credited with resuscitating realism in American fiction.
John and Marge manage to get away with their lives.