By "one of the most impressive novelists of his generation" (The New York Review of Books), Children of Light is a searing, indelible love story of two ravaged spirits, played out under the merciless, magnifying prism of Hollywood.
Gordon Walker, screenwriter and actor, has systematically ruined his family and his health with cocaine and alcohol. Lee Verger is an actress of uncommon and unfulfilled promise, whom Gordon has known since the days when they were both young and fearless, and whose New Orleans childhood has left her with a tenuous hold on sanity. During the shooting of a film on the Pacific coast of Mexico, they resume a ritual struggle in which their desperate love for each other will either save or destroy them.
Before he is fully awake, Gordon Walker, intellectual manque, failed playwright in his 40s and modestly successful screenwriter-actor, has already consumed his daily hits of valium, alcohol and cocaine. "Stoned, abandoned, desolate,'' he is a melancholy case, teetering at the edge of the precipice; his wife has fled, his children are estranged, he feels desperately alone. Bereft, he goes to Mexico, where his old love Les Verger, a gifted actress who is herself in thrall to dope, drink and episodic madness, is shooting a picture Walker wrote. From the beginning, the air is filled with portent. Their meeting is delayed, and with each intervening event, the tension and sense of impending doom mount. When they do meet, they will be left to the mercies of their flayed nerves and their inner ruin. The tale is swiftly and expertly told; the momentum is headlong, swirling; the talk stunning, spinning out of its energies and one crackling scene after another. There can be no mistaking that this is the work of a formidably gifted writer. 40,000 first printing; BOMC alternate.
Children of Light
This is one of my favorite books of all time. The opening pages got me hooked and I've read everything else he's ever written, still hold true almost 40 years later.