Books: An Accident Waiting to Happen Children of Light by Robert Stone

by Robert Stone; Knopf; 258 pages; $17.95

Gordon Walker, a screenwriter and sometime actor, has hit a bad patch of life. True, his summer appearance in Seattle in the title role of King Lear was modestly successful and personally satisfying. But during the run, his wife of some 20 years left him; his two sons are far away and growing increasingly remote; and he is back in Hollywood pursuing some familiar bad habits: "For the past few weeks, he had been getting by on alcohol and a ten- gram stash of cocaine and he had begun to feel as though he might die quite soon."

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