Children of Light Characters
by Robert Stone

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Children of Light Characters

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

An alcoholic screenwriter and sometime actor, Gordon Walker is a familiar figure in Stone's fictional terrain. Inherently intelligent and not without promise, Walker is presently spent on cocaine and depression. Alone, adrift, and tormented by his existence, Walker is rushing headfirst into self-annihilation. Blinded by the glare of truth, Walker attempts to retreat into a dreamscape of drug-induced euphoria. However, the spell is short-lived and reality will undoubtedly reappear to claim its inheritance.

Akin to Walker, Lu Anne Bourgeois is another unsusceptible victim within the novel. Vulnerable to the unnatural forces that take possession of the mind and body, Lu Anne is schizophrenic, dependent on a daily dosage of medication to control her interior state of madness. Demoralized and desensitized, Lu Anne attempts to break free of her bondage by artistic and ultimately spiritual triumph. Walker is compelled to intercede in her behalf, more for his benefit than for hers, yet he is unable to overcome his own limitations. Similar to Rheinhardt, Converse, and Holliwell, Walker survives to face another day regardless of the bleak uncertainty of the future. Lu Anne, on the other hand, will join Gertrude, Marge, and Sister Justine in a brief moment of transcendence.

Increasingly aware of the possibilities and intrinsic value of his secondary characters, Stone dispenses an entire colony of film personnel to supplement the authenticity and rhythm of the novel. Among his realistic, insightful, and often comic creations are the film-directing Drogues, junior and senior, the viciously omnipotent journalist, the rising young starlet, and a colorful array of the various and sundry "extras" of the business. All are under the watchful and sarcastic eye of Stone, observing the scene from a safe distance and shaking his head in saddened disbelief.