Robert Stone, 1937–2015, American novelist, b. Brooklyn, N.Y. During his early years he was in the Navy, and later he joined Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters in their drug-enhanced adventures. He was briefly (1971) a correspondent in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) during the Vietnam War. His experiences there helped form the basis for his best-known novel, Dog Soldiers (1974, National Book Award), which was filmed as Who'll Stop the Rain (1978) with a screenplay by Stone. The book is an account of Vietnam-related drug smuggling, brutality, and disenchantment. Stone's philosophical bent, vividly gritty style, and edgy wit are evident in his portrayals of some of American life's darker aspects, particularly during the 1960s and 70s. His characters often fruitlessly attempt to deal with inescapable events, and the ghost of the Vietnam conflict hovers over much of his fiction. His other works include A Hall of Mirrors (1967), A Flag for Sunrise (1981), Children of Light (1986), Outerbridge Reach (1992), and Bear and His Daughter: Stories (1997). His novel Damascus Gate (1998) is a probing story of religion-based conflicts in contemporary Jerusalem; it was followed by the novel Bay of Souls (2003), the stories of Fun with Problems (2010), and a psychological suspense novel with strong spiritual overtones, Death of the Black-Haired Girl (2013).
See his memoir of the 1960s (2007); studies by R. Solotaroff (1994) and G. Stephenson (2002).