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Damascus Gate
ROBERT STONE

Damascus Gate by Robert Stone
126 reviews (1998) (528p)
National Book Award Finalist

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Book Description

On the cusp of the millennium, Jerusalem has become a battleground in the race for redemption. American journalist Christopher Lucas is investigating religious fanatics when he discovers a plot to bomb the sacred Temple Mount. A violent confrontation in the Gaza Strip, a race through riot-filled streets, a cat-and-mouse game in an underground maze -- as Lucas follows his leads, he uncovers an attempt to seize political advantage that reveals duplicity and depravity on all sides of Jerusalem's sacred struggle.

Ambitious, passionate, darkly comic, Damascus Gate is not only Robert Stone's biggest and best novel to date, but a timely and brilliant story of belief, power, salvation, and apocalypse.


Amazon.com Review
In his earlier novels, Robert Stone has taken us to such hot spots as Vietnam, Central America, and that ultimate sinkhole of depravity we call Hollywood. This time around, it's Jerusalem. Given Stone's gift for depicting both political and personal embroilment--indeed, for making the two inextricable--this particular city is an inspired choice. For starters, Jerusalem remains a sacred destination for Muslims, Jews, and Christians and a hotly contested one. It's also a magnet for hustlers, fanatics, and millennial dreamers, a generous assortment of whom populate the pages of Damascus Gate. As always, Stone introduces a (relatively) innocent American into the picture--a journalist named Christopher Lucas. This career skeptic prides himself on his detachment: he prefers the kind of story "that exposed depravity and duplicity on both sides of supposedly uncompromising sacred struggles. He found such stories reassuring, an affirmation of the universal human spirit." Yet Lucas, a lapsed Catholic, has journeyed to Jerusalem at least in part to recharge his devotional batteries. And as he's slowly drawn into a terrorist plot--which involves drugs, arms smuggling, and a plan to blow up the Temple Mount--Lucas sheds his detachment in a hurry. Stone's novel functions as an expert thriller, whose slow, somewhat clunky wind-up is more than compensated for by a brilliant grand finale. It is also, however, a dogged exploration of faith, in which cynics and true believers jostle for predominance. "Life was so self-conscious in Jerusalem," the author reflects, "so lived at close quarters, by competing moralizers. Every little blessing demanded immediate record." It's hard to imagine a more vivid record of these mutual blessings--and maledictions!--than Robert Stone's.


Other Award Winning Books by Robert Stone
Bear and His Daughter: Stories by Robert Stone
5 reviews (1997) (222p) (PP)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
Outerbridge Reach by Robert Stone
19 reviews (1992) (409p) (NBCCA) (NBA) (NYTimes)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
A Flag for Sunrise by Robert Stone
13 reviews (1981) (448p) (PP) (NBCCA) (NBA) (PF) (NYTimes) (LATimes)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone
47 reviews (1974) (352p) (NBA)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page

Robert Stone Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 9  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 5  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 2 A Flag for Sunrise · Bear and His Daughter: Stories ·  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 2 A Flag for Sunrise · Outerbridge Reach ·  
National Book Award Wins 1 Dog Soldiers ·  
National Book Award Nominations 4 A Flag for Sunrise · Damascus Gate · Dog Soldiers · Outerbridge Reach ·  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 1 A Flag for Sunrise ·  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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