19 May 2004

a love letter

That's what the documentary Stone Reader struck me as.

For those of you who have not heard of the film, let me see if I can summarize...

In 1972, Mark Moskowitz bought The Stones of Summer by Dow Mossman after reading a marvelous review of it in The New York Times. He couldn't get into the book and set it aside. 25 years later he decided to try again and was riveted.

As so many bibliophiles do, once he had finished, he wanted to read everything else Dow Mossman had ever written. That's when he learned that Mossman had never written anything else and had all but disappeared after the publication of The Stones of Summer.

What followed was Moskowitz's quest to learn what had happened to Mossman in the years since the novel's publication. Along the way, he buys up copies of the novel on-line, befirends literary critics, discusses books with all manner of people, hits a few dead ends and, ultimately, solves the mystery.

As it happens, the story isn't even truly about Mossman. rather, it is about a bibliophiles passion for books and about the amazing journey he makes as a result of that.

Any of us who live and breathe books can lose ourselves in this lyrical little film.

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