Stop-Time Author:Frank Conroy Like the measured, punctuated musical silences its title alludes to, this book vibrates with meaning and emotion. Because "Stop-Time" is a memoir of boyhood and adolescence, it deals with familly conflict, friendship and love, the paralysis of terror, pride in new powers--all the commonplaces of reminiscence. But this is the story of a young l... more »ife told with such freedom and skill, peopled by characters so rich, that it transcends conventional categories and makes an exhilarating claim for greatness.
Beginning with a lesson in brutality at a progressive boarding school, the narrative moves with the years to rural Florida, where idyllic play and quixotic work are combined with hard discoveries about the world of men and nature. Back in the North, the boy undergoes terrifying nights in a state institution for the feeble-minded (his mother and stepfather are wardens there) and uses his wits to survive in New York City--in schools, at jobs, in the streets, and, no less dangerously, at home. He runs away, determined to make it back to Florida, and reaches Maryland. The book draws to a close with a bizarre summer in Denmark, including a tender love story, and ends with a taste of bohemian life in Paris.« less