Nick runs away from home and finds himself on the streets of a strange city, with no money. Transfixed by the human statues, like Swan and The Saints, street performers who can almost turn themselves into stone, he decides to turn himself into Amadeus, a human statue of the young Mozart. But someone is watching, waiting in the shadows; Antonin the legendary mime artist is scouting for new talent. When Nick and Swan are recruited into the cult of young performers who strive to attain the ultimate stone like state, they find themselves in grave danger.
Gross’ poetic prose evokes all of the reader’s senses; sounds have texture and speech is revealed through visual imagery. This multi-sensory view of the world contrasts with the Statues, who must suppress all sensation to attain a Mind of Stone. The story is narrated by Nick whose concern about his friend Swan reveals his awakening love for her and his desire to protect her. I found the frequent reflective questioning a bit heavy handed; ‘How did she know? Had he followed me? Had he or she or someone else I didn’t know about, been watching all the time?’ And occasionally the voice of the sixteen-year-old narrator did not ring true. Nevertheless, Going For Stone is an original and enigmatic novel which builds suspense until the final shocking denouement.