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Light Boxesby Shane Jones
Synopses & Reviews
A poignant and fantastical first novel by a timeless new literary voice.
With all the elements of a classic fable, vivid descriptions, and a wholly unique style, this idiosyncratic debut introduces a new and exciting voice to readers of such authors as George Saunders, Kurt Vonnegut, and Yann Martel.
In Light Boxes, the inhabitants of one closely-knit town are experiencing perpetual February. It turns out that a god-like spirit who lives in the sky, named February, is punishing the town for flying, and bans flight of all kind, including hot air balloons and even children's kites. It's February who makes the sun nothing but a faint memory, who blankets the ground with snow, who freezes the rivers and the lakes. As endless February continues, children go missing and more and more adults become nearly catatonic with depression. But others find the strength to fight back, waging war on February.
"Jones's brief and bewildering war fable pursues the plight of a town battling to free itself from the brutal hold of the month of February (also sometimes a person or a force or merely a metaphor), a meanie that has not allowed its wintry grip to lift for hundreds of days. When the despairing townspeople, led by valiant Thaddeus Lowe and his wife and daughter, suffer reprisals from February and 'the priests' for trying to break the weather, a group of former balloonists don bird masks and, calling themselves the Solution, instigate a rebellion. Thaddeus's daughter, Bianca, is kidnapped, along with other children, leading Thaddeus to plot ways to deceive February: townspeople walk around pretending it's summer and secure 'light boxes' around their heads to simulate the sun. February, meanwhile, may simply be feeling unloved by his wife, 'the girl who smells of honey and smoke' and who seems eerily like Bianca. It's a quaint and bizarre allegory that explores the perils of equivocation, but it's likely more pleased with its own cleverness than readers will be. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The striking cover image of Shane Jones's first novel, Light Boxes, is both playful and foreboding, an apt rendering of the novel's offbeat charm. It reads like a twisted fairy tale. Bookforum
It's no hyperbole to say that Shane Jones has delivered one of the — if not the — most imaginative novels of the year. Pank Magazine
"Resplendent, and somehow nearly edible, Shane Jones has written the kind of novel that makes you reconsider the word perfect." Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances
"At last, a book that cries out to our inner balloonists. Shane Jones has built a fable that is fresh and surprising, but also familiar in the way that the oldest stories are familiar." Jedediah Berry, author of The Manual of Detection
"Reading this book makes you realize what our American literature has been missing. Wholly original, tremendously imaginative, written with the deftest hand, Light Boxes makes sense of modern life in the way only dreams can." Joe Meno, author of Hairstyles of the Damned
"[T]his literary gem of metaphysical malaise has that ideally weird blend of offputting sensualism and heartfelt emotion." Booklist
In this poignant and fantastical first novel, a god-like spirit who lives in the sky, named February, is punishing a town for flying. As endless February continues, children go missing and adults become nearly catatonic with depression. But others find the strength to fight back.
About the Author
Shane Jones was born in February of 1980. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in numerous literary journals, including New York Tyrant, Unsaid, Typo, and Pindeldyboz. He lives in upstate New York. This is his first novel.
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