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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »

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Luminarium

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Luminarium Cover

ISBN13: 9781616951832
ISBN10: 1616951834
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. A Washington Post notable book of the year, a New York Times editor's choice, named a best book of the year by Publishers WeeklyBooklist, the Austin Chronicle, and the Kansas City Star.

Fred Brounian and his twin brother, George, were once co-CEOs of a burgeoning New York City software company devoted to the creation of utopian virtual worlds. Now, in the summer of 2006, as two wars rage and the fifth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, George has fallen into a coma, control of the company has been wrenched away by a military contracting conglomerate, and Fred has moved back in with his parents. Broke and alone, he’s led by an attractive woman, Mira, into a neurological study promising to give him "peak" experiences and a newfound spiritual outlook on life. As the study progresses, lines between the subject and the experimenter blur, and reality becomes increasingly porous. Meanwhile, Fred finds himself caught up in what seems at first a cruel prank: a series of bizarre emails and texts that purport to be from his comatose brother.

Moving between the research hospitals of Manhattan, the streets of a meticulously planned Florida city, the neighborhoods of Brooklyn and the uncanny, immersive worlds of urban disaster simulation;  threading through military listserv geek-speak, Hindu cosmology, the maxims of outmoded self-help books and the latest neuroscientific breakthroughs, Luminarium is a brilliant examination of the way we live now, a novel that’s as much about the role technology and spirituality play in shaping our reality as it is about the undying bond between brothers, and the redemptive possibilities of love.

"Luminarium is dizzyingly smart and provocative, exploring as it does the state of the present, of technology, of what is real and what is ephemeral. But the thing that separates Luminarium from other books that discuss avatars, virtual reality and the like is that Alex Shakar is committed throughout with trying, relentlessly, to flat-out explain the meaning of life. This book is funny, and soulful, and very sad, but so intellectually invigorating that you'll want to read it twice." — Dave Eggers

"This fascinating, hilarious novel, though set in the past, is the story of the future: technology has outlapped us, reality is blinking on and off like a bad wireless connection,  the ones we love are nearby in one sense, but far away in another. Yet at the book’s galloping heart, it’s the story of what one man is willing to go through to find—in our crowded, second-rate space—something like faith. This novel is sharp, original, and full of energy—obviously the work of a brilliant mind.” — Deb Olin Unferth, author of Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Alex Shakar's novel The Savage Girl (HarperCollins, 2001) was selected as a New York Times Notable Book and a Booksense 76 Pick, and has been translated into six foreign languages. His story collection City in Love (HarperCollins, 2002) was selected as an Independent Presses Editors Pick of the Year. A native of Brooklyn, NY, he currently lives in Chicago with his wife, the composer Olivia Block.

From the Hardcover edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Brave New Bookshelves, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by Brave New Bookshelves)
Five stars -- a complicated book unlike anything else I've read this year, somehow very profound and yet not at all pretentious. Full review available at BraveNewBookshelves (dot) blogspot (dot) com.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781616951832
Author:
Shakar, Alex
Publisher:
Soho Press
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8.26 x 5.53 x 1.22 in 0.88 lb

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Related Subjects

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Metaphysics » Fiction

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