Luminarium [Alex Shakar] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. “Heady and. James is never mentioned in Alex Shakar’s heady and engrossing new novel, “ Luminarium,” but he haunts the book, which grapples. Picture yourself stepping into a small, cuboid room. In the center squats an old recliner, upholstered in black vinyl.”.

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To ask other readers questions about Luminariumplease sign up. Alex Shakar is an American novelist and short story writer. He is just dumb, and unwilling to move on.

Alex Shakar

Fred’s mom is this crazy reiki practitioner. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois and teaches fiction writing at the University of Illinois. It touches on a lot of things as Aled goes about his life, but it never feels like it goes anywhere.

Murphy was having a field trip. His social skills make Jobs look like Bill Clinton. Feb 08, Kurt rated it it was ok.

Shakar’s prose is sleek and polished, studded with arresting metaphors and juxtapositions. To act the same way all the time. Did you get through all that? 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. And that, my friends, is a delicate balance to strike; with the incredible exception of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to t I’m not quite sure where to start with this one.

Hilarious in spots, deeply emotional in others.

Read it Forward Read it first. But the writing was bad. It’s written in a stream of consciousness way, which at times is rather distracting from what’s actually happening in the book. This book, in any case, offers none. This is essentially the premise of Alex Shakar’s novel entitled Luminariumwhere the topic of human despair interfaces with modern technology. So before anything else, let me caution my fellow New Weird fans that Chicagoan Alex Shakar’s Luminarium is not the trippy sci-fi novel that its cover, jacket copy and breathless Dave Eggers blurb promise it to be, and that those picking it up expecting it to be such are going to be severely disappointed, especially by the “anti-trick” ending that provides a rational explanation for all the bizarre things that happen before it.


The second unlucky strike? It just has everything I like: The video game company he and his brothers founded has been stolen by a military company that uses its game engine to run extremely realistic training scenarios for its wannabe warriors. Add in text and e-mail messages that appear to come from comatose and immobile Gred and younger brother Sam’s plans to move to Florida with the Urth project and you see what I mean.

Luminarium by Alex Shakar

It’s “about” dreams, souls, consciousness, an immersive computer world, and how all those things bleed together to the extent that the protagonist can’t necessarily tell them apart anymore. Things get a lot more ethereal in the last chapter or so; I’m not even going to lie and tell you that I’m exactly sure what the last few sentences mean or where they’re supposed to leave me. Even when that someone is you. The way we all move to the future while looking ever back to our past.

Shakar attended the University of Illinois and received his Alrx. Concurrently he is receiving emails and texts from his comatose twin and while rationally he knows they have to be bogus, the chance that George is actually reaching out to him on some inexplicable spiritual plane propels him into researching religions ancient and modern and comparing his findings to the quantum physics he has always pursued in his spare time.


The long paragraphs were a challenge to my short-attention span, but I kept on reading. On the surface, this novel chronicles Fred Brounian’s life struggles following the loss of his company and his mysteriously comatose twin-brother.

We delight in finding out Mira has a tattoo and rather a strange one. There were hard feelings, but Fred needs his luminarum job back. I would have been happier if the author had focused on the virtual reality element and the issue of what’s there after death, rather than all the ‘side-trips’ he took, probably in the hope that density equals depth and confusing misdirection equals interesting reading.

I get engaged in a lot of what I read, but it I got into the main character of this novel to a substantially greater than normal. I would move on and read something else. I personally dream of a future where science and religion have met. On an intellectual level I enjoyed this novel. The cybertechnology of the story wasn’t as cutting edge as Stephenson, but it was reminiscent of Neal’s work.

In Luminarium he clearly went looking lkminarium spiritual underpinnings, as does his main character, and was successful in his quest. Soho Press, August