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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Aug 28, Josiah Miller rated it really liked it. And there is a “dinner” scene luminwrium Fred and Holly lumijarium Vartan near the end of the book that is really quite oddly spectacular. Still, despite these faults, I found Luminarium to be a smart and moving read.

It is, perhaps, “The Stranger” for the 21st century. As Fred tries to make sense of his expanded senses, the product, we assume, of the lab experiments, we, along with Fred, have difficulty sorting out reality. As one reviewer on Amazon, the protagonist can’t walk across the room in less than a paragraph. On a whim involving luggage he decides to take part in a experiment which aims to recreate the religious experience by manipulating his brain.

As the study progresses, lines between subject and experimenter blur, and reality becomes increasingly unstable. Since this is a l-o-n-g book, there’s really luminaruum excuse. Luminarium reminds me of Neal Stephenson mixed with Franzen. Luminarium, in other words, was hardly illuminating. Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now.

Luminarium works best in atmosphere: That person, or our idea of that person? The problem is, Fred sold the company to pay George’s medical bills, and now their game is being remade as a virtual training arena for the “military entertainment complex” [which, as another aside, I think is a brilliant phrase, though I don’t know if it’s original to this book]. shwkar


We must be aware. It’s not an easy read, in either the depth of the text or in length. As the study progresses, lines between the subject and the experimenter blur, and alexx becomes increasingly porous.

Luminarium by Alex Shakar | : Books

The suspense of the story was more like Neal Stephenson. The scope of this book is monumental. So far, it’s been a hit: For ahakar the collapsing bardos, there is a kindness that infuses this deeply engaging book. The story shares some aesthetic similarities to the work of China Mieville and Chuck Palanuik as well, particularly his novel about evangelists. I mean, ultimately it really doesn’t matter where I end this review.


Shakar examines each extraordinary event through the lens of both cutting-edge science and spirituality, creating fascinating contrasts and comparisons but rarely any contradictions. It’s not a hard science-fiction novel, but I think it will appeal to the same sort of reader lots of hard-science concepts and related terminology.

This novel is sharp, original, and full of energy—obviously the work of a brilliant mind. Wow – I’m not sure what to say about this one May 13, Alsx rated it it was amazing. It had an endorsement from Dave Eggers.

Alex Shakar – Wikipedia

And despite being in a coma, his dying twin brother George has been sending him a series of enigmatic emails—Help Avatara—that mean nothing to him. It is about loss, the meaning of life, and self discovery. But how does that person know? Besides the programs of various virtual worlds, Shakar takes us to aled Florida mini-golf coursewhich is a virtual world modeled on pre New York. I had high hopes for this book. This book is funny, and soulful, and very sad, but so intellectually invigorating that you’ll want to read it twice.


But the problem with an “it’s inconclusive” kind of conclusion with any kind of nascent technology is, of course it’s inconclusive.

In the end, however, a clear picture never emerged; the various story threads knotted into a confused snarl of insights that lacked enough context to illuminate me, so to speak. And ultimately, the fatal flaw was that the main character was boring.

Alex Shakar

The ineffable essence of the self? His social skills make Jobs look like Bill Clinton. In the end Fred’s spiritual awakening reads like someone boring their friends with some never-ending goofball dream they had–with plenty of info dumps along the way as well that go something like, “Fred opens a wikipedia article on Aug 20, Judy rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Second, I have this feeling that all characters in this book are ulminarium “normal” in a sense.

Oct 07, Jason Pettus rated it really liked it Shelves: Luminarium is the best book I have read this year.

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