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The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier
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The Illumination

by Kevin Brockmeier (Author)

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
I feel horribly disloyal to admit I didn’t care for this book after standing in line and having him autograph it. It is not really a novel, rather an interconnected series of short stories… and gloomy, depressing ones at that. (In that way it reminded me of Let the Great World Spin.)

Brockmeier’s elegant prose really blew me away, his writing talent is incomparable. However, the premise was exhausted very quickly, and he didn’t explore aspects that would have made it more interesting to me.
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
This book lacks a lot. I enjoyed the story being told through short stories as really it wasn't about the people so much as the event. A book like this means it should have some insight into society or the world. I may not have been intelligent enough to derive anything more than life goes on when things change and people still only see what they want to. I liked the first couple of sections but after that it lost any resemblance of a concise plot. From then it added too much too quickly without much explanation. It essentially follows a book of love letters but really the plot skips so much there really is no clear path to an end. An end which left me asking why? why did the book end this way it has no connection to the remainder of the story which was slightly disappointing to say the least. ( )
  sarahzilkastarke | Nov 20, 2013 |
Interwoven short stories following an event where all pain shines with light. A journal of daily love notes written by a husband to his wife follows each character, becoming more worn until it is destroyed. Very nice writing but sometimes a but dense and couldn't finish th self harm story. ( )
  travel.bug | Jul 17, 2013 |
A beautifully rendered book, although I found it unsatisfying in the end. Perhaps because the primary link between what amounts to a collection of short stories is an object and not a person, the through-line wasn't gratifying enough. The premise--that people might suddenly see one another's pain--failed for me because it didn't result in any moral movement. People perhaps understood one another better as a result, but did not love better. I do appreciate the idea that simple love has large ramifications. I just wish the love that the journal represented was a bit more fully realized. ( )
  ElizabethAndrew | May 13, 2013 |
WOW. Powerful, intriguing, gripping - I just finished it, and I think I want to start over and read it again right now. ( )
  DebbieBspinner | Apr 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
What if our wounds emitted a strange light, the intensity of which perfectly matched the pain we felt? Kevin Brockmeier imagines just such an phenomenon in his latest novel, The Illumination, which features people made solitary by sickness and loss yet brought together by a tattered volume of love notes that they pass, sometimes unwittingly, from hand to hand.
Brockmeier’s animating idea suffuses this narrative with unexpected moments of beauty.
 
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375425314, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2011: When wounds and illnesses, both superficial and severe, begin emitting a beautiful shimmering light--a phenomenon quickly coined "The Illumination"--a chain of characters learn to adapt to this unexpected change in Kevin Brockmeier's incandescent novel, The Illumination. No longer able hide their own pains from the world, and suddenly exposed to the discomfiting wounds of strangers, friends, and lovers, these characters struggle to adapt to a new way of experiencing life and, in very different ways, to understand the intrinsic connection between love and pain. "There was an ache inside people that seemed so wonderful sometimes," one character muses. And then, because this ache is also corporeal, "He wished he had brought his camera with him." While Brockmeier's brilliant novel is innately tied up in pain and loss, witnessing the lives he creates in the midst of this new wonder is not only a beautiful experience but, yes, an illuminating one. --Lynette Mong

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:11 -0400)

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In the aftermath of a fatal car accident, a private journal of love notes written by a husband to his wife passes into the keeping of a hospital patient, and from there through the hands of five other suffering people, touching each of them uniquely.

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