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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In the center squats an old recliner, upholstered in black vinyl. To complicate things further, he begins receiving highly technical messages from none other than his brother George. The suspense of the story was more like Neal Stephenson. So, did I like the novel? In my opinion, I think he is the most hopeless character I have encountered in the longest time.

Alex Shakar

Here’s the fun part: Am I good at my job? Maybe it wasn’t Alex Shakar’s objective with Luminarium to precisely reconcile the God Helmetthe world’s religions and humanity’s ubiquitous quest for spiritual transcendence, but after a hundred or so pages of the protagonist’s, Fred Brounian’s, despairing solipsistic trudge through New York City I expect a bigger payoff than a Wizard of Oz sort of wake-up where Fred, surrounded by all the friends that helped him along in his adventure, is planted back in reality, transformed though now with the wisdom that enlightenment is not the summit, but merely base camp.

Without the ‘eat’ and short on the ‘love. He tries to tie in magic, the Disney city Celebration, Reiki,advanced gaming, electronic mind enhancing devices and on and on.


And I mean, the end result of these allegories and there have been many goes one of two ways: Luminarium by Alex Shakar. Do we really need the magic shows for parties that Fred’s washed-up-actor father, Vartan puts on with Fred’s help as a commentary on unreality? For shakzr, however, the novel posed too many questions and resolved too few.

May 08, Pages Buy. Ways to Hide in Winter. Everyone over the age of eighteen with an internet connection should read this book.

Luminarium by Alex Shakar

It is about loss, the meaning of life, and self discovery. If there is something great about this aspect of the novel, then I think I would consider this shakae an etude in pathos.

But descriptions of the ways Fred experiences feeling one with luminqrium universe, being overwhelmed by love for strangers, etc are comparable to those found in the early Carlos Castaneda books. The goal, in a sense, is to see if the benefits of spirituality peace, comfort, a sense of purpose can be attained without the mysticism of religion: I get it already.

It takes a brave author to dive into the vast realm of spirituality and build a compelling story around it. Like a true spiritual journey, it’s rather aimless and fairly boring. But how do they KNOW? Fred eventually lands on the Zen concept of “mu,” which he interprets as doubting everything, as a path to enlightenment.

Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter. And ultimately, the fatal flaw was that the main character was boring.

Let’s just say, I’m at that point in my earthly trajectory, when life’s too short to waste it on a novel whose characters felt cartoony — and whose discombobulated storyline was not discombobulating enough. Shakwr experiences out-of-body episodes, he “merges” with objects and other humans, and the greatest of them all, he gets a series of emails from his comatose brother. Well, it is, but it’s leavened by the backdrop of Frank and George’s company, a sort of Second Life-type immersive reality game called Urth.


The mysterious email thread starts off well but goes aldx too shwkar out on a limb as far as suspension of disbelief goes, which is the case for the last third of the novel. The conclusion is disharmoniously humble–and not in that apt sort of way.

But the problem with an “it’s inconclusive” kind of conclusion with any kind of nascent technology is, of course it’s inconclusive. Rationalize, justify, go t Doubt is pervasive. Hilarious in spots, deeply emotional in others. Jonathan Edwards spoke of cultivating a spiritual sense that could perceive divinity, a kind of heightened reality that sounds strangely like the extraordinary virtual worlds so many hunger for online.

But if emotion, if ‘divine’ experience, if rapture and passion can be explained shalar neural tweaks — Mira’s experiments — then it’s not about answers at all. Dreams, reality, games, real life, introspection all combined into a confusing mish-mash of pages that aex you finish you I ask what have I learned?