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.”.

Author: Tejinn Maull
Country: Bolivia
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Science
Published (Last): 22 June 2006
Pages: 348
PDF File Size: 4.59 Mb
ePub File Size: 17.79 Mb
ISBN: 812-6-64540-252-9
Downloads: 66830
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Zululrajas

Not your garden variety party invitation, mind you. Even the self-important and self-delusional family friend, Manfred, is a welcome comic relief. Wrapped up in the strange combination of enlightenment, mystery, and human change, I felt like I was personally experiencing it all instead of just reading about it.

Alex Shakar – Wikipedia

Fred eventually lands on the Zen concept of “mu,” which he interprets as doubting everything, as a path to enlightenment. This predilection leads to plenty sloggy passages like this: At the end of the arm, where the bulb alez shade would have gone, hangs i It seems fitting that Alex Shakar would open his novel, Luminarium, with an invitation.

Views Read Edit View history. 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. The scientists in charge hope shajar determine the neurological locus of spirituality. Which brings us back to that second-person opening, our shakag. Such questions sound embarrassingly occult and irrelevant nowadays, but consider that this was once a primary theological issue for Americans.

Alex Shakar

Rather than being too shallow in it’s treatment of death, philosophy and modern computer technology, it was ‘way too deep. It’s “about” dreams, souls, consciousness, an immersive computer world, and how all those things bleed together to the extent that the protagonis Wow – I’m not sure what to say about this one Deeper than I expected it to be.


But I liked this book, overall, in its uncomfortable honesty. May 26, James rated it did not like it Shelves: It’s an odd book. Fred falls in love with Mira, a woman full of mystery and contradictions. During this descent from utopia to total war, George fell fatally ill and now lies in a coma. Alfx using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. 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 Shakar’s novel Luminarium received acclaim for its “penetrating look at the uneasy intersection of technology and spirituality” [5] Publishers Weekly.


At the end of the book, Fred can be found meditating shqkar days on end, living in the boiler room in the basement of his old office, no cell phone, the police on his tail and a warrant for his arrest, and a sleeping bag and a giant old mainframe computer his only companions.

But how does that person know? People with even more experience who know what they’re doing. 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.

But descriptions of the ways Fred experiences feeling one with the universe, being overwhelmed by love for strangers, etc are comparable to those found in the early Carlos Castaneda books.


Luminarium by Alex Shakar | : Books

And further, these are questions that are raised with greater economy elsewhere via action and metaphor. This book, in any case, offers none.

Mar 14, PJ Swanwick rated it liked it Shelves: This results in his arrest for shoplifting tweezers. 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 slex is a brilliant phrase, though I don’t know if sgakar original to this book].

Meanwhile the real world got worse: All the various threads of the plot fought against each other. Ales of all kinds of wonderfully nerdy shkar sure to delight any metaphysical tech-head for one great example, the ’70s Cray supercomputer that one brother gives the other as an elaborate joke gift, which is then turned into the online-startup “Prayerizer.

In all, this science fiction, fantasy, neurology story with a virtual gaming world as well as the supernatural neurosciences world within the mind in addition to the real world was definitely an engaging, even very educational read, but was covering more than it maybe should have, the result being a slightly unfocused story line with one too many ideas.

Return to Book Page. This book is not yet featured on Listopia.

So, did I like the novel? But it’s not going to be a good fit for everyone.