Monday, March 5, 2012

“They held me and told me everything would be fine, that sadness would rise from our bones and evaporate in sunlight the way morning fog burned off the river in summer. My mother rubbed the kites on my hands and arms and told me to think of my lungs as balloons. I just want to feel safe, I said.”

Light Boxes – Shane Jones
175 pages
Genre:  Literary Fiction; Fantasy; Contemporary
Summary:  Imagine a world that is in a constant state of winter.  For the inhabitants of the village in Light Boxes, it is not something left to the imagination, as it is always February.  Sounds crazy, right?  As it turns out, a spirit, February, is mad at the town because of flight, and as punishment, it has banned all forms of flying, and cast the tiny village under a perpetual shroud of cold, snow, and gloom.  Will the townspeople ever get back into February’s good graces, or will they really never know the feeling of sunshine on their faces again?
Review:  What an odd, delightful little book this is.  Light Boxes is a truly unique tale filled with beautiful language that lovers of poetry and literary fiction will enjoy quite thoroughly.
For me, one of the greatest things about this book was the format Jones chose to employ.  Some pages were very sparse in the way of text, while others were much denser, and the text size changed frequently, too.  While this format doesn’t work in every text, it worked exceptionally well here, as it was able to lend itself well to the surrealist qualities of the book.   
As I mentioned previously, the language used in Light Boxes was absolutely spectacular.  There were many instances in which I re-read passages over and over again, just because the words were so lovely and flowed together so seamlessly, and when taken together with the design of the pages, it was an absolute pleasure to read.
The plot of the book was also rather interesting, and I don’t think I’ve come across anything quite like it before.  It almost read like a dystopia combined with some kind of ancient myth, as the town was encased in perpetual February because a god was angry, and things only gets crazier when children start to go missing.  I was so eager to see if the town would get out of these circumstances and appease February once and for all, or if they would continue to live in such a state.
If you’re a lover of language, poetry, and surrealism, I highly recommend Light Boxes.
Rating:  4/5
Read-alike author:  Jonathan Safran-Foer


  1. Never heard of this, but it sounds so cool! (punned!) I will have to try this one, especially if it got four stars from you!

    1. I own this one, so I'll totally lend it to you!