Read Light Boxes by Shane Jones Online


A poignant and fantastical first novel by a timeless new literary voice. With all the elements of a classic fable, vivid descriptions, and a wholly unique style, this idiosyncratic debut introduces a new and exciting voice to readers of such authors as George Saunders, Kurt Vonnegut, and Yann Martel. In "Light Boxes," the inhabitants of one closely-knit town are experienA poignant and fantastical first novel by a timeless new literary voice. With all the elements of a classic fable, vivid descriptions, and a wholly unique style, this idiosyncratic debut introduces a new and exciting voice to readers of such authors as George Saunders, Kurt Vonnegut, and Yann Martel. In "Light Boxes," the inhabitants of one closely-knit town are experiencing perpetual February. It turns out that a god-like spirit who lives in the sky, named February, is punishing the town for flying, and bans flight of all kind, including hot air balloons and even children's kites. It's February who makes the sun nothing but a faint memory, who blankets the ground with snow, who freezes the rivers and the lakes. As endless February continues, children go missing and more and more adults become nearly catatonic with depression. But others find the strength to fight back, waging war on February....

Title : Light Boxes
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780982081310
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 175 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Light Boxes Reviews

  • February
    2019-05-05 17:32

    This is a terrible book of lies! This book makes me out to be such an awful person when in reality I'm not. Please don't read it.

  • karen
    2019-05-11 11:33

    if you are a fan of the surreal and you like poetry, this book will probably please you more than it pleased me. almost everyone who has rated it on here has given it four or five stars, and i have to kind of assume they are right, and that my not liking this is some sort of personal anomaly, like how i hate the big lebowski but love every other coen brothers film ever. clearly, something is awry.and it can't just be that i resent characters who resent perpetual winter, and try to kill the personification of february, who is also kidnapping their children. because i would love constant february, constant biting wind and snowdrifts, that would be just fine as far as i am concerned. and after the field trip that invaded the store today, i think we could do with fewer is a page, taken out of context, but it gives you a sense of the tone of the book: february has destroyed dozens of our limbs. infected men stay in bed where they are sad and useless. the rest of us stay up at night sketching plans for a new war strategy. we take turns pacing, crumpling paper, disregarding each idea that springs from our cold mouths. selah makes tea with two crossed mint leaves floating on the top of each cup. without an idea, we question if we should even continue our daily assault of warm-weather tactics. a few of the man have dressed for the day in long pants and sweaters. they throw up their hands and walk out the door. selah is standing in the doorway trying to make out the mountains behind the clouds. she drops her teacup. then she says i should come look. i walk over, and she points to her feet and raises her finger up to the roofs of the town. the hot tea has burned a path through the snow from our front door and down into the town.and there is something lyrical and delicate and lovely that part of me can identify, intellectually, as such, but the emotional rest of me is left cold (no pun intended). i am not terribly well versed (pun intended) in poetry, but the stuff i like is usually less ethereal than this. if you are a poem and you are going to be surreal or convoluted, in order to make me pay attention, you had better be showing me fear in a handful of dust, you know? and this is very poetic prose, which floats and meanders and does tell a story, but in a way that is whimsical and playful-with-fonts, and i think i just prefer my prose more nailed-down.but i do like that the book mentions dfw. but again, i assume the fault is my own, just judging by the overwhelmingly positive responses of everyone else who has read this. there must be some sort of faulty cog in me that needs tightening.WHO WILL TIGHTEN MY COGS!!!???

  • Greg
    2019-05-10 15:51

    I wanted to like this book. At first I had a hard time finding my place in the story. The plot was too fleeting, everything drifted by like some snow drift on a windy February day. I got too hung up on the priests. I gave them too much importance, and they confused me. And they disappeared in the story. Another causality of some winter conditions, bleak and gray but not dramatic enough to be called a blizzard. Just one of those fucking annoying mid-winter days when you live in the middle of no-where and you realized you've spent most of the day in the bed, tired and fed up with the weather and the bleakness and the cold and the nothingness and how your shitty little town looks even worse in the minimal daylight hours of midwinter. And your trapped inside your own head for even more hours of the day than normal and you find that you're not making any sense to yourself, nevermind what you must sound like to someone else but that doesn't matter because the strength it would take to talk to someone else would give Hercules a hernia, or at least a slip disk. Like the one you gave yourself so stupidly standing on a soda can while talking on the phone one February day, and then laid you out for a few days and you had to miss work, but if only it could have lasted even longer because the next week February would fuck you over again with some warm weather and rain to melt all the snow and flood the streets and you destroy something you don't know anything about in your engine trying to go through a deceptively deep flooded street all so someone can have their fucking pizza and it's just another act of February, because February makes you stupid and drive into streets you shouldn't and make your engine explode and receive mind-fucking Valentine Day cards from a girl who broke up with at the start of this stupid fucking month. And then there are the Februarys where you never saw the sunlight except for when the sun was rising late in the morning and all your waking time was spent in a tiny twenty four hour gas station or on the internet at a twenty four hour copy shop making money long since spent on pointless things that probably never needed to be gotten and it might have been healthier to just quit those jobs instead of making mid-winter look even grayer and bleaker than it already was. Oh and nevermind the bleakest of Februaries when you seriously didn't think you'd be able to make it through another day and as much as you hated high school you couldn't wait to get back to school because the week off was killing you. Fucking February and your broken toes and crashed cars and stupid fucking holiday dropped right in the middle of your awful month. This book is about the war waged against February in a small New England town. I imagine February in small New England towns aren't that different from February in small Upstate New York towns. And as the war wages you can think of some of the really good things that happened in Februaries, seeing the Ramones play seems to be near the top, or your first real snowstorm blizzard when you were a kid and the whole world seemed to go winterland awesome for a few glorious days. Towards the end of the book I found myself enjoying it more. I'm so stingy with my stars lately. The last quarter of the book I liked, a lot. The whole book I like a lot more than I like many of my own February memories. Maybe this is a book that should be read in the winter and not in the tail end of warm summer days. Maybe I'm too old and tired to really appreciate some of this new-fangaled fiction out here that is a tad bit more surreal and poetic than my calcifying mind can seem to appreciate to it's fullest. I want to like this book more. I consider it a personal failing though. The book did its job just fine.

  • Melki
    2019-05-10 17:48

    When I think of possible worst-case-scenarios, a Cheney/Limbaugh Presidency hovers right near the top of the list. The idea of a dark, snowy perpetual February like the one we've been experiencing this year, well, that's a pretty close second.And here, we have the story of a town under siege, a down-in-the-dumps town suffering through nine-hundred-something days of February. I can't remember it being colder than it is now. The ground is frozen and black, the town windows webbed in snow and ice. When I spark a fire from found branches a snowball falls from the sky and douses the flame.Bummer.If that's not bad enough, all things possessing the ability to fly have been destroyed. And now, children are missing, some snatched from their beds, piles of snow left in their places. A rebellion is underway, but their tactics seem unable to break February's grasp. You know, I started out LOVING this book. The fairy-taleness of the thing grabbed me, and indeed, it does have a certain stark beauty...kind of like December snow. The heart quickens when you see it falling. Isn't it gorgeous? But then it snows more. And more. And by February, you're sick of the stuff. You want daffodils and you want 'em NOW!It was about halfway through that my interest cooled.Was it the forty-second mention of "the girl who smelled of honey and smoke"?The conscious "artiness' of the book?Maybe it was February himself. Isn't it enough for him to settle in, kick off his slippers and vegetate? Does he have to ban flying things? Does he need to take the children?Whatever it was, I was happy to see the hind end of February.Come on, March!

  • Maciek
    2019-05-07 10:42

    I was drawn to Light Boxes because of its beautiful cover, and the fantastical premise - people living in a tightly-knit small town under the rule of a weird, perpetual February, which froze the ground and rivers and bleached out the skies with clouds and frost, turning the town into a place where children go missing and adults lose themselves in depression...but where a group of dedicated citizens take it upon themselves to wage war against February, and get their town (and sanity) back.Such story has all the potential for being a well-told modern day dark fable, with all the classical elements: the heroes and heroines, the quest and the price to pay for it, and a great, fearsome villain. A group of different voices weaving a winter's tale about an eternal February...I read fairy tales and fables as a young boy, and these stories shaped me into a man whom I am now. I would love to read a fable such as this one, and unfortunately Light Boxes was not it.To the author's credit, Light Boxes is full of surreal imagery, specific to childhood: when winters lasted for so long you didn't remember when there wasn't snow, when we molded it, played with it and hid in it; when our faces turned red from the cold and when we ran home to warm up and drink hot tea. Of course none of us had to deal with an eternal February (except maybe for some poor Alaskans), but the idea certainly seemed real enough that it could possibly well true. What couldn't to a an 8 year old?Unfortunately, Light Boxes reads more like notes or an outline for the real text which is supposed to follow - but it never does. The entire novel is not much of a story as much as it is an exercise in structure and technique, aiming to be a homage to or lampoon writers such as Richard Brautigan, the forgotten surrealist, or the more contemporary late David Foster Wallace who are name-dropped in a list included in the text. With each page I felt that the potential of the story slid away, and more self-consciousness slid in - which didn't make me happy at all. Another reviewer remarked that the novel is occasionally beautiful, but consistently frustrating - which is a perfect way to describe this imaginative but ultimately disappointing debut.

  • Zachary
    2019-04-27 15:42

    A delicious frosty treat of a book! Death to February!

  • Jasmine
    2019-05-26 10:26

    I read this book, it took about an hour. I think that the book really could have used a couple more fonts and some more funny sizing of text, but I accept that an author has to be careful that they haven't gone overboard. I do have to say I always appreciate an author who knows that it is unnecessary to use the entire page, I feel so accomplished when I am reading a book quickly even if that is because there is only one sentence on some of the pages. But really not every book with a funny format is good I mean there is at least one that I still have been able to sit down and finish because I just didn't care so perhaps we should recognize there is more to a book than font, although font totally gets me to start a book. As do the pretty new penguin covers. Now by this point I was already committed but there is a great quote to start this book: "The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February." Now I still remember being a child in New England and being not too old I remember a snow fort that was build in the back yard one year after a blizzard, and well I loved winter as a child. On the other hand I remember the first time I ever drove in snow, it was 4am and I had just come home from a school trip and again it was a blizzard and I drove out of the school driveway and into a ditch, since this was back before I had a cell phone I got a ride home and my mother yelled at me for leaving the car, apparently they won't tow a car without a person. Eventually the police found it and made an exception. The point being that year I drove a truck that fishtailed and spent more time calling my friend matt to pull me out of ditches then driving. This was the beginning of the downfall of February. And we come to today, I live in a city basically so I can avoid driving because who ever wants to do that again. Periodically my roommate wakes me up in the middle of the night to make snow angels on the roof, or I hit a guy in the ear with a snow ball and winter and I seem to have come to somewhat of a truce. I hate being cold, but I love snow. So to make this relevant to the book I have to say there is something about the winter that make you terrified that it will never end. I mean I am more a fall type of girl, I like when it is a bit windy and 60 out. But I am well versed in the problems of seasonal depression and people falling through ice fishing holes. Right I said that I was going to make this relevant, well I lied, I cannot bring myself to summarize this book for you. If you want to know what it is about go read it yourself. I mean it only takes an hour and it will be a much better use of your time then sex in the city 15 or whatever else you were planning on doing.

  • Christian, Kelanth, Scala
    2019-05-04 11:53

    Io sono Vomitevole. Non tanto per i 13,50 euro e nemmeno per il tempo perso, poco per fortuna, ma più che altro per l'idea che sia sufficente mettere tanti aggettivi, fare frasi sconnesse, non inserire dialoghi, impaginare paragrafi "alla viva il parroco", per credere di fare un buon racconto.Pirla io che ci sono cascato.P.S.: Per tutto il racconto, ho tifato per Febbraio.

  • Danger
    2019-05-11 16:24

    Whimsical and weird, this fairy tale about a town under perpetual attack by the month of February was the kind of read that you breeze through, though the flavors linger after the last page. These are my favorite types of books, one’s that write their own rules, almost effortlessly, and then pay it all off by the end. While it lacked a bit of an emotional core (in my opinion anyway) it more than made up for in style and originality. I liked it a lot.

  • Lee
    2019-04-29 09:33

    Sort of like a surreal textual reinterpretation of the classic 1970s stop-action Xmas kids special The Year Without A Santa Claus (featuring Snow Miser and Heat Miser), formally arranged a la As I Lay Dying? Easy reading, spare (seemed sometimes like notes for what could be an awesome graphic novel). Most of the time I felt confounded, not engaged by the characters (probably because there's not much characterization -- for a while I enjoyed picturing 6'8" Sixers forward Thaddeus Young as the hero), not really clearly seeing/believing in the fabulist world (probably because it never really stops introducing new oddities throughout). Three quarters into it I sensed some interesting metafictional glimmerings in which the skinny bike-riding writer dude maybe would be revealed as February etc, also the unattributed-to-a-character list of folks who invented fantasy worlds to overcome sadness. Sometimes felt like it force-fed emotionality with "poignancies" like: "The carpenters have boarded up their windows and refuse to leave their rooms. They mumble sadness. Sadness sounds like bubbles blowing slowly in stream water." Generally, I sort of respect the experiment and love the idea but wish it were fuller, felt "real," had some more thematic heft and some humor. Loose thematic threads maybe included overcoming what people say, about willpower etc, about reshaping the world through imagination. Lots of people love this book, so maybe my readerly expectations mismatch what this one offers. Typographic invention and surreal turns (opened veins stream with vines instead of blood) got nothing on vivid characterization/description, thematic heft, and a bit of good ol'-fashioned humor.

  • J.A.
    2019-05-20 15:50

    Anyone who has read Shane Jones’ work knows he can write, knows he is in fact a very complex and astute author, but the soon to be released novel ‘Light Boxes’ shows the true capability and brilliance of Jones’ language. ‘Light Boxes’ is Publishing Genius Press’ first take at a novel and realistically, this monster text of microburst fiction was an absolutely perfect choice. To begin with the design, as this is a debut novel for both Jones and PGP, editor Adam Robinson’s signature polish and use of space makes for a thoroughly beautiful and accessible presentation of this work – the way design should be, collaborative and without hint of invasive or distracting additions. As for the text itself, this is easily Shane Jones’ best work to date – here, in the extended form of a full-length novel, Jones is able to not only flesh out his skillful surrealism but also to peg his characters even more thoroughly and beautifully than usual – creating a depth and layering to rival any experimental novel. Clouds, flying, snow, the march of deadening February: this is the wonder of ‘Light Boxes’. Shane Jones’ debut novel is a rattling, vigorous, absolute must read. Any person who appreciates the delicate and consuming ferociousness that it takes to push and pull language, needs to order ‘Light Boxes’ now, needs to get in at the bottom of this blossoming press and this blooming writer. There will be no disappointment with ‘Light Boxes’.reviewed by j. a. tyler in mud luscious issue six / jan.

  • Claudia
    2019-05-15 12:24

    Light Boxes delights in the landscape of childhood fantasies and literature; there are balloons, kites, teacups, parchment letters, secret passages, and ghosts. This is the kind of book that is best digested in one sitting. Jones has an intuitive feel for mixing the everyday with the sublime. The personification of February, the explorations of utopia and our own sense of mortality, put me more in mind of George MacDonald than Lewis Carroll. There is an archaic sense of loneliness, and deep sympathy for humanity, in Jones' words. Striking, visceral, atmospheric, and absorbing.

  • Kate
    2019-05-11 11:47

    I LOVE prose poetry and Shane Jones is incredibly inventive when it comes to this medium.This was one story where it's disjointedness was endearing and I throughly enjoyed it's fable-like qualitites. I also liked how he played with fonts, even though I wished he'd done a bit more with that.As we're moving toward winter here in the midwest, I really liked the imaginative metaphors that were created in this book, and at the end I too was 'down with winter'.I am a huge fan of Shane Jones and can't wait to read more from this up and coming author.

  • K.
    2019-05-21 16:54

    For a more engaging read about a deranged sky entity, check out Salvador Plascencia's The People of Paper or the bible.

  • Courtney
    2019-05-25 11:51

    What drew me into this novel was the illustration on the cover. Illustrations like this have a way of tempting me into buying books without looking at what the book is about. Anyway the book is about the invasion of February. I hate winter so I could feel for the characters in the book suffering from the effects of a long winter. I would love to see the story turned into a graphic novel or a children's book. But the book is great as it is too because of how the story works with the whole thing. When I am freezing during the winter I don't want to do anything so it seems like time just goes by quicker, in my experience anyway. So the pages with one sentence on them makes sense to me. And also you gotta love a book that doesn't take long to read.

  • TheSkepticalReader
    2019-05-11 10:46

    I can't tell if I hate it or love it.

  • Simon
    2019-05-01 12:41

    Two words here: delightfully quirky. This really is the only way to describe the magical, hallucinogenic and psychedelic fairy-tale that is Light Boxes, Shane Jones’ short debut novel, originally published through Baltimore’s Publishing-Genius Press in an edition of 500, and now issued by Hamish Hamilton, as well as being optioned for film by director Spike Jonze (‘Where the Wild Things Are’). To be fair, it stretches the definition of what is usually considered a novel – it’s more along the lines of an experimental story told in a series of prose poems. For a start, it’s a small book, in both size and page count (167 pages), consists of a number of extremely short, sharp ‘chapters’ (the longest being just under five pages but most often shorter, with each written from the point of view of one of the story’s characters or the omnipresent narrator), with some ‘chapters’ being just numbered lists and with yet others being simply a single sentence on a page. In addition, fonts and letter-sizes are expressively played with as well, helping to tell the story as well as creating an unsettling edginess to what is already a strange, surreal tale.February is holding the inhabitants of a town hostage to snow, cold and grey skies, and has decreed that all flight, of whatever kind (even that of birds), must cease completely. To make matters worse for them, he has been kidnapping the children of the town. Thaddeus and Selah are the parents of Bianca, whose own kidnap prompts her father, in alliance with The Solution (a group of bird-masked and top-hatted balloonists dedicated to restoring flight), the Professor (the inventor of the light boxes of the title), Caldor Clemens (a seven foot giant), the townspeople and the buried children to wage war against their icy oppressor, because slowly, surely, February’s cold is killing the townspeople and sapping them of happiness. Simply put, they’re metaphorically fighting for their very existences and physically for the return of the other, warmer seasons. And that is it, in a nutshell.Many of the classic elements of the fairytale abound here: a surreal location that exists in some nameless ‘otherwhere’, missing children, strange occurrences, bizarre larger-than-life technicolour characters and a classic bogeyman figure, but delineated with Jones’ playfully quirky imagination. Above all, danger and an ever-present but nameless threat bubble just below the surface, waiting to break through and overwhelm. Additionally, there are deeper truths that resonate strongly with both history and human nature, elements that we can all relate to in one way or another. It’s these deeper elements that drive the story along, chiming with a primal need to see balance restored, satisfaction achieved and things put back in their proper place.Quite simply Jones writes beautifully. His employment of imagery is startling, painting bright pictures of a strangely beguiling, yet dangerously threatening, land, a place that’s an unnervingly disturbing mixture of the fantastical and the real. His language is poetic, inventive, and dreamlike. At times his writing is elusive, like something seen vaguely at the edges of a mist, and at others as substantial as the characters themselves. The narrative is often disorientating, just like dreams are apt to be, with shifting perspectives which weave dizzily between viewpoints, ultimately leading us to question even an imaginary world. Additionally, Jones has an uncanny knack of hiding layers of meaning and complexity beneath a charming, seemingly superficial, simplicity. And this is where the power of his writing originates: that it can be read on many different levels, and can be enjoyed fully whichever one you happen to land on.Jones has since published another book, The Failure Six, through a small-press publisher, Fugue State Press of New York and which Wikipedia describes as ‘a modern fable set in a society that has come to favour written messages over talking’. If Light Boxes is anything to go by, then this one, too, will summarily make the leap to the mainstream. Again, if the quality is consistent across the two books, then I predict that it won’t be long before the name of Shane Jones graces the bookshelves of discerning readers across the globe.

  • Richard Denney
    2019-04-30 12:50

    3 STARSThis was a very interesting and original read for me. I'd never read anything like this before, but on the other hand it was a tad confusing at times and had me going "Whaaa?" but it was a super quick read and has a really awesome cover. The reason I bought this was for the cover and the fact that it took place in an everlasting February (My Birthday month) and February was an actual person/villain in this story who reminded me of Winter from Santa Claus is coming to Town (which I know is an interesting comparison, but it fits.) , being that he's a very confused man who only lashes out because it's all he knows and all he feels. In this book children are going missing, there's some magical realism going on, there is plenty of snow, and there are quite a few deaths. I liked this fairy-tale-like writing style the author played with and liked how short it was and the different fonts that were used. The book kept my interest until the end, which I also liked. Would I recommend this? If you're trying to add something in a hurry to your reading challenge (like me), then yes, and if you like books written in verse that play with magical realism then you'll want to read this too. All in all this was a good Christmas read. - Richard :)

  • Kua
    2019-05-10 17:53

    Quale momento migliore di Febbraio ci poteva essere per leggere Io sono Febbraio? Eppure neanche il mese è bastato a convincermi riguardo a questa malinconica fiaba pseudo dark. Una storia con una trama più o meno surreale e un finale più o meno e basta; mi ha comunque colpito l'atmosfera che l'autore è riuscito a ricreare: una sorta di nebbia onirica, fatta di tristezza e depressione. Particolare anche l'idea dell'impaginazione fantasiosa (ma non certo una novità). Rimane l'impressione di una buona idea che non è stata sviluppata come meritava. La frase più bella del libro? "Non l'hai mai visto, ma dentro di me c'è un giardino".

  • Antonella Sbriccoli
    2019-05-10 11:50

    Uno strano libro, molto allegorico, evocativo, ma che non mi ha convinto del tutto. Molto originali la storia, l'ambientazione, anche il modo in cui l'impaginazine dei caratteri diversifica i personaggi e gli eventi. Il tutto però si sviluppa in modo frastagliato, senza arrivare a un qualcosa di veramente articolato. E alla fine sono rimasta un po' delusa, perché non ho trovato il succo che mi aspettavo. Credo però che non dimenticherò questa storia, i buchi nel cielo e le scatole di luce. E già questo è un merito da non sottovalutare.

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    2019-05-26 16:29

    I bought this unknown at the bookstore because I liked the cover. It is a very quick read, a fableish fairy talish set in a town that can't get rid of February.

  • Amy
    2019-05-14 13:47

    I usually like strange and different novels, but this one just didn't do it for me. The entire novel feels like it is the dictation of a long dream or that it is written under the influence of a hallucinogen. For content, I would have given it 1 star except that I can see that the author is being original in his approach to the novel. He "steps outside the [light:] box" by using fonts and characters' points of view in a very unique way. The storyline of the book has a very fleeting, dreamlike quality that makes you feel as if you only kinda sorta know what's happening. In the novel, February (personified) has instituted perpetual February (the month) across the land and caused nothing to be able to fly. In addition, children are going missing all over town. The hope is that perhaps the children will return if someone can find a way to oust February (the personified version and the month) from the town. And now you know nearly everything that happens in this entire dark, experimental novel.I found the font of the book to be very hard on my eyes. Even though most pages are not completely filled and the book is very short, it took me several days to read it because the font kept putting me to sleep (or was it the dreamlike quality of the storyline?). I've read several reviews from people who really liked this novel, so don't necessarily go by my personal opinion when you choose whether to read or like this book. It may appeal to some people who like dreamlike, strange books with experimental writing styles. And perhaps it's better-read under the influence of something stronger than a glass of milk.Note: While I critique both purchased and free books in the same way, I'm legally obligated to tell you I received this book free through the Amazon Vine program in return for my review. Blah blah blah.

  • Sian Lile-Pastore
    2019-05-08 11:29

    First few pages I thought this might be too cute for me, but then I got totally in to it and really enjoyed it. The writer is American, but the book felt very British to me (my husband -who has also read this book - said it had the same feel of a Tim Burton movie, which he thinks feels quite british)... but it also felt a little Alice Hoffman, fairytaley and fabely, and most of all it reminded me of Fairy Tales and Fantastic Stories which I read over and over again when I was little.So it reminded me of lots of other interesting things while still being it's own unique thing. fun huh?

  • Daria
    2019-05-13 15:30

    Fiaba nera affascinante, in cui allegorie e metafore sembrano impazzire e diventare personaggi autonomi a tutto tondo, slegati dal concetto che dovrebbero personificare, che a sua volta va in cerca di altre incarnazioni. Io sono Febbraio si articola attorno a una costruzione narrativa interessante che arriva fino al confine della metanarrazione senza varcare "i margini della città", luogo onirico e poetico in cui l'inverno non vuole finire mai. Molto evocativo, ma non abbastanza da risultare patetico: si lascia apprezzare anche dai non amanti del genere.

  • Zachary Bush
    2019-05-06 10:52

    I had heard of Shane Jones, don't know him personally, and had not read any of his work. That being said, this is (in my odd opinion) one of the best books I've read over the past 5 years...especially from modern prose writers, who can be a bit sloppy, wordy, and way too consumed in character exploration and thought...not story telling! This is a modern myth. this is a novella of prose poetry. Loved it. Mr. Jones, if you're out there, thank you.

  • Dion Ribeiro
    2019-05-10 10:49

    Eu gosto de ler géneros literários bem distintos, e embora tenha as minhas preferências, de vez em quando gosto de ler coisas diferentes, como é o caso deste livro.Aqui, estamos perante uma fábula onde reina a imaginação e algum humor, que por várias vezes me fez rir.

  • Joost
    2019-05-24 11:42

    Dafuck heb ik nu weer gelezen. Dit is echt het meest vreemde boek dat ik ooit heb gelezen. Dit is echt een soort kunstwerk dat je na jaren nog steeds niet echt begrijpt. Pfoeh, ik weet zelfs nog niet eens hoeveel sterren ik het zou moeten geven!

  • Aldrin
    2019-05-15 14:49

    Originally posted here.It’s not discombobulating so much as overwhelming. In Shane Jones’s debut novel slash fable slash collection of fragments, February not only refers to a month but also to a man, not only to a man but also to a mental state, not only to a mental state but also to a multitude of other similar metaphors. Often, it’s all of these at once, and the effect is not discombobulating so much as overwhelming. February--in this sentence or in any of the succeeding sentences or in any of the many sentences in the book that succeed at effecting in the reader simultaneous confusion and amazement, whether the word specifically means a month, a man, a mental state, or a multitude of metaphors, is in the long haul not a matter of utmost import--has outstayed its welcome for at least three hundred days in a town that by Jones’s sporadic direct descriptions appears to be a cross between a Seussian village and a set straight out of a Henry Selick production. The town would have had its “mountains on top of mountains” blanketed with arcadian contentment and its idiosyncratic inhabitants filled with the most simple joy of, among many others, flying kites were it not for February’s cruel decision to overstay. But what’s the deal with February anyway? He wants to stay a while longer, and by “a while” it means three hundred days or more. So what? The town, you see, is also very likely located in the Northern Hemisphere, that part of the world where February is synonymous to winter, and now you see February take on another form: not an entire season so much as a climate, one of cold and darkness, one of gloom and desperation. If winter is indeed nature’s way of saying, “Up yours,” then in the novel February is practically giving the townspeople the finger. He is something of a meteorological tyrant. He loathes anything that flies and hates the very idea of flying with a passion so burning, obviously from being phenomenally cold, that he wants anything that flies banned and the very idea of flying eliminated. He enlists a band of residents obsequious enough to help him enforce his law: “They confiscated textbooks, tore out pages about birds, flying machines, Zeppelins, witches on brooms, balloons, kites, winged mythical creatures. They crumpled up paper airplanes the children had folded, and they dumped the pages into a burning pit in the woods. [...] Some of the priests felt tears roll down their cheeks but didn’t feel sadness.” Such horrifying deeds must be at least explained if not completely justified. Surely February has his reasons for enlisting priests, of all people, for his army of law enforcers and above all for punishing a town where people just want to fly kites? February does have his reasons. Jones just chooses not to divulge them right away because February chooses not to divulge them right away (hint, hint), and it’s not until just past the halfway point of the novel that a straightforward clue about February’s intentions for cursing the town with never-ending winter as well as about the why and wherefore of the novel itself is given in the form of a list of “Artists Who Created Fantasy Worlds to Try and Cure Bouts of Sadness,” which includes J.K. Rowling and the creator of MySpace as well as postmodern literary heavyweights such as Richard Brautigan, author of one of the novel’s obvious inspirations, In Watermelon Sugar, and Italo Calvino, author of the seminal If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler (again: hint, hint). Suffice it to say that following February’s commandment is a war effort aimed at putting an end to the unpleasant combination of frigid weather conditions and more frigid personal dispositions brought about by February, led by an intrepid husband and father named Thaddeus and a group of bird-masked former balloonists who call themselves, whether appropriately or not remains to be seen, the Solution. What takes place thereafter is a deceptively beautiful and poignant story of family and community, of strange sentences (“I vomit ice cubes.” “Thaddeus faced the Solution, holding his basket of apples tight against his chest.”) and precious phrases (“an iceberg melting in her folded hands,” “the girl who smelled of honey and smoke”), of strife and resistance, of multiple narrators and zero quotation marks, of hope and resilience, of poetic digressions and typesetting tricks (some prefer the somewhat pejorative term, gimmicks), of yearning and loss, of creation and re-creation. It is a fairy tale playfully hiding behind a façade of metafiction (Oops. Sorry, I slipped.) supposedly about the horror of seasonal affective disorder. Hence the title, Light Boxes.

  • RubyTombstone [With A Vengeance]
    2019-04-29 11:53

    I can't resist a surrealist fairytale. And it doesn't get any more surreal than the death of flight, brought on by an endless personified winter who lives in the clouds with a girl who smells of honey and smoke, torturing the folk of a small town while kidnapping its children. Obviously this can only result in a war against February.. Jones writes beautifully, and presents his story through a series of short notes written by the various characters... or possibly by February.... or by the author, who is Shane Jones... or, come to think of it, possibly actually February's wife.... Ahh metafiction.Anyway, I was seduced by pages such as this: Short List Found in February’s Back Pocket1. I’ve done everything I can.2. I need to know you won’t leave.3. I wrote a story to show love and it turned to war. How awful.4. I twisted myself around stars and poked the moon where the moon couldn’t reach.5. I’m the kind of person who kidnaps children and takes flight away.Then when Jones drops some graphically violent or otherwise horrifying detail into the mix, it feels like a stone being dropped into the pit of your stomach. Observe: (view spoiler)[To watch the way those horses died. To have felt the waves of their muscles contracting and shaking under that skin of mushy green. It was too much for me......I went back to where the horses were. I knelt down in the cold snow freckled green. I peeled the moss away from their bodies. Their eyes had burst and their tongues were hanging out. Their necks were ropes of muscle and wet moss from the snow that now looked like green foam.. (hide spoiler)]What is strange (well, what isn't? But that's not the point) is that I wavered between adoring this book and finding it terribly pretentious. I did wonder in parts whether all the metaphors really did carry through consistently. I also wondered if some parts weren't simply gratuitous but meaningless, albeit very stylish. For example, take February's list above. Everything there represents a legitimate part of the story, except possibly for Point 4, which sounds great, but doesn't really mean anything. That said, I did have to put the book down and come back to it very many times, which wasn't the ideal way to read a book like this. And today, as I write this review, I adored the book. So it gets five stars. And a (view spoiler)[wolf ripping it's own stomach open. (hide spoiler)]**Teehee. Just accidentally typed "soiler" instead of "spoiler". The former may have been more appropriate..["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Clay
    2019-05-18 10:40

    This book was super hard to rate but I did enjoy reading it! I usually don't like reading fables, folktales or anything too kitschy but despite its style which heavily draws from these influences this book managed to create an endearing fantasy world. Often Shane Jones wouldn't shy away from clichés and use childlike language which was very charming in its own way. The general tone is really sad. Every single one of the characters is suffering, even the ones working against each other and soon you realize that there are no definite "good" and "bad" sides. While reading it I was really focused and didn't want to miss any kind of clues which would help me solve this allegorical riddle but as I kept turning the pages I got the impression that the author never meant to make an allegorical statement with this story. There were a lot of clues about characters which would later on be completely rubbished by other aspects of them. February was one of these characters, there were some very thought-provoking and interesting facets of his personality like the fact that it seemed like he never meant to hurt anybody or that there was beauty stored inside of him. Still, I found it impossible to understand what exactly was going on with him or this story. In my opinion, there is no "message" in this book, Shane Jones wanted to create a mysterious, melancholic and complex fantasy world to which the reader can turn and browse through and read again and again to find new hints and aspects of the story. It offers various different interpretations and is therefore worth reading multiple times. On the other hand I just read a review by the Guardian which states what this is really about: "Early on, a list of remedies (including the titular light boxes) suggests dourly that this is, in one sense, a fable of seasonal affective disorder; but eventually the awful truth dawns that it is an allegory about a depressed and unhealthy writer (February himself, who "drinks too much coffee" and "cries a lot"), struggling to compose a story that will impress his girlfriend (a character referred to only, and with fantastic preciousness, as "the girl who smells of honey and smoke"). The story he is writing is, of course, the story you are reading; eventually he and the girl who smells of whatever clash over who will write its definitive ending." am not sure I agree with it but it does make sense in a way and is another indication of how many different ways there are to read this story.