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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This is essentially the premise of Alex Shakar’s novel entitled Luminariumwhere the topic of human despair interfaces with modern technology. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. The really scary thing, though, is that there might not be answers — that we might be fighting for ultimate knowledge that can never be discovered, or at least not by the likes of our limited human physiology. The love story with Mira towards the end disappointed me.

Some of them, to be sure, are blackly hilarious but the humor is there nonetheless. The length of the book is partly to blame. To amend his pecuniary situation, Fred decides to participate in an experiment in which his brain will be electronically manipulated to reproduce sensations associated with states of religious ecstasy.

Delude yourself all you want. I love a big book that just unfolds and unfolds and I can lose myself in it. However, given that Fred Brounian is very hard to identify with, one tries to find others. 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. Dreams, reality, games, real life, introspection all combined into a confusing mish-mash of pages that when you finish you I ask what have I learned?

The narrative centers around Fred Brounian, the protagonist, who, together with his twin brother George, and their younger brother Sam, founded a software company that deals with computer programs pertaining to virtual realities.

Luminarium by Alex Shakar

Mike, a reviewer I follow sum’s up much of my frustration with the book when he points out that the n Sometime in July I’m doing everything I can to avoid reading this book. Fred, a thirty-something software designer, needs the money.

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Calendar pages mark dates leading to the fifth anniversary of the loss of the Trade Center Twin Towers. Shakar’s novel Luminarium received acclaim for its “penetrating look at the uneasy intersection of technology and spirituality” [5] Publishers Weekly.

I read as fast as I could while savoring the author’s singular metaphors and well-honed style. Unfortunately it was a chore to ales. Rather than being too shallow in it’s treatment of death, philosophy and modern computer technology, it was ‘way too deep.

Alex Shakar – Wikipedia

For the last pages or so I was just waiting for it to be over. Fred’s out of body adventures, brought on by the “God helmet” electrodes, are explained to him in terms lumjnarium the targeted stimulation of various lobes in his brain.

Each session will stimulate a different part of his brain. Luminarium reminds me of Neal Stephenson mixed with Franzen.

He wonders if existence is the result of some cosmic plan. The video game company he and his brothers founded has been stolen by a military company that uses its g As his twin languishes in a coma, a man seeks spiritual enlightenment and meaning, aided by texts lumianrium emails that seem to luminariu, coming from his brother.

Alex Shakar

Use cutting-edge technology to explore a blend of quantum mechanics, Buddhist and Hindu traditions, reiki, and other spiritual practices to develop spirituality based on “faith without ignorance. There were hard feelings, but Fred needs his old job back.

But if emotion, if ‘divine’ experience, if rapture and passion can be explained by neural tweaks — Mira’s experiments — then it’s not about answers at all. But by that point I’d gotten enough out of this book that I was content to just let them be; they’re words, and they have meaning, even if I don’t understand it yet. He 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.


He and George grew up with yearnings for a better world which they found by creating one virtually. Aug 04, Lisa Eskra rated it liked it. That triggers the weird episodes.

Whatever happened to reason? Why all the arbitrariness of quantum fluctuation and genetic mutation? Since this is a l-o-n-g book, there’s really no excuse.

Not sure why I only liked, but not loved Luminarium. Jul 17, Ron Charles rated it it was amazing Shelves: He is being kept alive at a financial cost lumjnarium is bankrupting Fred. The suspense of the story was more like Neal Stephenson.

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 April 3rd Incident. That sounds a little deep and heavy, right? I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally. Aug 01, Josh Ingraham rated it it was amazing.

And the mysterious Mira lhminarium fascinatingly shadowy. Even the most enthusiastic summary, though, risks making this book sound gloomy and cheesy.

Published August 23rd by Soho Press first published January 1st Fiction Collective 2, The ineffable essence of the self?

His brother George is sending him mysterious messages and appears to be sabotaging luminaeium former company even as he lies comatose in the hospital. It was like having a deep tissue massage that went horribly wrong – good intentions and maybe on another day it would have been great but ended up just being a aldx pain in the This novel is sharp, original, and full of energy—obviously the work of a brilliant mind. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want luminariuum read.

I found the parallels between neuroscience and commonly perceived spiritual experiences very interesting. I’m not quite sure where to start with this one.