My Alphabet Reading Challenge - I

Author: Anne

Date Published: Oct 14th 2018, 3:04pm

“The Illumination” by Kevin Brockmeier is a series of linked short stories. It is set in our world but something has changed so that physical pain is shown as light. The book doesn’t explore this in any depth but the actual story takes place in this changed world which is elegantly described. The short stories link a number of people with a diary which keeps getting passed on. Some of the characters interact with the diary and others don’t.

I found this book incredibly difficult to get in to even though it is very short. I was hooked at the beginning but gradually became separated possibly because the narrative was very detached and descriptive. The description was excellent but all the people were uninteresting and the whole atmosphere of the book was sad and dismal. I wished that the idea of the light showing pain had been explored more instead of just being used as background.

This struck me as a very “literary” book and I am afraid that I don’t use that word kindly. It seemed pretentious and completely written for effect and it didn’t engage me at all. Some people do like this kind of writing but I am more limited in my tastes and essentials for me are a plot and characters with whom I can identify.

This choice was not a success for me. By coincidence, my book for J is also a book of short stories. I hope that I will enjoy it more.