I think Brockmeier succeeded with this in a number of ways but was lacking in a few areas, especially with the first section. What's the point of the illumination, in the end? I'm about as tired of linked stories as I am of precocious child narrators. Am I becoming impatient, as a reader? Do we become beautiful through our pain and suffering? I fell in love Kevin Brockmeier's writing for its sensitive existentialism incidentally the same reason I admire Jane McCafferty's. . The common tie between characters in the novel, in addition to their pain,--Patricia's journal in which she records the messages that her husband leaves for her on the refrigerator every morning to reveal one new thing that he loves about her each day--is also powerful and filled with potential meaning. No one could disguise his pain anymore.
Glass ceilings are the artificial barriers that deny women and minorities the opportunity to advance within their careers. Sometimes a hard book is good to read. It's confusing at times who the author is talking about, and it's an adult read so I can't comprehend some of it. I love the two strangenesses that form its purpose: pain becomes visible and an intimate journal passes amongst a disparate group of people. His eye for detail is arresting, and I found myself constantly on the brink of tears during the first half of the book because it just seemed so true and real.
That is one piece of praise I can lavish quite freely. The Persian Ceiling pulls you in. The story follows a sequence of people who come into possession of a journal of love notes, transcribed by a woman named Patricia, from the notes her husband left her on the fridge every day of their marriage. They seem poignant as if they should be used to close out a story, but he just sprinkles them throughout, which takes away their significance in a way, but also maybe makes them more real - makes them feel like sad wishes. The book is beautiful but harrowing; as a reader I could not help but feel, imagine, and dwell on all kinds of pain and how people experiencing it would be received in a world where it was so obvious to all. It was a joy to be alive, a strange and savage joy, and she stood there in the warmth and destruction of it knowing it could not last. How long did it cling to this world? Oh, and their wounds emit light and there's a journal that connects them all together.
But what was the point of the crack opening in the ground with the love notes? This was an odd one and I have mixed feelings, I want to give it 3. The Illumination was mostly the latter. The feeling is instantaneous, complete, and you can't ever wipe it out of your mind. I just don't think I fully understood it. His works are literary, genre, memoir, science fiction, and so many wonderful things all at once, we felt he was the perfect choice to discuss genre and literary overlaps.
The writing is above average but I felt at times he needed to continue with a person or chapter before ending it. As must be expected in any such collection, not all the tales are up to the mark, but most are. I didn't feel a connection with any of the characters and I think this is partly because this book follows the story line of several different people. He's got such a unique writing style. Deus ex machina gets a bad rap -- but we've all experienced it, in some capacity, in our lives. Kevin Brockmeier surprised and startled me with his first novel, A Brief History of the Dead. I want to read this book again and talk about it, and read more of Brockmeyer.
This is not a bad thing as long as each of the six characters are engaging in their own ways—and, mostly, they are. The premise of this novel is that all our wounds, our pain, our diseases are illuminated with light. Achingly beautiful and deceptively simple, Things That Fall from the Sky defies gravity as one of the most original story collections seen in recent years. These are questions this novel asks and it plays out through a series of characters and their viewpoints, who are all connected by one book full of love notes that somehow makes it into their hands. Achingly beautiful and deceptively simple, Things That Fall from the Sky defies gravity as one of the most original story collections seen in recent years. I mean, their lives really suck.
Next Brockmeier book I plan to read: The Truth About Celia. Michelangelo painted a total of nine frescos on the ceiling. The links in The Illumination are extremely tenuous, to the point that it feels like the journal that follows all six had to be inserted just to give us a vague sense of continuity. If this seems dubious and boring, well, I won't pretend to understand, but I will forgive you, my legion of fan, if you opt to skip them. Can you be better close to someone by knowing and seeing where their pain exist? The story revolves around a journal put together by a wife whose husband left her a note on the fridge every day. I can see why you plotted it this way, because the goal of the novel is to explore pain and how humans deal with it.
Meanwhile, during the hospital stay, a phenomenon occurs all over the world. The Illumination causes pain to appear as an emanation of light from the part of the body where the pain occurs. Also, there is no resolution in the book. Oh, and their wounds emit light and there's a journal that connects them all together. Similarly, the illumination itself injuries I am conflicted about giving this book a star rating, because it was so unremarkable. A typical character is not someone who is lost, unsure, alone, full of longing - it's more like they are vaguely lost, vaguely unsure, vaguely hopeful.
It was like a long railroad track with lots of beautiful scenery and then all of a sudden it stops in the middle of nowhere. The writing is a pleasure. The Illumination causes pain to appear as an emanation of light from the part of the body where the pain occurs. What is the etiquette, do you acknowledge it? So the man remains a mystery, and his reasons for writing remain unclear. Henry Award, the Nelson Algren Award, and a National Endowment of the Arts grant. Quotes: She had known days of happiness and beauty, rare moments of motionless wonder, but trying to relive them after they had vanished was like looking out the window at night from a partially lit room: no matter how interesting the view, there was always her own reflection, hovering over the landscape like a ghost.
It comes off as very honest and sweet, not shmaltzy as one might think. Brockmeier shows us a little bit of hope, a little light to see by, a plan for the future. But the glorification of human pain for what purpose? Carol Ann, an extremely lonely divorcée, takes the journal from the bedside of a dead woman in the hospital. There was no final explanation or even an ending thought to leave readers something more to think about, nothing. Each character, though not showing any emotion whatsoever, or knowing anything about them, has a richness and quality and sense that they are genuine in everything they are and do, much like real people. The undercurrent of pain-as-light was so cool, but not dealt with in as much depth as I would have liked -- just kind of happens, and life goes on but again --- realism, realism -- and I found the love note journal rather irritating ---- but despite these being central to the text, there's much more to find here.