Luminarium by Alex Shakar (Sara Habein’s review #36/53)

by Alex Shakar

How does one even begin to talk about Alex Shakar’s Luminarium? It is 432 pages of swirling narrative touching upon twins, cancer, the nature of existence, brain chemistry, love, 9/11, synchronicity, and eastern religion. Set in 2006 New York City, post-tech bubble but pre-recession, the wounds of the new millennium still feel fresh.

Luminarium benefits from mental simmering. While reading, we may be just as bewildered as Fred, unsure of where or how all these events will resolve. With time and some additional thought, the real depth of what Shakar has accomplished becomes clear. He has written an extraordinary book, one I’ve grown to enjoy more once I’ve had some time away. Dave Egger’s blurbs the book and says it’s “so intellectually invigorating, you’ll want to read it twice.” Though I do not know when I will start again, that’s good advice. Not every writer can pull off a novel of this scope, but Alex Shakar inspires us to try.

My full review can be found on my site, Glorified Love Letters.


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