Sep 27, 2020
The Illumination
Posted by Kevin Brockmeier

From best selling and award winning author Kevin Brockmeier a new novel of stunning artistry and imagination about the wounds we bear and the light that radiates from us all.What if our pain was the most beautiful thing about us In the aftermath of a fatal car accident, a private journal of love notes written by a husband to his wife passes into the keeping of a hospitalFrom best selling and award winning author Kevin Brockmeier a new novel of stunning artistry and imagination about the wounds we bear and the light that radiates from us all.What if our pain was the most beautiful thing about us In the aftermath of a fatal car accident, a private journal of love notes written by a husband to his wife passes into the keeping of a hospital patient, and from there through the hands of five other suffering people, touching each of them uniquely I love the soft blue veins on your wrist I love your lopsided smile I love watching TV and shelling sunflower seeds with you The six recipients a data analyst, a photojour nalist, a schoolchild, a missionary, a writer, and a street vendor inhabit an acutely observed, beauti fully familiar yet particularly strange universe, as only Kevin Brockmeier could imagine it a world in which human pain is expressed as illumination, so that one s wounds glitter, fluoresce, and blaze with light As we follow the journey of the book from stranger to stranger, we come to understand how intricately and brilliantly they are connected, in all their human in jury and experience.

  • Title: The Illumination
  • Author: Kevin Brockmeier
  • ISBN: 9780375425318
  • Page: 153
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Illumination From best selling and award winning author Kevin Brockmeier a new novel of stunning artistry and imagination about the wounds we bear and the light that radiates from us all What if our pain was the m

    Saleh MoonWalker

    Onvan The Illumination Nevisande Kevin Brockmeier ISBN 375425314 ISBN13 9780375425318 Dar 272 Safhe Saal e Chap 2011


    VegasGal

    I don t think I ve ever been so engrossed in a book like this one, and enjoyed it so much even recommended it but then suddenly half way through the story something happened and I got the literary rug pulled out from under me How can something go from an awesome wow to a fizzled bunch of yuck Since I happen to be a person who suffers from chronic pain, I found the main premise of this story to not only be intriguing but personally touching It s about pain suddenly giving off light in everyone s [...]


    Nicola

    Sometimes a good book is hard to read Sometimes a hard book is good to read Sometimes, a book is as good as it is bad The Illumination was mostly the latter The Illumination is a phenomenon that suddenly occurs across the world, where physical aches and pains light up for all to see, and suffering becomes visible The book follows 6 protagonists in a story hand off that is spectacularly evenly divided and yet totally unsatisfying Initially, we find ourselves in the company of a data analyst whose [...]


    Judy

    Readers of my reviews may have noticed that I am attracted to the whimsical, the magical, the fantastic, in novels Kevin Brockmeier surprised and startled me with his first novel, A Brief History of the Dead I wondered how he would do that again in his second The Illumination is another work of sheer imagination laid over the gritty reality of modern life Brockmeier uses the device of an object which passes through the hands of six characters, in this case a book of love quotes It is a journal k [...]


    Casey

    Wrote a developmental edit letter as my final project for Advanced Editing class This is the beginning of that letter Since the structure of your book necessitates an edit that focuses heavily on the characters, I would be fascinated to know in which order you conceived of the characters and wrote the chapters Which came first, the journal or the characters Your writing is always based in an extremely unique concept, and yet you manage to see past that fantastical premise to the real human being [...]


    Andrew

    The world had changed in the wake of the Illumination No one could disguise his pain any You could hardly step out in public without noticing the white blaze of someone s impacted heel showing through her slingbacks and over there, hailing a taxi, a woman with shimmering pressure marks where her pants cut into her gut and behind her, beneath the awning of the flower shop, a man lit all over in a glory of leukemia An interesting thing happens when reading Kevin Brockmeier s The Illumination you q [...]


    Melanie Lamaga

    The Illumination is a literary novel with only one fantastic element, but it s a doozy one day, inexplicably, the bodily pain of each and every human being on earth begins to manifest as a white light Everything from a headache to leukemia shines out of the body like a beacon for all to see.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 [...]


    Jane

    I loved this book It s a series of linked stories held together by the phenomenon of the illumination and by a journal of daily love notes from a husband to his wife The Illumination causes pain to appear as an emanation of light from the part of the body where the pain occurs Each of the characters experiences this phenomenon in some way, and each connects in some way or other with the character whose story follows theirs But this connection is ephemeral, it s really the book that is the protag [...]


    Jamie

    I am conflicted about giving this book a star rating, because it was so unremarkable Neither great nor bad, and yet the obligatory 3 stars makes it seem like I had an opinion I m about as tired of linked stories as I am of precocious child narrators This book has both 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 Similarly, the illumination itself injuries in the [...]


    Amy

    This novel asks the question, What if our pain is the most beautiful thing about us It s a compelling question, and the premise of the novel that anywhere and anytime a person experiences pain it becomes illuminated so that everyone can see it is ripe with potential 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 a [...]


    Helen Dunn

    I can t explain why, but I love Kevin Brockmeier s writing It s sad and beautiful and oddly soothing The story is strange about a world where pain glows with light and his characters are all troubled and riddled with pain Their stories are loosely intertwined in a way that reminded me that the world is smaller than we think I wish I knew what happened to all these people after the book ended.


    Sarah Cypher

    Oh, if it weren t for the last chapter I fell in love Kevin Brockmeier s writing for its sensitive existentialism incidentally the same reason I admire Jane McCafferty s First You Try Everything A Novel I enjoyed his deft handling of what could be a plodding trope in the hands of a sensationalist writer wounds that are rendered into light He explores his concept with the thoroughness of a genre writer, but follows a literary sensibility through a series of interconnected short stories to show t [...]


    Grace Herndon

    When I first read the back of the book I was very intrigued and interested, however as I read the book I became less and less enthralled in the story This book is written very simply and there isn t much depth to any of the characters 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 I also didn t feel as though this book had a purpose or a point to make to the readers.One of the main aspects of t [...]


    Caitlin

    Kenneth Brockmeier is so frustrating 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 His writing is gorgeous But he can t seem to structure a novel the entire concept of this one seems better suited to a short story light pours from wounds than multiple chapters He simply runs out of ways to say the one thing he wants to say The links between the short story like chapters are barely the [...]


    Jill

    An almost meditative read Stylistically beautiful, but gently not strikingly gorgeous, but flowing and constantly so The stories are disjointed and occasionally convenient, but so is life, and this book is big on life snapshots Deus ex machina gets a bad rap but we ve all experienced it, in some capacity, in our lives To exclude that kind of experience completely would be disingenuous, unrealistic.The undercurrent of pain as light was so cool, but not dealt with in as much depth as I would have [...]


    Wendy Wakeman

    I put this book down on page 5 in a huff because I disliked the way the author used the word genuflect Sometime maybe I ll get around to writing an essay about that word, its use, and misuse, because I have a lot of feelings surrounding it that need to get out Luckily, I m lazy The next book on my list was upstairs, and I wanted to sit outside on the porch and read, so I took it up again.I love so much about this book I love the two strangenesses that form its purpose pain becomes visible and an [...]


    Kirstie

    I really enjoyed the topic of this book than anything else.e idea is that somehow our wounds be them cuts, bruises, or cancerous tumors radiate lightme feel it s beautiful and some try to disguise it The novel explores a few different perspectives of people finding out then living with this oddity, which is what becomes termed The Illumination itself We meet a photographer, an author, a young boy who refuses to speak, an evangelist, and a homeless bookseller as well as all of the people they in [...]


    Kinsey

    I actually finished this book several hours ago but I ve spent the subsequent time with my head in my hands, trying to figure out the rating it deserves I ll start with the good points this book was emotionally devastating on a level I was entirely unprepared for The story is composed of several different characters whose point of view each make up a chapter and how they all interconnect thanks to a single item a journal full of love notes written from a husband to his wife Each character is div [...]


    Amanda

    Here s what I was expecting Everyone on the planet suddenly experiences pain through light, and six strangers explore the way their lives have changed after The Illumination.Here s what I got The stories of six people whose lives suck I mean, their lives really suck Oh, and their wounds emit light and there s a journal that connects them all together But mostly, this is about how their lives all suck.I was reminded of a song called Jim by King Missile while reading this The song starts out with [...]


    Irisjade

    So far, it started out really great Intriguing, lovely writing style, almost poetic, I could almost see the illumination coming out of the book itself Further into the book, though, it s getting a bit tedious and dragging on Nothing much has happened, and yet a lot has happened 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 Hope it turns out well Well, a lot of reviews warned me, and I knew they would be right The ending is disapp [...]


    Matthew Turner

    This book had two fascinating central ideas a the concept of hidden pain becoming visible and b the power of something precious passing from one person to another.So the first chapter of The Illumination had me hooked I couldn t wait to see how things unraveled But now that I ve reached the end, I m left with an overwhelming sense of disillusionment forgive the pun My disappointments are threefold 1 Despite the intriguing framing, I was bored of these same two ideas being recycled for the entire [...]


    Holly

    Before page 65 I was already growing impatient with the premise I didn t require any extended descriptions of light pouring from wounds I also found the writing story a little sentimental, romantic, cheap, and obvious Brockmeier s earlier novel A Brief History of the Dead, had an intriguing premise, but there the reader projected the inevitable conclusion the concept requires contains a Bardo like city where the dead carry on their lives until all the humans on Earth who remember them are dead [...]


    Elizabeth

    What a beautifully written and affecting book I can t help but think that if you liked it or not, you would ponder a lot of ideas that are brought up within it When wounds start displaying themselves through light some media pundit coins it the Illumination We re talking any wound from lung cancer to a stubbed toe, sometimes the light might radiate and other times it might sparkle Now that we can view all of each others physical frailties so clearly a number of things come up What is the etiquet [...]


    Christina Tang-Bernas

    The premise of this novel is that all our wounds, our pain, our diseases are illuminated with light So, walking down the street, we can see all the people around us and their afflictions There is no hiding it Does this make us have compassion More understanding, perhaps Do we become beautiful through our pain and suffering 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 ma [...]


    Paul

    This was an odd one and I have mixed feelings, I want to give it 3.5 stars The idea is a good one one day, very suddenly everyones pain is illuminated shines in the form of light Cuts and bruises, cancer, arthritis etc all shine from peoples bodies The story revolves around a journal put together by a wife whose husband left her a note on the fridge every day These notes started I love the way you The notes have been pasted in a journal This journal travels between six people, each of whom have [...]


    Lexie

    What a premise Every person and creature on the planet lights up with pain Whatever the wound, it s set ablaze No hiding our pain and every living thing is illumined to some degree What happens when we perceive pain as light 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 [...]


    Stacey B

    The descriptions have a certain uniqueness that captivate and allow the reader to empathize with every detail The main character in the novel is relatable and harbors the same amount of curiosity as the reader making each moment mysterious and intriguing The sociological aspects of the phenomena known simply as The Illumination are what make this book particularly interesting Can you be better close to someone by knowing and seeing where their pain exist Seeing the smoker and seeing his illumina [...]


    Readnponder

    This is the first book I ve read by Kevin Brockmeier so I wasn t sure what to expect His writing is beautiful He paints characters in a rich way The book is a collection of six short stories involving two common threads 1 a phenomenon where a part of the body experiencing pain glows Everyone can see it nothing private about one s pain 2 a diary from a husband to his wife extolling all the big and small things he loves about her.Each of the six characters are in some sort of physical emotional pa [...]


    Andrea

    Kevin Brockmeier s The Illumination is one of the most beautiful books I ve ever read Brockmeier takes the premise what if our pain was visible to other people and creates a world and cast of characters that explores this idea from multiple angles One Friday evening at 8 17, people everywhere who are injured or ill start to radiate from their areas of pain We follow six different characters a woman who accidentally cuts off the top of her thumb, a photographer who loses his wife in a terrible ca [...]


    Nancy

    I ll start by saying I absolutely loved Brockmeier s novel, The Brief History of the Dead He s got such a unique writing style I read The Illumination over too long a period of time, and then reread it in a couple days This book is beautifully written but it s the kind of book I had to read thoughtfully with no distractions, in order to fully appreciate it My favorite line She died a few moments after the sun touched her skin This is his description of the death of a minor character being pulled [...]



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