Friday, July 9, 2010

New Release: Light Boxes

For such a small book--about the size of my hand--this little novel is massively different from anything else I've ever read.  Shane Jones originally self-published Light Boxes but eventually it was picked up by Penguin.  There are reviewers who love this book and those who don't. I have thought about it for days and still can't decide how I really feel about it.  I appreciate what he was trying to do but I don't think I liked it very much.

The main character, Thaddeus, lives with his wife and daughter in a town where February has taken hold and hasn't left the town alone for over a year.  The children are disappearing, everything is rotting and the sun never comes out.  The town, led by Thaddeus, decides to declare war against February.

The book uses multiple viewpoints and fonts to tell this short story.  For me, it constantly pulled me out of the story.  Also, there was little difference between the "voices" of the various narrators and sometimes I didn't realize that it had changed point of view.  And honestly, I just didn't always get what was happening.  But I also felt like I had a sense of what Jones was trying to accomplish with the book and I can't say that he was unsuccessful.  Overall, I just think this is one that will appeal to some readers but not others but I'm not sure what the criteria for choosing it should be.

One hundred and eighty degrees from February,

Support our site and buy Light Boxes from Amazon or find it at your local library.  We borrowed our copy from the library.


  1. I have been looking forward to this one but have not gotten to it yet. Many mixed feelings about it I think and some wondering about those rumors of making it into a feature film and how that could possibly be done. But still ... I am intrigued. A quick read it appears so worth the chance.

  2. Shame this wasn't better for you - I love the cover! And the idea of declaring war on February, which I would never do because it would deeply hurt the feelings of the sister born on Valentine's Day. But if not for her then maybe.

  3. I always appreciate how you take risks in your reading.

  4. Frances - I was very excited about this one too. I've heard the film rumor as well but am not sure how it would turn out.

    Jenny - I love the cover too. Maybe it should have been a graphic novel!

    Jenners - Thanks! Sometimes they are unintended risks though. ;)