Five words from the blurb: Flight, banned, ominous, children, honey
I decided to read Light Boxes when David from Follow the Thread named it as one of his favourite reads in 2010. It is certainly an original book, but I can’t decide whether I like it or not.
The problem is that this book pushes the boundary of the novel so far that it almost becomes art. I read for the excitement/emotion of the plot and this book felt as though I was looking at a series of scenes instead of reading a novel.
The book is half the size of a normal paperback and each page briefly describes a new scene. Many of the pages are written in different formats and font sizes. For example, whispers are always written in a small sized font and SHOUTING IN LARGE ONES. Lists and drawings are also used to illustrate points. The writing is simple, but packed with vivid imagery. I know that some people love these random scenes, but I think I failed to see the symbolism in it all.
The plot is very bizarre, but it is basically an adult fairytale in which an evil character bans the use of flight. The town has been stuck in a perpetual winter for more than 300 days and then the children start to go missing. It was all over very quickly and I was left wondering what the point of it all was. I think I’m just not the kind of person who appreciates art. If you want to spend an hour immersing yourself in a weird fantasy world then this is for you, but it was a bit too experimental for me.
Everyone else seems to love it:
Light Boxes is enchanting, whimsical and rather brutal in some parts. Mad Bibliophile
I could describe the experience of reading Light Boxes as being like witnessing a beautiful mirage, but that wouldn’t be correct, because a mirage is ultimately insubstantial. Follow the Thread
Light Boxes is almost inhumanly hopeful, offering insights both genuine and relevant, and distant echoes of our world in a war fought with futile tactics against a nebulous enemy. The Rumpus