Blackbox
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Blackbox

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  192 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Meet an apparently disparate group of people, all of whom are linked to the tragic death of a stowaway in 1978. Twenty-three years later, and despite their attempts to build new lives, the connections begin to emerge and, along with them, the truth about what happened. A truth held on blackbox recordings, answermachine tapes, sitcom outtakes and court transcripts.
Paperback, 373 pages
Published January 6th 2003 by Headline Book Publishing (first published May 7th 2002)
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Jayne Charles
This is the complex and highly entertaining account of a group of people connected by a tragic event aboard an aeroplane in the 1970s. Some are connected directly to the event, others more tenuously. But all are fascinating in their own way, all have their little quirks, and in a long book all have a chance to shine.

It’s a sort of take on the six degrees of separation idea, and I guess if you drew a diagram with all the characters on it, with lines showing the connections between them, the resul...more
Aaron
I liked this book a lot.

It reminded me of Magnolia. You know how Magnolia had a whole bunch of characters and, as the movie unfolded, you began to notice the ways they were all connected? Some of those connections were pretty subtle. This book is a lot like that. It concerns thirty or so characters and their connection, be they obvious or subtle, to an Asian woman who dies while stowing away on an international flight.

The characters include: A stewardess who helps the Asian woman board the plane...more
Neil Crossan
This is such a NC book. Short chapters, lots of negativity, it’s almost as if I wrote this except I would have used a lot more, “she crept across the creaky wood floor and she was a mother fucker” or “the harvest moon lit the damp moor. It was a time for public drunks or people otherwise described as mother fuckers.” The theme of Blackbox is that the world has no strangers, we’re all related by some degree of separation. That when you get on that flight to Memphis there is a chance that you coul...more
Erin Beck
This was the hardest book I’ve read in a long time, took me over a week to read. When reading Tolstoy I’ve always had to make a chart on the inside cover of people’s names, surnames, occupations. This book comes with that chart already made for you.

This is because there are so many characters, and each is sometimes called by their first name, sometimes by their last name, and other times by their occupation. It was confusing and no one really did anything to stand out in the beginning so I was...more
SmarterLilac
Delightfully bizarre.

It takes a while to sift through the disparate characters' voices, and even longer to get to the emotional heart of their connection, (a dead stowaway) but it's worth it. Mr. Walker can write up a storm. The characterization here is subtle but strong, and has more than a little bit of wit. I wish I'd found this in 2002, when its discussions of ideology, desperate relationships and the loneliness that makes strangers take enormous risks for each other, would have precisely c...more
Danny
Unfunny comedians are funny.
Authors are constantly striving to be 'original' these days, and for the most part, this doesn't work. but once in a while a gem will creep up and reading it will be an unforgettable experience. I am yet undecided as to if this is one of those gems or not. it's premise is well meaning, 840 chapters, most of them consisting as one or two words. to me this just seems like a lazy alternative to building up tension and a fast pace in the traditional way; through atmospher...more
Anne
What a wonderful, weird, odd book. A fun, sad, disturbing read. And yes, it is possible to be all three. If you like off-beat, slightly transgressive fiction then check this one out. I think I might be the only person who has read this so you'll probably be able to find it cheap in a remainder bin. Which is a shame because it is such a good and imaginative book. One that will stay with you long after you read it.
Beth
An enjoyably fast-paced and intriguingly written exploration of the degrees of separation that exist between people. It certainly suffers for not fleshing out some of the characters enough, a couple of the women in particular seem entirely interchangable (and all so obsessed with suicide!) The ending doesn't live up to the set-up, but it's a good holiday read... unless, of course, you're flying!
Paul
A fun, easy-to-read ride. I enjoyed this unpredictable and unique read. I found myself having a hard time putting it down the closer I got toward the end. There is a lot of time bouncing around and characters to follow but you'll catch on and is worth giving a shot. Most any book that is different from any other book I've read I do enjoy.
Neal
Nov 24, 2007 Neal rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: ?
I wasn't very impressed with this book. It has a few story lines that are supposed to mesh into one. Until the last 30 pages or so the book is disjointed and doesn't follow any one story for more than a few paragraphs. The stories are ok.. but I wouldn't recommend this book to people unless they have a good attention span.
Steelie
It took me until almost the end to figure out who was who. the book goes back and forth between many scenarios, so it is a bit hard to follow. However, I had trouble putting it down and once I finished it, I wanted to read it again so that I could understand it better.
Brian
this one has a lot of interconnected story lines, some of which are engaging...others not so much. it also felt a little too derivative of much more talented authors. i like short chapters, though, of which this book has many. so it has got that going for it.
Glenn
Unique concept. Decent debut. Somewhat difficult to figure out what's going on at the beginning, due to all the characters and the short snippets (840 chapters!) but as you get further into the novel it comes together. I'd rate this 3.5 stars if I could.
Robert
The neatest thing about this book is also its downfall: 840 chapters in 300 pages ... even for those with ADHD it can be too much. Still, you'll never read anything like it, so that's why I'm giving it a three.
Ana
A little bit bizzare. Trying to follow the thread and hoping somewhere along the line I'll find the main path.

Ok. I tried and for a small book, I found it bizarre, depressing and I just couldn't get through it.
Nathan
Uniquely written. Literally has 840 tiny chapters, jumping from one perspective to the next. Easiest if read all in one sitting. I liked it, but I tend to like dark comedies.
Brandon Tietz
Made it 35 pages before I gave up on this one. Too jumpy and choppy. Barely knew what was happening and wasn't intrigued enough to keep going.
Jer
A diamond in the rough... I challenge anyone to find this in a bookstore (not online). Crazy book though, it's six degrees of Kevin Bacon on crack.
Wayne
Rubbish. I was mislead by the title and thought it might be about an aviation accident.
Jason
Interesting book. I enjoyed the authors writing style.
Pam  Wallace
Fantastic, would recommend.
S.K.
S.K. marked it as to-read
Mar 15, 2014
Mike
Mike marked it as to-read
Mar 19, 2014
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