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Light Boxes

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  2,780 Ratings  ·  510 Reviews
A poignant and fantastical first novel by a timeless new literary voice.
With all the elements of a classic fable, vivid descriptions, and a wholly unique style, this idiosyncratic debut introduces a new and exciting voice to readers of such authors as George Saunders, Kurt Vonnegut, and Yann Martel.
In "Light Boxes," the inhabitants of one closely-knit town are experien
Paperback, 175 pages
Published February 11th 2009 by Publishing Genius, Penguin Books (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Apr 15, 2009 February rated it it was ok
This is a terrible book of lies! This book makes me out to be such an awful person when in reality I'm not.

Please don't read it.

Mar 17, 2011 karen rated it liked it
if you are a fan of the surreal and you like poetry, this book will probably please you more than it pleased me.

almost everyone who has rated it on here has given it four or five stars, and i have to kind of assume they are right, and that my not liking this is some sort of personal anomaly, like how i hate the big lebowski but love every other coen brothers film ever. clearly, something is awry.

and it can't just be that i resent characters who resent perpetual winter, and try to kill the perso
Sep 13, 2011 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I wanted to like this book.

At first I had a hard time finding my place in the story. The plot was too fleeting, everything drifted by like some snow drift on a windy February day. I got too hung up on the priests. I gave them too much importance, and they confused me. And they disappeared in the story. Another causality of some winter conditions, bleak and gray but not dramatic enough to be called a blizzard. Just one of those fucking annoying mid-winter days when you live in the middle of no-w
When I think of possible worst-case-scenarios, a Cheney/Limbaugh Presidency hovers right near the top of the list. The idea of a dark, snowy perpetual February like the one we've been experiencing this year, well, that's a pretty close second.

And here, we have the story of a town under siege, a down-in-the-dumps town suffering through nine-hundred-something days of February.

I can't remember it being colder than it is now. The ground is frozen and black, the town windows webbed in snow and ice.
Aug 11, 2016 Maciek rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was drawn to Light Boxes because of its beautiful cover, and the fantastical premise - people living in a tightly-knit small town under the rule of a weird, perpetual February, which froze the ground and rivers and bleached out the skies with clouds and frost, turning the town into a place where children go missing and adults lose themselves in depression...but where a group of dedicated citizens take it upon themselves to wage war against February, and get their town (and sanity) back.

Such st
Feb 24, 2009 Zachary rated it it was amazing
A delicious frosty treat of a book!

Death to February!
Jan 03, 2009 J.A. rated it it was amazing
Anyone who has read Shane Jones’ work knows he can write, knows he is in fact a very complex and astute author, but the soon to be released novel ‘Light Boxes’ shows the true capability and brilliance of Jones’ language. ‘Light Boxes’ is Publishing Genius Press’ first take at a novel and realistically, this monster text of microburst fiction was an absolutely perfect choice.

To begin with the design, as this is a debut novel for both Jones and PGP, editor Adam Robinson’s signature polish and use
Sep 06, 2012 Kelanth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: narrativa
Io sono Vomitevole.
Non tanto per i 13,50 euro e nemmeno per il tempo perso, poco per fortuna, ma più che altro per l'idea che sia sufficente mettere tanti aggettivi, fare frasi sconnesse, non inserire dialoghi, impaginare paragrafi "alla viva il parroco", per credere di fare un buon racconto.
Pirla io che ci sono cascato.

P.S.: Per tutto il racconto, ho tifato per Febbraio.
Jul 12, 2010 Jasmine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american
I read this book, it took about an hour. I think that the book really could have used a couple more fonts and some more funny sizing of text, but I accept that an author has to be careful that they haven't gone overboard. I do have to say I always appreciate an author who knows that it is unnecessary to use the entire page, I feel so accomplished when I am reading a book quickly even if that is because there is only one sentence on some of the pages. But really not every book with a funny format ...more
Feb 03, 2009 Claudia rated it it was amazing
Light Boxes delights in the landscape of childhood fantasies and literature; there are balloons, kites, teacups, parchment letters, secret passages, and ghosts. This is the kind of book that is best digested in one sitting. Jones has an intuitive feel for mixing the everyday with the sublime. The personification of February, the explorations of utopia and our own sense of mortality, put me more in mind of George MacDonald than Lewis Carroll. There is an archaic sense of loneliness, and deep ...more
Nov 16, 2010 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those looking for unique prose poetry
Shelves: poetry
I LOVE prose poetry and Shane Jones is incredibly inventive when it comes to this medium.

This was one story where it's disjointedness was endearing and I throughly enjoyed it's fable-like qualitites. I also liked how he played with fonts, even though I wished he'd done a bit more with that.

As we're moving toward winter here in the midwest, I really liked the imaginative metaphors that were created in this book, and at the end I too was 'down with winter'.

I am a huge fan of Shane Jones and can't
Aug 26, 2016 Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sort of like a surreal textual reinterpretation of the classic 1970s stop-action Xmas kids special The Year Without A Santa Claus (featuring Snow Miser and Heat Miser), formally arranged a la As I Lay Dying? Easy reading, spare (seemed sometimes like notes for what could be an awesome graphic novel). Most of the time I felt confounded, not engaged by the characters (probably because there's not much characterization -- for a while I enjoyed picturing 6'8" Sixers forward Thaddeus Young as the her ...more
What drew me into this novel was the illustration on the cover. Illustrations like this have a way of tempting me into buying books without looking at what the book is about. Anyway the book is about the invasion of February. I hate winter so I could feel for the characters in the book suffering from the effects of a long winter. I would love to see the story turned into a graphic novel or a children's book. But the book is great as it is too because of how the story works with the whole thing. ...more
Sep 08, 2015 k rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer
For a more engaging read about a deranged sky entity, check out Salvador Plascencia's The People of Paper or the bible.
Nov 26, 2014 Kua rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, b-3-4
Quale momento migliore di Febbraio ci poteva essere per leggere Io sono Febbraio? Eppure neanche il mese è bastato a convincermi riguardo a questa malinconica fiaba pseudo dark. Una storia con una trama più o meno surreale e un finale più o meno e basta; mi ha comunque colpito l'atmosfera che l'autore è riuscito a ricreare: una sorta di nebbia onirica, fatta di tristezza e depressione. Particolare anche l'idea dell'impaginazione fantasiosa (ma non certo una novità). Rimane l'impressione di una b ...more
Antonella Sbriccoli
Uno strano libro, molto allegorico, evocativo, ma che non mi ha convinto del tutto. Molto originali la storia, l'ambientazione, anche il modo in cui l'impaginazine dei caratteri diversifica i personaggi e gli eventi. Il tutto però si sviluppa in modo frastagliato, senza arrivare a un qualcosa di veramente articolato. E alla fine sono rimasta un po' delusa, perché non ho trovato il succo che mi aspettavo. Credo però che non dimenticherò questa storia, i buchi nel cielo e le scatole di luce. E già ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I bought this unknown at the bookstore because I liked the cover. It is a very quick read, a fableish fairy talish set in a town that can't get rid of February.
Aug 08, 2010 Simon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two words here: delightfully quirky. This really is the only way to describe the magical, hallucinogenic and psychedelic fairy-tale that is Light Boxes, Shane Jones’ short debut novel, originally published through Baltimore’s Publishing-Genius Press in an edition of 500, and now issued by Hamish Hamilton, as well as being optioned for film by director Spike Jonze (‘Where the Wild Things Are’). To be fair, it stretches the definition of what is usually considered a novel – it’s more along the ...more
I usually like strange and different novels, but this one just didn't do it for me. The entire novel feels like it is the dictation of a long dream or that it is written under the influence of a hallucinogen. For content, I would have given it 1 star except that I can see that the author is being original in his approach to the novel. He "steps outside the [light:] box" by using fonts and characters' points of view in a very unique way. The storyline of the book has a very fleeting, dreamlike ...more
Sian Lile-Pastore
Nov 09, 2014 Sian Lile-Pastore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
First few pages I thought this might be too cute for me, but then I got totally in to it and really enjoyed it. The writer is American, but the book felt very British to me (my husband -who has also read this book - said it had the same feel of a Tim Burton movie, which he thinks feels quite british)... but it also felt a little Alice Hoffman, fairytaley and fabely, and most of all it reminded me of Fairy Tales and Fantastic Stories which I read over and over again when I was little.

So it remind
Mar 25, 2011 Daria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fiaba nera affascinante, in cui allegorie e metafore sembrano impazzire e diventare personaggi autonomi a tutto tondo, slegati dal concetto che dovrebbero personificare, che a sua volta va in cerca di altre incarnazioni.
Io sono Febbraio si articola attorno a una costruzione narrativa interessante che arriva fino al confine della metanarrazione senza varcare "i margini della città", luogo onirico e poetico in cui l'inverno non vuole finire mai. Molto evocativo, ma non abbastanza da risultare pat
Zachary Bush
Jun 13, 2010 Zachary Bush rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had heard of Shane Jones, don't know him personally, and had not read any of his work. That being said, this is (in my odd opinion) one of the best books I've read over the past 5 years...especially from modern prose writers, who can be a bit sloppy, wordy, and way too consumed in character exploration and thought...not story telling! This is a modern myth. this is a novella of prose poetry. Loved it. Mr. Jones, if you're out there, thank you.
This debut novel shows a lot of promise. The wonderful plot is mesmerizing like a good fairy tale even though the story goes flat sometimes.
Feb 23, 2009 Nicole rated it it was amazing
It was quite an interesting book, a very imaginative world where a war against Febuary takes place. Detailed and creative with lots depths of details a great book to pick up when your "bored".
I can't tell if I hate it or love it.
Nov 05, 2010 Aldrin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Aldrin by: Fully Booked
Originally posted here.

It’s not discombobulating so much as overwhelming. In Shane Jones’s debut novel slash fable slash collection of fragments, February not only refers to a month but also to a man, not only to a man but also to a mental state, not only to a mental state but also to a multitude of other similar metaphors. Often, it’s all of these at once, and the effect is not discombobulating so much as overwhelming.

February--in this sentence or in any of the succeeding sentences or in any o
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
I can't resist a surrealist fairytale. And it doesn't get any more surreal than the death of flight, brought on by an endless personified winter who lives in the clouds with a girl who smells of honey and smoke, torturing the folk of a small town while kidnapping its children. Obviously this can only result in a war against February..

Jones writes beautifully, and presents his story through a series of short notes written by the various characters... or possibly by February.... or by the author,
Jul 02, 2016 Clay rated it liked it
This book was super hard to rate but I did enjoy reading it! I usually don't like reading fables, folktales or anything too kitschy but despite its style which heavily draws from these influences this book managed to create an endearing fantasy world. Often Shane Jones wouldn't shy away from clichés and use childlike language which was very charming in its own way. The general tone is really sad. Every single one of the characters is suffering, even the ones working against each other and soon ...more
David Hebblethwaite
Here is a tale to make a reader’s heart soar.

Light Boxes was first published last year by a small press named Publishing Genius, in a limited-edition run; now, larger publishing houses have given Shane Jones’s debut novel a wider release – and deservedly so, because it’s an absolute gem. It’s the story of a balloon-maker named Thaddeus Lowe, whose town is held in the grip of February. Flight, by any means, is prohibited, and wintry weather is the norm. The town’s children have been going missing
Feb 07, 2012 Sunday rated it it was ok
I like poems, I like the cute and the precious fable thing, but this was like a sneeze that just did not happen. It wanted to happen, I needed to sneeze, but no.

This book would have been charming to find in the initial 500-print run. A practically hand-bound book out of nowhere in a little family bookstore. But as it has the full Penguin (and so I've heard Spike Jonze) makeover...I expected better font choices?

The advertised story idea, which is fantastic, also could have used 200 more pages an
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“I wanted to write you a story about magic. I wanted rabbits appearing from hats. I wanted balloons lifting you into the sky. It turned out to be nothing but sadness, war, heartbreak. You never saw it, but there’s a garden inside me.” 55 likes
List of Artists Who Created Fantasy Worlds to Try and Cure Bouts of Sadness

1. Italo Calvino
2. Gabriel Garcia Marquez
3. Jim Henson and Jorge Luis Borges - Labyrinths
4. The creator of MySpace
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6. J.K. Rowling
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