Julie Proudfoot's Reviews > Lights Out in Wonderland

Lights Out in Wonderland by D.B.C. Pierre
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's review
Mar 06, 11

bookshelves: meta-fiction, favourites
Read in February, 2011

Before I read this book I read some reviews and with the negativity poured on this book it's a little pleasant miracle that I went ahead and read it. Perhaps it is not as good as his first two books, I would not know I have not read them. I LOVE THIS BOOK. It IS one of my favourites, and it is a little bit possible that again I may go against my life's motto of never reading a book twice and yes, read it again. Yes, the footnotes can be a little bit irrelevant/longwinded even annoying, and after reading a few of them and realizing they were mostly an aside to the story - not necessary to the story - I gave up and didn't read most of them. Now that I am finished the book I may go back and read them.

The over indulgence of drugs and alcohol and general debauchery is a bit off putting, even sickening but it is essential to the whole theme of the story. Reminded me a bit of The Slap ( Christos Tsiolkas) which was a lot tamer in that sense but for some reason I'm yet to figure out, I didn't like that book - perhaps it was too close to home both territory wise and people wise - hmmm.

I have a deal with my husband, when I start complaining about a book he is to remind me I never like any book until I'm third the way through. It is very true of this one.

This book is a journey book in the literal sense of the places and countries he covers and as is with any great book, a journey mentally, for Gabriel Brockwell who the book with the second best beginning I have read, "There isn't a name for my situation. Firstly because I decided to kill myself. And then because of this idea: I don't have to do it immediately."

I love the ending of this book also, but please don't rush to the end and read before finishing you won't think it's a great ending unless you read the whole thing.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a sucker for anything meta-fictional and D.B.C Pierre (not his real name- Peter Finlay) throws in a few goodies, one of which follows:

'I must pause, my friend, and call you in. Step close to these glowing linens, this sparkling glassware, snuffle this scent of hot food and vapouring wine, turn your ear to this elegant chatter between pleasant minds and admit with me: the master limbo gets some things rather right.' (Pg 167).

He's asking us, the reader to come and have a closer look and even a smell and listen at the moment. That's great, funny.

What I love most about this book is the personal journey it took me on, to have a look from a suicidal persons point of view at different aspects of life: debauchery of the super wealthy, a stint in the psychic ward, albeit brief and comedic, believing there is more to see in a person than the facade rather than attending to people superficially i.e. intelligent educated people having to work in mundane unrewarding jobs, guilt of being responsible for a friends trouble, lies and stories people tell to validate themselves without attention to consequence for others, the good things in life - details in food, love, friendship and honesty and loyalty for a good cause.

This is a wonderful book and I will be going back to read Vernon God Little and Ludmila's Broken English.
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message 1: by Shereese (new)

Shereese Maynard Please read DBC Pierre's Vernon God Little. It is truly a masterpiece and probably his finest writing. I hadn't heard of Lights Out in Wonderland but now I fully intend to read it.

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