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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  36 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Mark Perdue has so many problems that when he starts feeling chest pains on the tarmac at LAX, it dawns on him that a heart attack might be an efficient way out. Once an eminent physicist, he hasn’t published or had a new idea in a decade. The younger professors at UC Berkeley pity him, and he’s taken to using the back staircases to avoid their looks. At home, his wife has ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published May 1st 2011)
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I received this book through the first reads program.

This is not only a story but an inspiring and intelligent novel. As the completely original plot line commences, the reader sees things in the eyes of a physicist. The reader uses this lens to examine love in many stages: the mature love that Mark has for Audrey, the lust that he feels for Blythe, the immature love of Bodie and Lotta, and the fatherly love that Mark has for Lotta.

Not only is there an examination of love but a thorough examina
Debbie Boucher
Jun 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was excited to read this book by Louis B. Jones as he was my instructor at a writer's workshop some years ago. I have read all his other books, Ordinary Money, Particles and Luck, and California's Over. What I enjoyed in those books was his sense of humor and his intelligence. What I found in his latest book was cynicism. He's still a great writer, and it's fascinating to see how his mind works, but this book was not as funny or compelling as the others. Therefore, I recommend this book to fan ...more
Jul 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 star. Interesting novel from the viewpoint of a middle class physicist who has way more problems than getting cited in the journals. Health problems, lost baby problems, 16 year old daughter problems, lust problems.... and more. There is some comedy, some science, lots of pop culture, and driving around LA, and chondria, hypo and otherwise. The .5 star pushing this book toward 4star is the very interesting ideas of theoretical physics in relation to common human drama. the less than 4 stars ...more
Hock Tjoa
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Radiance (published in 2011) begins disarmingly with a familiar scene. A San Francisco parent (Mark) accompanies a teenager to an (expensive) Fantasy Celebrity Vacation in Los Angeles, enabled by a recent inheritance and prompted by the discovery that his daughter (Lotta) had started shopping among senior high schools in Connecticut. She plots to leave us. But barely has the "Fasten Your Seat-belts" sign been turned off than we find ourselves in deep, heavy territory.

Mortality, late-term aborti
Jun 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only on page twenty-something but realized that the main character, Mark Perdue, is the very same fella as in Particles & Luck. I read it too long ago to recall all the specifics, other than that it amazed me in challenging my decidedly non-scientific and philosophically out-of-practice brain while making me laugh. It will be nice to see how Mark Perdue has fared after all this time.

Okay finished. I recognize the voice and found this book as articulate and interesting (as a non-science perso
Dec 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Radiance was a puzzle for me. I really did like the way the book turned out, with the starlet obsessed with stardom coming into her own, but it was the in between that was a blur. A self-depreciating father, a mother who we never really get to know, a family tragedy...all of this whirls into a cacophony of literary prose that makes the reader want to continue, want to see what happens, no matter what the opinion of the book previously was. On a moral sense, I didn't like how easily the author ad ...more
Apr 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a few days to get through this one. It was a very well written story and the story itself was interesting. I just didn't get really drawn in by the characters. I have to say that this is not a book I would normally pick up because I tend to read romance novels. But I want to try to expand my reading and so I enter the contest here on Goodreads and won a copy of Radiance. I am very glad that I read it because it is making me rethink other titles as well. I will definately keep my eyes ...more
Meryl Natchez
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Louis B. Jones is that rare author who can articulate complex feelings while seamlessly moving the plot along. This is his fourth book--and it's right up there with his best. See some excerpts at And if you haven't yet, read his earlier books.
Cindi Dimichele
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-freebies
I gave this a 4, because I couldn't give it a 3.5. This was my first Kindle "read"; it was ?????? ical plot. The thing I did not like was the ending. It's one of those books I felt like the author couldn't think of a way to wrap it up, so just ended it.
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A "philosophical novel," according to the NYT review.

Too much "philosophy" & too little story. If the book had been longer, I wouldn't have finished it.
Jan 31, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh, I had to make myself finish this book.
Victoria Patterson
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Apr 29, 2011
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Rachel Ford
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written. Quirky, deep, and full of questions. A great book by a masterful writer.
Paul Wilner
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Jun 13, 2013
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Louis B. Jones is the author of three New York Times Notable Books - Ordinary Money (Viking 1990, Penguin 1991), Particles and Luck (Pantheon 1993, Vintage 1994), and California’s Over (Pantheon 1997, Vintage 1998). His newest novel, Radiance, will be published by Counterpoint Press May 2011. He is an NEA fellow and a fellow of the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. He has written screenplays – or ...more
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