Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shadowplay” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.63  ·  Rating details ·  16 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
In Java, a master of the shadow-puppet theater seeks to possess-by his art-a woman, who perishes as though by the contagion of his unnatural desire. Shadowplay is a meditation on story-telling as an act of seizure, a parable of obsession and of the danger of confounding the real with its representations.

"Stories compensate for lives unlived. They are what Norman Lock, or
Paperback, 138 pages
Published October 15th 2009 by Ellipsis Press (first published 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shadowplay, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Shadowplay

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-37)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jul 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
In praise of Shadowplay, R.M. Berry wrote Stories compensate for lives unlived. They are what… Guntur, calls shadows, negative reflections on a backlit screen, comprising, through artistry and brief illumination, ghosts. Lock’s teller is imprisoned by darkness, captivated by warriors and princesses no longer, if ever, living. Death becomes a distance from which the voices of these unliving return. It is a journey as delicious as it is threatening.

After reading this book, I have not found many pr
Sep 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
an uncanny tale of the limits and power of story telling, SHADOWPLAY also works with a mesmerizing and subtle structure where the story repeats and folds into itself over and over again. among lock's best work, it continues the self-conscious fascination and manipulation of the theme of "other" that appeared in works like A HISTORY OF THE IMAGINATION and LAND OF THE SNOW MEN. here however lock's uproarious and dark-humored wit has been replaced with a different mode: that of a parable or fable. ...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary-lit
About halfway through this beguiling tale, the narrator reveals himself. He is an eighteenth century Dutch trader with the East India Company. He watched the shadow puppet performance of the tale he tells a a much younger man, understanding not a word of it, but having it retold to him by a companion. Stories cluster around stories, gods and mortals intermix, the dead return to life, and a one-sided, obsessive love reaches what is surely a foregone conclusion. A pleasure to read. I gave it that ...more
Tantra Bensko
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love this book!
Apr 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Seemed more mood than plot or characters. Didn't quite get it.
Oct 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
great book, read this on the way to bangkok, i talk about it in detail here:
John Madera
rated it it was amazing
Mar 16, 2017
rated it liked it
Jul 27, 2018
rated it really liked it
Dec 22, 2012
Quinten Collier
rated it really liked it
Nov 19, 2016
rated it it was ok
Dec 07, 2012
rated it liked it
Jun 23, 2011
rated it really liked it
Sep 13, 2009
rated it it was ok
Sep 05, 2013
rated it really liked it
Aug 12, 2010
rated it really liked it
Mar 24, 2011
marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2009
marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2009
ds white
marked it as to-read
Oct 08, 2009
added it
Nov 04, 2009
Lewis Manalo
marked it as to-read
Jan 03, 2010
marked it as to-read
Apr 20, 2011
marked it as to-read
Sep 08, 2012
marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2013
Shane Dougall
marked it as to-read
May 27, 2014
marked it as to-read
Mar 10, 2015
marked it as to-read
Jun 14, 2015
marked it as to-read
Jun 15, 2016
Pat Winter
marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2016
marked it as to-read
Oct 08, 2016
marked it as to-read
Mar 28, 2017
marked it as to-read
May 29, 2017
marked it as to-read
Nov 04, 2017
KaSerra Meri-T
marked it as to-read
May 27, 2018
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Norman Lock has written novels, short fiction, and poetry as well as stage plays, dramas for German radio, a film for The American Film Institute, and scenarios for video-art installations. His plays have been produced in the U.S., Germany, at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival, and in Turkey. His work has been tra
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »