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Light Paperback – Deckle Edge, August 31, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
But, the story didn't grip me at first and I found myself wondering what the big deal was even while recognizing that Harrison is a true wordsmith. Even if this novel deeply turns you off in all other ways, any literate reader should recognize the quality of the writing. Harrison has a true gift for stripped down sentences and a powerfully apt use of vocabulary. Even in the early going, when I was kind of bored, I found myself rereading passages for the simple pleasure of the words on the page.
The plot was bizarre, lurid and somewhat jarring - jumping around in time and space to various loser protagonists. There were three storylines and although I assumed a resolution, the connections remained fuzzy and I was to the point of just getting through it. But about three quarters of the way through something happened - I got it. This is a brilliantly structured novel and I curse my lack of early attention now. Light should be approached as literature, not genre fiction. The convergence of the three characters and their stories happened so gradually, the realization startled me. When you realize there is not three stories, but just one story, interconnections missed earlier spring out. It was a singularly mind blowing epiphany for this veteran SF reader. I am still struggling with the text, but have to recommend Light as a singularly fascinating read.
Light is a fractal novel about fractals, where large ideas are reflected in smaller scale throughout the text.Read more ›
Boy was I surprised!
Mostly for the good. This is real science fiction. Harrison takes contemporary and speculative elements of physics, treats them with confidence, and transforms them into poetry. When it comes to working within the genre, he is not merely tossing in a few "speculative" elements, either: His action sequences raise the pulse; his characters are quirky, compelling, in most cases memorable; the fundamental plot hinges on some huge and intriguing unknowns that draw the reader in; there are some frightening scenes that linger with enough power to reappear in nightmare. Harrison has the storyteller's gift for hooking a reader and keeping him hooked.
However, it's worth noting that this book has a serial murderer as one of the main characters: his actions and motivations are grotesque, and ultimately very unsatisfying. This is one of the less memorable characters, and while the whole thread does tie in with the others, by the end it feels quite superfluous.
It's also worth noting that just about every thread, and just about every character, displays an increasingly tiresome fascination with sex. In particular, the graphic, repetitive, and loveless tropes of pornography. I haven't read Harrison's other work; perhaps he intended some deep thematic observation on human motivations, but the whole thing came off feeling like Harrison has a problem with porn addiction.Read more ›
But I wouldn't recoment it to people that are not a science-inclined and sci-fi fans. M. John Harrison tends sometimes to throw some deep discussions about the validity of physics that may bore some.
In 2400 New Venusport, Ed Chianese daily struggles to survive with his only solace being virtual reality escapes unlike his former glory days of surfing black holes. However, his woes turn bleaker with no escape available when it seems as if half the city wants a piece of him because he owes money to the wrong lenders.
Several years since the Golddiggers of 2400 AD, White Cat Captain Seria Mau Genlicher is linked directly to the mathematics of her spaceship as if her mind is the vessel's AI. On the run, she has problems with her new woman body and her tailor Uncle Zip offers little help.
The woes of these three and other losers will "merge" in a quantum realm at the "Beach", a segment of space abutting the impenetrable Kefahuchi Tract. Here nothing works properly and space debris and the occasional treasure exist, many from before the beginnings of time.
Ironically LIGHT is a dark gritty tale told predominately on three fronts. The story line is not a Star Wars action thriller (even with plenty of violence), but instead a complex cerebral and gloomy science fiction with prime players seemingly doomed to tragic lives. Paradoxically Michael (and Tate) is recognized four centuries later as the fathers of interstellar space. Not everyone will enjoy this tense multifaceted novel that contrasts the intricacies of life past, present, and future.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have had this book awhile to read and finally picked it up. It’s a very interesting book but somewhat hard to follow and understand. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Karissa Eckert
I enjoy stories where you're not really sure what's going on but the characters and the settings make you want to know. This was such a story. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Eric J. Kovach
Well written, interesting story, thought provoking. Doesn't wrap up the 3 stories intertwined in the novel but for me that's a plus.
‘Light’ is the introductory novel of the trilogy. It is a braid of the lives of the three main protagonists separated either temporally or spatially – from the present day to the... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Dippy
This is excellent, literary grade science fiction. Technology lightly touched on, forming a background for the interactions of an interesting and well-proportioned set of... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Tim
I was recommended this book by a friend, with the understanding that I had not read any kind of sci-fi or fantasy novel in over 10 years (with the exception of Snow Crash, which I... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Julie H
Am going to have to get the sequel to this! Extraordinary SF with amazing characters. Just one note: there is sex in this book, and it is not joyous. Read morePublished on December 29, 2013 by Amazon Customer