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Radiance: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Length: 226 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Radiance

"A fantastic novel." —Amy Tan

About the Author

Louis B. Jones is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Ordinary Money, Particles and Luck, and most recently, California’s Over. He lives in the Sierra Nevada.

Product Details

  • File Size: 622 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint (May 1, 2011)
  • Publication Date: May 1, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004V4VUPA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,589,461 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Louis B. Jones is the author of three New York Times Notable Books - "Ordinary Money", "Particles and Luck," and "California's Over." He is an NEA fellow and a fellow of the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. His newest novel, "Radiance," was published by Counterpoint Press in May 2011. "Radiance's" dark mirror-image twin, "Innocence," will be published in March 2013, also by Counterpoint.

He's been a regular reviewer for the New York Times Book Review and has served as visiting writer at a number of colleges around the country. For some years he has acted as Fiction Director for the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. The author lives with his family in Nevada City, CA. For more info, please visit: www.louisbjones.com

You may follow the author's musings about his writing life and other adventures here: http://www.louisbjones.com/recentwriting.html

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was en route to work, at about page 167 of RADIANCE, when sunlight burst through the train window and jolted my head out of the book. I had missed my stop and traveled under the San Francisco bay, and we were pulling into West Oakland.

Being late to a meeting at the office was a small price to pay for these bonus moments of pleasure.

Jones's protagonists try to observe life from a detached perch somewhere, but their humanity plunges them into the mess of other people's emotional lives. I find myself marking certain passages that appear, to the unsuspecting reader, to deliver casual comments, like this one: "When a female confers the fond honorific 'poor' upon a fellow, the fellow has, by that condescension, been admitted to a fraternity, a secret knighthood, but a comical knighthood among all the poor guys...." No spoilers here, but when you read the book you'll see how important this reflection is to the central character's understanding of his young daughter, and of himself.
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Format: Hardcover
Every now and then we come across someone who is able to remind us just how precious life is and how each day---every minute should be treasure, not wasted. Today we have Mark Perdue, the main character of author Louis B. Jones' new book RADIANCE. Through Mark we are able to see that no matter how bad things might appear to us where we stand in the world, there is always something more for us to look forward to.

Mark goes through a journey in the book unlike that which we sometimes see ourselves on. Have you ever felt that everything that could possibly go wrong in your life actually is? That is where Mark finds himself, and at one point it seems as though death would be the best thing that could happen to him.

Then through seemingly unrelated experiences and conversations, the author is able to show us through Mark that there is always a lesson to be learned by the things we experience, and nothing is more important than learning from those experiences.

I enjoyed RADIANCE because it helps you to see that no matter where you might be in the world or how bad your circumstances might appear, there is always someone or something that is experiencing something equally as dire. It's all up to us to make sense of it all and use it as we go from day to day.

No matter when you pick this book up, it will be sure to entertain you and get you to thinking a little bit more about the space you occupy in the world.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Radiance, Louis Jones's new book, is brilliant. Jones uses contemporary California as his springboard for deep observations on life, death, love, humanity, and the universe. This sounds like heavy going, but his wonderful writing and wit make it all fun. For all the ground it covers, Radiance moves surprisingly quickly. With an engaging cast of characters and setting, it's all thoroughly entertaining. Yet the reader gains challenging insights into physics and human values. Radiance is a great book to take on summer vacation. If (God forbid!) you only read one book this year, this should be the one.
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Format: Hardcover
People use a variety of ways to identify themselves. Their profession, their friends and the amount in their bank account are but a few. Mark Perdue defined himself for a long time as a brilliant physicist as did others around him. His colleagues no longer find him interesting and his memory is fading under the effects of Lyme Disease. He was looking forward to being a new father again. The weekend in Hollywood with Carlotta is his time away to process his life and spend time with Carlotta before she becomes independent and leaves home for good.

I think anyone who is married or has looked at the state of their life can empathize with Mark's state of mind. Much of the novel is an interior dialogue commenting on the weekend's events. Jones hits on some universal truths.

Radiance: A Novel is well written but isn't for the person who wants lots of locations or action in their stories.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I want to highly recommend this little novel. The protagonist is a theoretical physicist at Berkeley--and a believable and humane one, a much richer character than Ian McEwan's physicist in "Solar." The story takes place on a father-daughter weekend in Hollywood on a "Celebrity Adventure" with his 16-year-old daughter, on the very same weekend that his colleagues are all at Karlsruhe for the annual physics conference. I highlighted many passages, true gems--some of them laugh-aloud funny, many more just amazingly apt in terms of long-term marriages, teenaged daughters, middle-aged academics with "Lyme-brain," and the problem with the fundamentalist mind-set, etc. Good, good, good stuff!

One particular long passage, about what's wrong with fundamentalist-type thinking, qualifies as truly great writing-- as good and powerful and true as anything I've ever read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This novel spoiled me for all my other summer reading, 2011. Perfect blend of brilliant ideas, supple, exceptional and lyrical language, and a great story to keep you turning the pages. And likeable, engaging characters. What more could you want? The book's compressed time line (all the main story action happens within about 24 hours) helps to keep it super-focused, and makes it easy for the reader to transition back and forth between big "ideas" (death, physics, the nature of reality) and character-based action. The final scene had me laughing out loud...in public. This is a really great book!
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