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Lux the Poet Paperback – May 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
British novelist Millar offers up another nutty slice of interconnected lives in this tale of a lovelorn poet's quest for love. As London's Brixton riot rages, Lux, a 17-year-old vagabond poet waiting for fame to find him, dodges fire bombs, police and an awful thrash metal band as he searches for Pearl, who he is in love with, though she doesn't care for him all that much. She's fleeing the melee with her lesbian lover Nicky, who suspects her bosses at Happy Science are scheming to artificially inseminate her. Meanwhile, Kalia, an expelled angel trying to work her way back into heaven, moves through the ages performing good deeds as devil incarnate Johnny seeks to undo them. Their converging stories, minced together in a quick, Spartan prose, offer laughs and, finally, some touching insights into life's trajectory. (May)
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"I've been a fan of his work for almost twenty years." -- Neil Gaiman
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Top customer reviews
I experienced this book much like an alien doing a rectal probe on a human specimen; curiosity propelled me forward without any real understanding of how it all worked. I was expecting insane, off-the-wall characters and plotting, and I got it by the bushel load, but what I didn't get was a single smile, snort, or laugh out of the entire book. I'm seriously baffled right now.
Even when I realized early on that this was not my typical kind of read, I settled back hoping to get in a few chuckles (I need the exercise), but if this is funny, it just doesn't speak to me. Judging by the enthusiastic reviews I've read, Martin Millar has quite a following, so I'm going to assume that the problem rests on my shoulders. Geez, am I really too conventional to appreciate this kind of humor? That's just depressing.
Lux is a big ball of narcissistic, ignorant, impulses squeezed into a short male body with an effeminate face. In the course of this book he steals KY lubricant (for his hair), an ant hill of cocaine (up his nose), a sorry band's demo tapes (to spare society), and a novelist's only copy of her latest manuscript (which he `edits'). It sounds so hilarious now, I don't know how I was able to read it all with a straight face. I guess it's official. A bug has crawled up my butt and died, and nothing will ever be funny again.
Now that I phrase it that way, rioting doesn’t seem very amusing at all; in fact, riots are quite un-comedic, right up their with jokes about homeless llamas and stained glass. Hard material to even get a guffaw out of.
So using the Brixton riots of the ‘80s as the back drop for a novel seems a guaranteed recipe for a distinctly un-funny book. Unless the book is written by Martin Millar, in which case rioting takes on an unprecedented comic grandeur, putting its chaotic mug right up there on the Mt. Rushmore of funny.
The brilliance in Millar’s writing is his ability to take five or six disparate and highly eccentric storylines and blend them into a cohesive gem. The reason behind this is that Millar doesn’t just write great characters like no other, he also imagines characters that are so unique and so memorable that the reader can’t help being charmed and amused. It’s hard to read Lux the Poet without a smile on your face, particularly if you enjoy a caustic sense of humor.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of reading Martin Millar, and you are in the mood for a novel that makes quirky seem mainstream, do yourself a favor and check out Lux the Poet. Dare I say, it’s a riot.
I can't say much more without having to explain, re-explain, and then explain new stuff that I mentioned in the previous explanations.
Let's just say that it moves at a break-neck speed, is friggin' funny, and absolutely worth a read.
After seeing a negative review of Millar's 'Lonely Werewolf Girl' I feel that it's important that I also say that this is a comedy. It's not serious, you aren't going to find any heart-rending poems, etc.
Warning, there's some violence, sex, and drug use...also a scientist who does 'foetus experiments.' ...buy it for yourself, not for your kids. If they need a book, get "Graveyard Book" by Gaiman.
As Lux searches a Brixton riot for Pearl - the lesbian love of his life - he meets the resistance of those he has wronged while avoiding the brutality going on around him.
Lux's positive attitude of eternal optimism and vanity make this book an enjoyable read. However, this story would not be complete without the escapades of Lux's past lives. We learn more of his antics through the eyes of an angel who has been misjudged and sent to earth to complete a million acts of kindness, only to be foiled by her nemesis, an angel who revels in evil-doing.
It was these stories that give the book depth and make Lux an enjoyable character.
There are moments in this book that make it more suitable for an adult audience because of its crude nature; although fleeting, it would still be inappropriate for a younger audience. But it is this mix of oddities that makes the book an entertaining and witty novel.
Reviewed by: LaLeesha Haynes