Not so much Marginalia, as the nightmare I had after reading Light Boxes by Shane Jones

ETA: This isn’t a review, so I’ll tell you know: I like this book. I like it a lot. I can’t articulate why exactly. I don’t know if the book’s that powerful it has rendered me speechless. Heh. Yez.

I place the blame entirely on Simon Savidge. I read his review, sped to the bookstore and plucked one of the two copies on the shelves, readjusted my O.C. reading plans and settled down with Light Boxes, this slim novel-fable by debut author Shane Jones. I am impressionable, and a jealous person to boot.

[If you are looking for a review, best go to Simon, or to Rozalia Jovanovic at Rumpus. Because they said it best, and I have nothing more to add than Yeah. Yes, lazeh blogging at its finest, folks–but we’re shaking things up a little here. Meaning, I shall give in to Teh Lazeh. Meaning, I shall exercise what must be the built-in tendency of anyone who has ever clicked a Register New Blog button: Tell you about mahself, so-audaciously about my nightmares, and–gasp–with very little pretense that this is about my reading. Meaning, you really can stop reading now, it’s okay.]

It was way past midnight when I put this book down, and as soon as I reached its The End, I fell asleep. And it felt like the narrative just went on in my head. See, in Jones’ world, there is a town, and there is February. There is a war against February. I was part of the town that was suffering under February’s protracted reign of the skies. There were two holes on the clouds above us. It was cold, and everything was gray and muted. I stayed in a wood cabin and watched as children went missing. I saw a girl with kites drawn on her pale arms whisper to a man prostrate at the town square. I saw people hanging from trees, their mouths hanging open and full of snow. The river had frozen and there was a woman trapped in the ice; people walked over her muted body to cross to the other side. A young boy pressed his pudgy hand to the blue face, and later, that boy disappeared. Hair fell from the two holes in the skies and we tried brushing it off, but it held on, thick and auburn. The hair curled around our ankles, pinned us to the ground, crawled up our faces, and choked us in our sleep. Still, everything was gray and muted. Once, men in black capes and brown scarves and top hats came to see me. They wore different colored masks with the beaks of long-dead birds. I tried to see if two men shared the same color. Once I woke up underground, in a tunnel that was only as tall as my shoulder, and I had to stoop to make my way around. On the ground there were bits of paper, and many rolls of tape. I could smell honey and smoke. I have never smelled honey before but I knew it was honey I was smelling. There are certainties in dreams, too. Once I woke up at the edge of town, and I was wearing a blue dress. Once, I woke up and began eating moss.

This doesn’t really mean anything. Also, I like this book. That is all.

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13 comments

  1. I’m intrigued! I’d love to read this. By the way, do you trade books?

    1. I got it from National. :] I haven’t traded books before, but Mel’s given me a list, and I’m trying to compile my own, and I don’t know how that’s going to go, haha. Making a list is so hard in itself.

  2. Oooohhhh when I got the snippit of this review to my blog I thought you were really really cross with me! Glad you enjoyed the book apologies on the nightmares! You wrote them down wonderfully though if that’s any consolation!

    1. Hi, Simon, haha. No, no, I liked this book–so thank you. You’ve been a big influence on my reading lately. And as horrific as the images were, the thought that a tiny book could be so powerful that it leeched into my subconscious just makes me so dorky, haha.

  3. tuulenhaiven · · Reply

    Gosh I love that cover! :) And this post is great.

    1. Thank you. :] The cover art’s pretty loyal to the text, too.

  4. Loved the post. Your dream makes me want to read the book, probably more than any review. Which makes no sense, but there it is.

    1. Thanks, Kerry. :] I linked to “proper” reviews to give a backgrounder–most of the images in that nightmare were nearly identical to those that were found in the book. It was just so seamless, that bridge between patting the book close, and then closing my eyes.

  5. I have this sitting on my desk (must’ve acquired it from BEA) and I’d never heard anything about it. But a war against February sounds like perfection. I hate February. HATE ITTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Don’t be shy with telling the world how you feel, haha. ;) That cover is wonderful, innit? The story’s whimsical and sinister all in one. I hope you enjoy it when you get around to reading it. :) If only in the name of The War Against February. :)

  6. […] Light Boxes, by Shane Jones. […]

  7. […] Sasha & The Silverfish | Savage Reads | Gonzobrarian | Follow the Thread | Matt Bell […]

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