The Illumination

  • by Kevin Brockmeier
  • Narrated by Graham Rowat
  • 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

At 8:17 on a Friday night, the Illumination commences. Every wound begins to shine, every bruise to glow and shimmer. And in the aftermath of a fatal car accident, a private journal of love notes, written by a husband to his wife, passes into the keeping of a hospital patient and from there through the hands of five other suffering people, touching each of them uniquely.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Completely intriguing but ultimately disappointing

This book had two fascinating central ideas: (a) the concept of hidden pain becoming visible; and (b) the power of something precious passing from one person to another.

So the first chapter of “The Illumination” had me hooked… I couldn’t wait to see how things unraveled. But now that I’ve reached the end, I’m left with an overwhelming sense of disillusionment… forgive the pun. My disappointments are threefold:

(1) Despite the intriguing framing, I was bored of these same two ideas being recycled for the entire 9 hour duration. By the end, if I had to hear one more synonym of light (or bright, shining, illuminating, shimmering etc…), I thought I would scream. Describing the illumination event could have carried a single chapter, not the entire book.
(2) Things get weird at the end. I won’t say anything more than that.
(3) In the end, the biggest frustration was the feeling of unmet potential. I desperately wanted the protagonists to interact more. Or overlap more. Or learn more. Or evolve more. Or anything. I wanted to be immersed in a mystic journey, not just hear a description of a mystic event.

Having said that, Brockmeier sure does have a talent for description. The prose is beautiful. That is one piece of praise I can lavish quite freely. There is no doubt that Kevin Brockmeier is ridiculously talented, with a mind full of great ideas. I will definitely read his next novel, in the hope it retains the central beauty of “The Illumination” but gets packaged in something more ultimately satisfying.
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- Matthew "Moving further from work extended my daily commute... thank God for Audible."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-28-2011
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks