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

Love, Pain and the Private Life of Texts

There are two premises for this story, which are revealed early in the narrative, so no real spoilers here! The first is that pain, an intimately subjective and isolating experience, becomes visible as light. The second premise is the life of a private journal of love notes, passed from hand to hand. The result is a compelling, fascinating and moving collection of six personal stories, some of which cover a number of weeks, others over years.
The most striking element for me is the exploration of physical and emotional pain and sickness, and what might happen if these could no longer be hidden from view. For some, it means a fascination with the body, for others, a wrestle with concepts of soul and divinity. As a chronic pain sufferer, this makes it a book very close to my heart.
The book also explores the effects that texts have on one another, and plays with one-sided conversations, non-verbal communications, and the differing perspectives of readers exploring the same text. This is a treat for lovers of language.
It is a good audio presentation, with decent narration. The reader's interpretations can sometimes encroach on the listener's experience of the text, but it is rare enough to find a reading where that does not happen. In one particular section, it can be difficult to identify where one authorial voice ends and another begins, and without any knowledge of how this is represented in the print ediction, I cannot comment on whether certain disorienting features are deliberate or not.
All in all, this is a book I will treasure, and have already recommended it to many friends.
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- Isolde

really boring.

couldn't get beyond the first few chapters. what a struggle. got the premise in the first 5 mins but it kept getting laboured without any plot developments. Someone had an ulcer once, light shone out of it, the end.
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- Alice

Book Details

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