A haunting and hopeful tale of discovering light in even the darkest of places.
For his whole life, the boy has lived underground, in a basement with his parents, grandmother, sister, and brother. Before he was born, his family was disfigured by a fire. His sister wears a white mask to cover her burns.
He spends his hours with his cactus, reading his book on insects, or touching the one ray of sunlight that filters in through a crack in the ceiling. Ever since his sister had a baby, everyone's been acting very strangely. The boy begins to wonder why they never say who the father is, about what happened before his own birth, about why they're shut away.
A few days ago, some fireflies arrived in the basement. His grandma said, There's no creature more amazing than one that can make its own light. That light makes the boy want to escape, to know the outside world. Problem is, all the doors are locked. And he doesn't know how to get out....
©2013 Paul Pen (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Translation © 2016 Simon Bruni.
This book is dark. I like dark and twisted, like Herman Koch and Chuck Palahniuk twisted, so I loved this book. Until the last word was spoken I didn't know how it would end. At the climax, I sat frozen for 45 minutes waiting to see what would happen. I was more invested in the characters than I even knew I was until the very end.
This book is sneaky that way. It's not just the actual story that is dark, but the writing is very stark in style, leaving you feeling empty somehow. For example, you never learn any of the characters' names. They are all referred to as how they relate to other members of the family (father, grandmother, the boy). Just that detail leaves you with a ominous, sad, trapped feeling. Paul Pen is an artist at evoking feelings as he draws you in to the story.
The narration was great in that I didn't notice Merriman at all. He faded into the background and let the story come through.
I wouldn't recommend this story to most of my friends and family. It will be loved though by those who want to be truly surprised and taken aback by a book, even if the surprises aren't pleasant.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
The Light of the Fireflies is a truly twisted and very, very dark story. Spanish author Paul Pen has beautifully written a novel that will likely haunt me. The book is weird in that the listener never learns the name of any of the characters; there's the dead girl, her father, the grandfather, the grandmother, the father, the mother, the sister, the brother, the baby, and the boy. Most of the book is written in the first person of the 10 year old boy.
Although I rate the book 5 stars I cannot recommend it except for people who like very dark stories. I will never listen to it again! I just hope I can forget it!
Google Inkish Kingdoms. I am a bilingual Literature Mayor student with dream to be taken seriously beyond professors.
You can Google me for the rest of the review! I have a whole review of this book in my Blogger and Wordpress blog:
Well… this is when everybody in the family is good, white, fair and nice, but there is one little mother of a sheep that is bad, black, unfair, and totally not nice. However, in this book, this sheep is pitch black, evil, and totally unstable and crazy as a goat… so it is more like… Baphomet… Kind of… Yes… well… you will need to read it to agree with me, and trust me because you will agree with me.
I live suspended to this intrigue and anxiety that these books generate in me, particularly this author, who kicked me right in the guts with his style (it is something good). You are about to find out what has happened in this freaking basement when the author just decides to go back in time 11 years! Like… really dude? But it was necessary, so necessary.
The narration is a little bit slow for my taste, but you can always speed it up a little bit.
I thought so until I got to the end of the book. Then I was left scratching my head.
Don't think so.
Great inflection, mystery, tension, tenderness, scorn, etc.
I thought so until I got to the end.
First thing that comes to mind is how the sins of the father are revisited on generation after generation! Talk about twisted! This family is the definition of selfishness, self-centeredness and dysfunction - only doing what soothes their needs and desires. Forget about doing what's right or best for someone else! The ending......try explaining why your family lives in a basement to the next generation and continuing to suck them into the darkness of this sick, twisted family unit.
The mystery of the story had me hooked and kept me listening.
This is so depressing.......dark and weird! I would rather read a much lighter book. I don't think it's bad...just to depressing for me.
Writing is not my forte, but I can listen with the best of them!
This book was definitely dark and twisty. Right from the beginning, you the "something in this milk ain't clean" vibe. The story followed a boy in his extremely sheltered and sad life, that, unbeknownst to him, thought was great. There are many secrets kept from him and a lot of unexplained scenarios. This books follows a 'coming of age' story in the most minimalist of terms at a moderate to slow pace.
One aspect that I liked about the story is that the "villain" is not cut and dry from the beginning of the book. Don't get me wrong, a lot of the characters make a lot of mistakes, but the writer takes you on a journey, where my "blame of the situation" varied between the characters at different times in the book.
The narrator did a great job. I enjoyed his work and the emotion he put in the various characters and situations. I thoroughly enjoyed Scott's work and look forward to future novels read by him.
I would recommend this book. Although I felt a few parts were too long, it still kept me interested.
It started off good but towards the end, it became more and more ridiculous and difficult to follow. The author seemed to have had a lot of trouble trying to figure out how to end the book.
just way more depressing and dark than I was expecting. it was well written but just not accurate to how it comes off in summary
I almost give up on this book. I took me forever to get to the first half, but when I got to the second part. It was pretty cool!! I couldn't stop reading, I had butterflies in my stomach and my hearth was pounding.
"Wonderful. A real treat"
Enjoyed every minute of this book.
( if you liked the book 'Room' this is definitely one for you.)
What a book. It had me riveted from start to finish!
Makes me wonder what I would do help family, and how I would cope if family put me in the situation.
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