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Light | [M. John Harrison]

Light

In contemporary London, Michael Kearney is a serial killer on the run from the entity that drives him to kill. He is seeking escape in a future that doesn' t yet exist - a quantum world that he and his physicist partner hope to access through a breach of time and space itself.
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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning author, narrator, and screenwriter Neil Gaiman personally selected this book, and, using the tools of the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), cast the narrator and produced this work for his audiobook label, Neil Gaiman Presents.

A few words from Neil on Light: The three strands of the plot "are united by the talent of the narrator, Julian Elfer. When I consulted with Mike Harrison…. on the casting, we both thought Julian Elfer subtly conveyed the individualism of each character… part of the delight of a novel like this, for science-fiction fans or just for people who like good books, is watching the Department of Science Fiction known as 'Space Opera' be polished up, dusted off, and reinvented for the future."

In contemporary London, Michael Kearney is a serial killer on the run from the entity that drives him to kill. He is seeking escape in a future that doesn' t yet exist - a quantum world that he and his physicist partner hope to access through a breach of time and space itself. In this future, Seria Mau Genlicher has already sacrificed her body to merge into the systems of her starship, the White Cat. But the inhuman K-ship captain has gone rogue, pirating the galaxy while playing cat and mouse with the authorities who made her what she is.

In this future, Ed Chianese, a drifter and adventurer, has ridden dynaflow ships, run old alien mazes, surfed stellar envelopes. He went deep, and lived to tell about it. Once crazy for life, he's now just a twink on New Venusport, addicted to the bizarre alternate realities found in the tanks... and in debt to all the wrong people.

Haunting them all through this maze of menace and mystery is the shadowy presence of the Shrander and three enigmatic clues left on the barren surface of an asteroid under an ocean of light known as the Kefahuchi Tract: a deserted spaceship, a pair of bone dice, and a human skeleton.

To hear more from Neil Gaiman on Light, click here, or listen to the introduction at the beginning of the book itself.

Learn more about Neil Gaiman Presents and Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX).

©2002 M. John Harrison (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (126 )
5 star
 (30)
4 star
 (38)
3 star
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2 star
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3.4 (113 )
5 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (110 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (23)
2 star
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1 star
 (5)
Performance
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  •  
    Russell Phillips 01-04-12 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    "Don't bother!"

    Totally incomprehensible. I could not get past the first hour. Don't waste your money/credit on this.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marti 10-29-11
    Marti 10-29-11 Member Since 2006

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    179
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    132
    22
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    "Disappointed"

    I kept listening to the book long past the time I would if Neil Gaiman hadn't recommended it. In my mind, Neil Gaiman can do no wrong so I'm annoyed at myself and feel that maybe I'm missing what makes the book great. Whether I'm missing something or not, the book depresses me. The characters and the plots just don't draw me in.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Lewisburg, WV, United States 08-01-13
    Robert Lewisburg, WV, United States 08-01-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    67
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    10
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    Story
    "maybe i'm not doped up enough to like it..."

    ...or perhaps because I'm not dreaming. I'm not sure exactly what the author was trying to get across but this wacky tale was not quite to my liking. If you were to dose, blindfold and hogtie a bunch of writers together (not to put any of these writers down -- perhaps Robert Anton Wilson, Philip K. Dick, William S. Burroughs, Terry Pratchet, Hunter S. Thompson) with a free hand each and only one pen tussling over the book to write...you might come out with something like this book and less pleasing than I'm making it sound.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Goemaat Des Moines, IA 03-15-13
    Jason Goemaat Des Moines, IA 03-15-13 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    72
    17
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    Story
    "Wandering and confusing, but good writing"

    The way I felt about the story reminded me of how I felt listening to Hyperion, if you liked the mystery and non-resolution of that book then you might like this as well. I thought the narrator did a good job, but I found it hard sometimes to remember who was talking. All in all I think I liked it and I'll use a credit to check out the next in the series which is supposed to be quite different.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pie Saint Petersburg, FL, United States 10-26-12
    Pie Saint Petersburg, FL, United States 10-26-12 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    79
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    Story
    "Interesting things...but it was ...ok."
    Which character – as performed by Julian Elfer – was your favorite?

    The narrator was superb.


    Did Light inspire you to do anything?

    Shake my head and laugh.


    Any additional comments?

    The idea was interesting and the writing was very competent...but it seemed like, "this happened" and "this happened" and "this happened"... Which is fine if there is something to draw you forwards to a "why" you would be interested to find out about what happened. The characters are not really likeable, the attempt to make them human happens at the very end of the book. The mystery isn't very interesting (it's more shocking-ish than anything) and the author only pays attention to details that further his intent (logic isn't a HUGE factor). It's more like we're following HIS fascination, not his crafting (a good book should be both). I wish he had taken a litle more control (?) of the story and crafted the approach a tad more? This is hard for me to say because I'm not a critic OR an author, I'm a visual artist who reads books. I love symbolism, mysteries and sci fi/fantasy and... I almost put this down halfway through in boredom... but it was so well written and so short of a story that I persisted to the end (if it had been more than 11 hours I would have given up). The end third of the story actually attempts to make the people human and bring a mystery to life, but... There are VERY interesting things but it was.... ok. I laughed out loud at the ending. Are you kidding me? Really...? Anyway. This review is for anyone else thinking of buying the book who likes the same kind of books I do. LOL. It wasn't normal, that's a fact. There were very cool concepts invented... but it was ok. I hoped for better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Prufrock South Africa 10-24-12
    Prufrock South Africa 10-24-12
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    5
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    "Superb Narration"

    Light is the strangest book I've read in a long time. It is not a particularly likeable book, but it is fascinating at times, and -- more often that not -- compelling. Harrison's writing is so strong and crystalline that the weirdness of some scenes becomes so believable, and the details of such scenes so memorable.

    The three intertwined storylines are all dark; each of his characters is haunted by something. Harrison provides, barring perhaps the endings of each tale, the opposite of consolation. He is here to tell us of regret. This makes for tough reading, but he illuminates, from time to time, the mood and spirit of the book with, yes, light.

    It's hard to enjoy a book like this. But the moments of light are excellent. The quality of the writing alone warrants giving a few chapters a try, at the least. My gut feel is that this book deserves more than a single reading, as well as exploration of the second and third books of the trilogy. I must mention that the audiobook version of Light, narrated by Julian Elfer, is superb. Elfer's engagement with the characters make the novel a joy to listen to and a good deal more approachable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Carpenter Fremont, CA USA 03-11-12
    J. Carpenter Fremont, CA USA 03-11-12

    roulette

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not enough plot and strangely too much sex"

    If this book is any indication, the author never gets any sex and as a result imagines a world where that's all people do all day long. All people, all the time, over and over. When they aren't getting any, they're begging someone for it. I'm no prude, I like sex in a novel, but if you took all instances of the word f**k out of this book I think it would reduce the total length by half. It makes the characters pretty shallow. There is one character, Seria Mau, who is not a sex-a-holic having given up her body to become One with her ship. But even she watches in fascination as her passengers have sex over and over.

    The plot is confusing and hard to follow which wouldn't bother me if it was more interesting. I wanted very much to like "Light", and because it was a "Neil Gaiman Presents" book I expected much more out of it. The narrator is really good, and his voice compliments the genera and "feeling" of the novel. The writing itself is great, but the story... not so much. I made it through 3.5 hours but then I threw in the towel because the plot was stagnant and I was bored.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 03-11-12
    Jan 03-11-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    230
    26
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Not enough plot and strangely too much sex"

    If this book is any indication, the author never gets any sex and as a result imagines a world where that's all people do all day long. All people, all the time, over and over. When they aren't getting any, they're begging someone for it. I'm no prude, I like sex in a novel, but if you took all instances of the word f**k out of this book I think it would reduce the total length by half. It makes the characters pretty shallow. There is one character, Seria Mau, who is not a sex-a-holic having given up her body to become One with her ship. But even she watches in fascination as her passengers have sex over and over.

    The plot is confusing and hard to follow which wouldn't bother me if it was more interesting. I wanted very much to like "Light", and because it was a "Neil Gaiman Presents" book I expected much more out of it. The narrator is really good, and his voice compliments the genera and "feeling" of the novel. The writing itself is great, but the story... not so much. I made it through 3.5 hours but then I threw in the towel because the plot was stagnant and I was bored.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. M. United States 11-23-11
    N. M. United States 11-23-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    8
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    "Did not hold my interest"

    First, the audiobook version was at times quite confusing to listen to. I am not sure if this is due to a lack of intelligence on my part, or the audiobook format, or something entirely other. I enjoy Neil Gaiman's writing, and thought perhaps that I would enjoy his suggestion, but now I am sure that I was quite wrong.

    I suspect that most of the reason that I did not enjoy this book was because of the complicated twists and jumps in the storyline. It jumps from century to century, character to character, and planet to planet with little notice. This format might be enjoyable in text version, where a reader can flip to and fro, looking back upon the previous pages for reference, but I was just confused.

    I do believe that some people will enjoy this book-perhaps writers themselves, the readers of dark poetry, and eccentric scientists, perhaps.

    The book just didn't flow smoothly enough for me.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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