Shane Jones, born 1980, has published stories and poems widely online and in print. This is his first novel. He lives in upstate New York.
Jones's brief and bewildering war fable pursues the plight of a town battling to free itself from the brutal hold of the month of February (also sometimes a person or a force or merely a metaphor), a meanie that has not allowed its wintry grip to lift for hundreds of days. When the despairing townspeople, led by valiant Thaddeus Lowe and his wife and daughter, suffer reprisals from February and "the priests" for trying to break the weather, a group of former balloonists don bird masks and, calling themselves the Solution, instigate a rebellion. Thaddeus's daughter, Bianca, is kidnapped, along with other children, leading Thaddeus to plot ways to deceive February: townspeople walk around pretending it's summer and secure "light boxes" around their heads to simulate the sun. February, meanwhile, may simply be feeling unloved by his wife, "the girl who smells of honey and smoke" and who seems eerily like Bianca. It's a quaint and bizarre allegory that explores the perils of equivocation, but it's likely more pleased with its own cleverness than readers will be. (June) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
"Resplendent, and somehow nearly edible, Shane Jones has written the kind of novel that makes you reconsider the word perfect." -Rivka Galchen, author of "Atmospheric Disturbances" "At last, a book that cries out to our inner balloonists. Shane Jones has built a fable that is fresh and surprising, but also familiar in the way that the oldest stories are familiar." -Jedediah Berry, author of "The Manual of Detection" "Reading this book makes you realize what our American literature has been missing. Wholly original, tremendously imaginative, written with the deftest hand, "Light Boxes" makes sense of modern life in the way only dreams can." -Joe Meno, author of "Hairstyles of the Damned" "[T]his literary gem of metaphysical malaise has that ideally weird blend of offputting sensualism and heartfelt emotion-just the sort of thing to ensure a dedicated, if limited, following." -"Booklist"