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Alex Shakar and his novel Luminarium-Part 1

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Published on Dec 16, 2012

Alex Shakar is a novelist and short story author. His novel The Savage Girl (2001) was chosen by The New York Times as a "notable book", and his recent novel Luminarium (Soho Press, 2011) received acclaim for its "penetrating look at the uneasy intersection of technology and spirituality" Publishers Weekly. Set primarily in New York City, Luminarium follows Fred Brounian, a former co-CEO of a software company devoted to creating Utopian virtual worlds, as he copes with circumstances beyond his control. As the fifth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, Fred finds himself moving back in with his parents after his company is seized by a military contracting conglomerate and his brother falls into a coma. He soon finds himself participating in a neurological study that promises "peak" experiences and a newfound spiritual outlook on life. As the study progresses, lines between subject and experimenter blur, and reality becomes increasingly unstable. It won the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction.

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