Glimpses

I loved this book.

Glimpses
You know how when you adore a book or movie, but then you go back years later, and the thing you loved no longer enchants you? I did that with both The Golden Compass and Y Tu Mama Tambien.

I haven’t read Glimpses in awhile, though I did read it for the second time 5 years ago and found it as gripping, meaningful, and beautiful as I had when I read it in my twenties. I don’t know if I’ll tempt fate by reading it again. It’s a book that has haunted me since I read it.

Timothy Leary and the L.A. Reader liked it, too:

“Lewis Shiner is the most important and promising young writer on the scene today. Glimpses has the raw power of a documentary, a nitty-gritty, minute-by-minute evocation of a highly personal journey. Glimpses captures the sixties perfectly–I was there, and it was the way Shiner writes it.”

– Timothy Leary

“Glimpses is a book that invites contemplation–of the tragic ways that many of the greatest musicians of our times have destroyed themselves; of the unpredictable patterns of growth in individuals, art, and society; of time and causality itself. Shiner grants nearly every character here some moment of wisdom, some clarity of expression, so that each can express his or her own truth. That he manages to do so without being obvious about it, that he can convey all these points of view while keeping a complexly plotted novel going, is a marvel of writing ability. In thematic grandeur, vividness, and sheer audacity, Glimpses stands with G.K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday, and other outstanding works of magical realism.

“Lewis Shiner couldn’t have written this book without a deeply felt sense of the fragility of art, of how many great works have passed into the ages never to enlighten, inform, or entertain new generations. Though the masterworks he conjures up in such exquisite detail are lost to us, we now have a bit of compensation for their absence: a masterpiece of the imagination called Glimpses.”

– LA Reader

Read more about Glimpses and its author here.

The book is about Ray Shackleford, an ordinary guy who runs a stereo repair service out of his house. After a family tragedy shakes him to the core, he sits listening to the Beatles. He imagines, with a deep vividness that comes from a lifetime of loving music, what “Let It Be” would have been like without Phil Spector’s notorious overproduction. And the music he imagines begins coming out of his stereo.

If you love music, this is the book for you.

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