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Lights Out in Wonderland

Lights Out in Wonderland [Kindle Edition]

DBC Pierre
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £4.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description


If any novelist can collate the killing irony of what is happening around us it is DBC Pierre. "

Book Description

The spectacular third novel from DBC Pierre, one of the great fantastical storytellers of his generation.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1297 KB
  • Print Length: 341 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0571228895
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Fiction (2 Sep 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0045I7FZG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #183,802 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderland indeed 15 Sep 2010
This was BRILLIANT. I'd be happy to be proved wrong, but I am prepared to say now that it's my book of 2010 - I can't imagine that I'm going to come across anything as unique, inspiring and downright excellent in the next few months.

The story begins with Gabriel Brockwell - dreamer, quasi-misanthrope, unfulfilled artist, paradoxically both a pursuer of ultimate decadence and an anti-capitalist - deciding to kill himself... but not quite immediately. The next 300 pages tell the fantastical tale of Gabriel's self-imposed final days, taking in three capital cities, an incerdible cast of oddball characters, an excessive, orgiastic banquet beneath an abandoned airport, and the most bizarre and grotesque menu you've ever seen.

The narrative is wonderful, constantly experimenting with language and packed with unexpected words, succinct yet vivid descriptions, and too many remarkable truisms about human relationships, behaviour/hopes/fears/dreams, and the power of market forces than I could possibly list. The prose is experimental and colourful, yet there are perfectly formed quotes and soundbites on every page. Gabriel's voice is sublime - self-obsessed, negative and hypocritical, but funny, cynical, intelligent and brilliantly debauched as well as sweetly naive and naively charming. He's a literary Withnail, an elegantly wasted raconteur - I fell in love with the character and his flights of fancy, philosophical musings and never-ending brushes with good and bad luck.

DBC Pierre won the Booker Prize in 2003 with Vernon God Little, which is certainly very good, and shares in common with this book a strong first-person narrative voice and playful, intricate, inventive prose; but in my opinion, Lights Out in Wonderland is better. I loved the characters, loved the narrative, loved the story. This is an extraordinary novel. READ IT.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars moments of genius, but inconsistent 11 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like thousands of other readers, I thought Vernon God Little was a fantastic book. I never bothered with his second as it sounded like the archetypal "difficult second novel", but was excited to hear about Lights Out and full of anticipation. I didn't take to the opening, which put me in mind of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas (a much better book overall), but once our narrator left these shores for Tokyo I was taken in and for the most part I enjoyed the ride.

Some of DBC Pierre's insights are brilliant, if sometimes a little out of place. The trip round Ikea should ring a bell with anoyone who has had to endure that particular shopping experience, but receieved a peculiarly large amount of coverage. However, one of my favourite passages, where the world economy is likened to a space rocket where a fortunate few are in the tiny cockpit being propelled to Stratospehric heights while the rest of us merely make up the huge fuel pods and are jettisoned along the way, is such a brilliant analogy to my mind that I have quoted it several times to friends since.

I also thought the choice of the Templehof airport as the location for much of the book was inspired, but sadly the climatic orgiastic banquet stretched my imagination just too far and I couldn't be bothered to read the recipes beyond reading what the bizarre key ingredients were.

In summary, for me the middle two thirds of this book are very good, but the beginning and end, so important for those key impressions, let it down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars if you like prose you will love this 28 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i love this book

the style and imagery crated in every page is fabulous. at times the words just drip off the pages. (that may sound wrong but I am just trying to describe a great book)

if i had to guess the author, he would be an intelligent version of Dillon Moran (Black Books store owner) and probably written with the help of 20,000 cigarettes, volumes of alcohol and possibly pain killers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will miss your bus stop 24 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An absolutely stunning book. It manages to flawlessly mirror the time in which we
live, but also say things that will not age. It's got beautiful passages that had me
folding pages over to come back to them. The imagery had me window shopping for
aeroplane tickets to every place described. There are beautiful little stories thrown in
with the narrative that you'll be telling your friends about after you've read them. For
example the master winemakers who are so dedicated to their craft that they never
leave the vineyard, and encourage young lovers to copulate amongst the vines. Or
the nightclubs in East Berlin that gave out entry tokens when the wall came down
which are still be used today.

The novel is about a society reaching its apex, and the excesses that involves. There
just is not a better author out there to describe this stuff. The pace is extraordinary.
The descriptions of food, wine and pharmaceuticals jump off the page and down your
throat. The lights blind you. It's like a life taking place in a fairground, which I suppose
is what the title is getting at. It's DBC Pierre, so expect drugs and bodily fluids;
sometimes all at once. It's not the focus of the novel but if you don't enjoy writing of
this nature, this is probably not for you.

My only criticism is this: the climaxes in the plot are so dizzyingly high and so
numerous that the moments in between feel a little flat in comparison. In this way, the
novel is a victim of its own success. Climaxes are where DBC Pierre eats; perhaps
the other stuff does not excite him. The finale does not disappoint though, and the
final third of the book is where the book reaches its cruising speed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Interesting story, excellently written, true to life, great author. Funny, sad, charming, a story you want to tell people about.
Published 9 months ago by gooch
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Crazy book. Like being inside the head of someone who is bi polar ind in a manic phase. Found it hilarious.
Published 13 months ago by lulu
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tour de Force
I loved 'Vernon God Little' but found Ludmila's Broken English less convincing and so didn't know what to expect from Pierre's third novel. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Lisa78
2.0 out of 5 stars a bit much
I dunno if I missed something but this disappointed me. The story was all there but there was far too much pretension. And all the footnotes were pretty distracting. Read more
Published 20 months ago by karen phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!!
Really original story. Would recommend this book to lots of people. Funny and dark at the same time with an important environmental message.
Published 22 months ago by Nickos1971
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo!
"Lights Out In Wonderland" is a glorious novel, and a purgative one. It blasts through your clogged up literary senses like a good, strong curry, making you forget all the rubbish... Read more
Published on 15 Oct 2012 by EmmaH
4.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly unique adventure, slow at times, but satisfying overall
I will say straight away that I am a big fan of Pierre. His first novel "Vernon God Little" was met with suitable acclaim, but this second "Ludmilla's Broken English" was by far... Read more
Published on 10 Aug 2012 by D. Gallacher
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful novel full of bits you want to interrupt your wife for and...
If you want my opinion on this novel, read Veronica Marwood's excellent review here on Amazon, for it delineates my feelings better than I could ever express. Read more
Published on 19 Nov 2011 by Mr. Trench
4.0 out of 5 stars maybe more of a 3star plus, but I enjoyed the last 200 pages
Like many others I found this book really heavy going to begin with. I started by dropping the footnotes and then skipped over some rambling paragraphs and then read a review here... Read more
Published on 17 Nov 2011 by Sean Slippers
5.0 out of 5 stars Real & Unreal
Reviews must be twenty words long, why? I am happy to leave the words to DBC, for his style's wonderland!
Published on 13 Oct 2011 by IPL
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